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Let's See If You Actually Know Anything About HIV/AIDS

It affects millions of people worldwide. How much do you know?

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  1. 1. What does HIV stand for?

    jarun011 / gettyimages.com
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    HIV stands for “human immunodeficiency virus."

    It used to be called “human immune deficiency virus.”

  2. 2. What does AIDS stand for?

    4421010037 / gettyimages.com
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    AIDS stands for “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.”

  3. 3. How can you tell that a person has HIV?

    Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    FOX / tumblr
    You can't tell
    They are very thin
    The white of their eyes has a red tint
    The skin on their face looks gray or yellowish
    They have very prominent dark circles under their eyes
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    You can't tell if an individual has HIV just by looking at them.

    HIV often has no physical symptoms, which is one reason why some people are unaware of their positive status. And sure, the HIV virus and medications can cause some physical changes to the body such as fat loss, but these vary depending on the individual and aren’t always visibly striking. Overall, people with HIV can still lead normal, healthy lives.

  4. 4. True or false: HIV can only be transmitted between two men who have anal sex.

    Yuri_Arcurs / gettyimages.com
    True
    False
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    False!

    HIV can be transmitted to both men and women in a number of different ways. But anal sex is the riskiest sexual behavior for HIV transmission — for anyone. Women who have unprotected anal sex with someone who is HIV-positive face a higher risk of contracting the virus than if they were to have vaginal sex with someone who has HIV.

  5. 5. Which of the following bodily fluids does not spread HIV?

    Aunt_Spray / gettyimages.com
    Rectal fluid
    Via champja / Getty
    Rectal fluid
    Via champja / Getty
    Blood
    Via rockyoubaby / Getty
    Blood
    Via rockyoubaby / Getty
    Semen
    Via iLexx / Getty
    Semen
    Via iLexx / Getty
    Saliva
    Via AntonioGuillem / Getty
    Saliva
    Via AntonioGuillem / Getty
    Vaginal fluid
    Via Voyagerix / Getty
    Vaginal fluid
    Via Voyagerix / Getty
    Pre-ejaculate (pre-cum)
    Via alexluengo / Getty
    Pre-ejaculate (pre-cum)
    Via alexluengo / Getty
    Breast milk
    Via opel_ru / Getty
    Breast milk
    Via opel_ru / Getty
    Menstrual blood
    Via pepifoto / Getty
    Menstrual blood
    Via pepifoto / Getty
    It spreads though all of these!
    Via vchal / Getty
    It spreads though all of these!
    Via vchal / Getty
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Saliva does not spread HIV.

    HIV cannot be transmitted through saliva, urine, sweat, or snot. It can only spread to other people from an infected person’s blood, semen, pre-ejaculate, vaginal fluid, menstrual blood, rectal fluid, and breast milk. In order to get HIV, these fluids must come into direct contact with a mucous membrane (inside the vagina, penis, rectum, or mouth), broken or damaged tissue (like an open wound), or be injected straight into the bloodstream.

  6. 6. What’s the difference between HIV and AIDS?

    gevende / gettyimages.com
    AIDS can lead to HIV
    HIV is transmitted during unprotected sex; AIDS is transmitted during IV drug use.
    HIV only affects men; AIDS only affects women.
    HIV only affects women, AIDS only affects men.
    HIV can lead to AIDS.
    Nothing — they're the same.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    HIV can lead to AIDS.

    HIV is the virus that initially infects people, and AIDS is the condition caused by an HIV infection in the body. AIDS is considered the final stage of HIV in humans. Without treatment, a person with AIDS can typically survive about three years. Not everyone with HIV will go on to develop AIDS. In fact, HIV will not progress to AIDS in most people today who are HIV-positive.

  7. 7. What does the virus actually do to the body?

    kowalska-art / gettyimages.com
    It attacks the sexual organs, making it difficult to reproduce.
    It attacks the immune system, making it harder to fight off infections.
    It attacks the circulatory system, making the blood toxic.
    It attacks the gastrointestinal system, making it difficult to gain weight or absorb nutrients.
    None of the above
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    HIV attacks the immune system, making it harder to fight off infections.

    The virus specifically attacks CD4 cells (T-cells), which are white blood cells that help our body fight off infection and disease. That makes it easier to get infections and diseases. If HIV goes untreated for a long time, it can destroy enough CD4 cells that a person is unable to fight off anything. If HIV progresses to AIDS, the immune system is damaged enough that they become vulnerable to opportunistic infections and cancers, which can cause serious illness and death.

  8. 8. What is a viral load?

    KTSimages / gettyimages.com
    The amount of AIDS in your spinal fluid sample
    The number of CD4 (T-cells) in your bone marrow sample.
    The number of red blood cells divided by the HIV virus particles in your blood sample
    The amount of HIV in your blood sample
    None of the above
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Viral load is the amount of HIV in your blood sample.

    Viral load is determined by a test that measures the number of HIV particles, called “copies,” in a milliliter of blood. It’s useful for understanding the health status of HIV-positive individuals because it shows how well the body is fighting off HIV and how effective their medication is at helping the body control the virus. If your viral load is high, this means there’s more HIV in the body because your immune system is having trouble fighting it off.

  9. 9. When your HIV is undetectable, it means _____.

    Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    ABC / tumblr
    You will never transmit the virus to other people.
    Your viral load is very low.
    Your HIV is completely cured.
    You no longer need medication.
    You can safely have unprotected sex with multiple partners.
    All of the above
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    When your HIV is undetectable, it means your viral load is very low.

    An undetectable viral load is very low — usually between 40 to 75 HIV particles (copies) per one milliliter of blood, which means there’s very little HIV in the body. It’s usually the result of medications successfully helping the body fight off HIV. However, having an undetectable viral load does not mean you’re cured. You still test positive for HIV and need to remain on meds to keep your viral load low. It is much less likely that you’ll transmit HIV with an undetectable load, but you still need to use protection for several reasons: Sexual fluids can have a higher HIV viral load than blood, STDs can increase the risk of HIV transmission, and your viral load can go up between tests every three to six months.

  10. 10. True or false: A pregnant woman with HIV can give birth to a healthy, HIV-negative baby.

    comzeal / gettyimages.com
    True
    False
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    This is true.

    If a pregnant woman has HIV, there is a risk of mother-to-child transmission (aka vertical transmission) of the virus during pregnancy, labor, or breastfeeding. However, women can prevent passing HIV to their baby if they detect their HIV before or early in their pregnancy, follow a strict medication regimen while pregnant, deliver their baby by C-section (if a doctor deems it necessary), never breastfeed, and give the newborn HIV medication for four to six weeks after birth. These can all greatly reduce the risk of vertical transmission so an HIV-positive mother can give birth to a healthy, HIV-negative baby.

  11. 11. If both partners in a monogamous relationship are HIV-positive, do they still need to use condoms during sex?

    Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Lonely Island / youtu.be
    Yes
    No
    Only during vaginal sex
    Only during anal sex
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Yes, they still need to use condoms.

    There are multiple strains of the HIV virus and a person who’s infected with one strain can still become infected with a new strain if they get exposed through unprotected sex (or IV drug use). If this happens, it’s called a “superinfection” and it can cause another attack on the immune system, or make it harder to treat because the new strain may be resistant to the medications a person is already using. Additionally, unprotected sex can transmit other STDs like gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis — all of which can increase the risk of HIV transmission and take a toll on the immune system.

  12. 12. What year did the CDC officially start using the term AIDS?

    Rick Maiman / apimages.com
    1953
    1969
    1982
    1991
    1999
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    1982.

    In September 1982, the CDC released a public report that provided the first case definition for “AIDS” (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). It read: “a disease at least moderately predictive of a defect in cell-mediated immunity, occurring in a person with no known case for diminished resistance to that disease.” Previously, AIDS had been referred to as an unknown predecessor of Kaposi’s sarcoma, gay-related immune deficiency (GRID), and “gay cancer” among the public.

  13. 13. Which of the following demographics faces the highest risk of contracting HIV in the US?

    mediaphotos / gettyimages.com
    Gay and bisexual men
    Teenagers
    Lesbian and bisexual women
    Heterosexual couples who have unprotected anal sex
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men face the highest risk of contracting HIV.

    In 2013, gay and bisexual men made up 55% of those living with HIV in the US. Gay and bisexual men also accounted for 83% of all new cases of HIV among males aged 13 and older in 2014. They are by far the most severely affected group in the US.

  14. 14. In which situation is the risk of HIV infection highest?

    anyaberkut / gettyimages.com
    Unprotected anal sex as the receptive partner
    Unprotected anal sex as the insertive partner
    The risk of HIV infection is the same in these two situations
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Unprotected anal sex as the receptive partner poses the highest risk for HIV infection.

    This is because the lining of the rectum is very thin, which could allow the virus to enter the body through a tear. However, the insertive partner is also at risk for HIV transmission during anal sex, as the virus could enter through the urethra or any open cuts or sores on the penis. The use of condoms and lubrication can greatly reduce the risk of HIV infection during anal sex.

  15. 15. What’s the earliest that an antibody test (the most common HIV test) can detect infection?

    jarun011 / gettyimages.com
    1 week after exposure
    2 weeks after exposure
    3 weeks after exposure
    1 month after exposure
    2 months after exposure
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Antibody tests can detect HIV as early as three weeks after exposure.

    Antibody tests look for the immune proteins that respond to HIV infection, which can be found in blood or oral fluids. After HIV exposure, it can take 3–12 weeks for your body to develop those antibodies, which is called the window period. About 97% of people will develop detectable antibodies during this window, but if you get a negative test during this window and you think you've been exposed, you should be retested at the 3-month mark. Typically blood tests can detect HIV infection sooner than oral tests.

  16. 16. What is PrEP?

    MarcBruxelle / gettyimages.com
    Prior exposure prescription, which is a vaccine for individuals at risk for HIV.
    Post-real exposure prophylaxis, which is a drug that blocks HIV from spreading in the body of an HIV-negative person.
    Polyribonucleic exposure pill, which is a medication for HIV-positive individuals.
    Pre-exposure prophylaxis, which is a drug that can lower your risk of getting infected with HIV.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis, and it helps an HIV-negative person lower their chances of infection.

    PrEP is a combination drug approved for daily use to help prevent HIV infection in someone who is at a high risk. It's not a vaccine, but when taken once a day consistently, it can reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90% and from injection drug use by 70%.

  17. 17. What do you call the typical course of treatment for HIV/AIDS?

    ART
    AVT
    HIV drug therapy
    DHP
    DDT
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The typical course of treatment for HIV/AIDS is ART, aka antiretroviral therapy.

    ART is a drug therapy that people with HIV must take daily in order to help their immune system recover and subsequently fight off any illnesses. It is not a cure for HIV, but it does reduce a person’s viral load and helps to prevent them from transmitting the virus to others. That way, they can lead a normal, healthy life.

  18. 18. True or false: People with HIV can’t have sex with people who don’t have HIV.

    Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    NBC / giphy.com
    True
    False
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    False!

    People who have HIV sure can have sex with someone who isn’t infected. However, both partners should take steps to reduce the risk of transmission, like partaking in ART and PrEP, engaging in less-risky sexual behaviors, and using condoms consistently and correctly. See here for more tips on how to have safe sex with someone who is HIV-positive.

  19. 19. The most common cause of death for people with HIV in the world is _____.

    Shaul Schwarz / Stringer / gettyimages.com
    Common cold
    Tuberculosis
    The virus itself
    Pneumonia
    Respiratory failure
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The most common cause of death for people with HIV is tuberculosis.

    Though it’s an infection of the lungs, tuberculosis can also affect the brain, spine, kidneys, and other organs. HIV and TB infections can work together, and for this reason, it’s the number one cause of death in people living with HIV.

  20. 20. How many people with HIV (in the US) are unaware that they have it?

    Siphotoraphy / gettyimages.com
    1 in 3
    1 in 6
    1 in 8
    1 in 11
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    One in eight people don't know they have HIV.

    Yup. This happens because some people might not feel symptoms of the virus during the early stage of the disease, or they might mistake the symptoms as just another cold or flu. They might not also think to get the HIV antibody test or they just aren't getting regularly tested for STIs. After the early stage, which lasts about two to four weeks, it moves into the clinical latency stage, where symptoms are less likely to show up. Some people can have HIV for 10 years before symptoms start to show up.

  21. 21. Which of the following contraceptive methods can reduce your risk of HIV infection?

    areeya_yan / gettyimages.com
    Birth control pills
    Latex condoms
    Hormonal IUDs
    All of the above
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Condoms are the only contraceptive method that can reduce the risk of HIV infection.

    However, they need to be worn the whole time, every time, to be truly effective. It's also important to use lube during sex to prevent condom breakage and tearing.

  22. 22. Does living with someone who’s HIV-positive put you at higher risk for contracting the disease?

    Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    Comedy Central / giphy.com
    Yes
    No
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    No, sharing a home with someone who is HIV-positive does not put you at an increased risk.

    HIV cannot be transmitted through air or water; from sharing toilets, food, or drinks; from saliva, sweat, or tears; or from pets or insect bites. It can only be transmitted through blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.

Let's See If You Actually Know Anything About HIV/AIDS

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