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25 Things You Should Know About HIV (And Probably Don’t) Day 2

Posted in Awareness, Prevention on Monday, October 11th, 2010 by Kelly - 3 Comments


We are sharing 25 things you should know about HIV (and probably don’t) over 25 days. Today in Day #2.  We have identified these 25 things that you should know because they impact your actions and what path you take.

One more time with a favorite quote of mine: “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” ~Morpheus. (Any Matrix lovers out there?)

Day #2: HIV is NOT a chronic manageable disease for everyone.

HIV awareness preventionWe used to think that HIV infection was a death sentence because we saw the images of some really sick people in the media. Most of us probably knew someone or heard of someone who got sick and died from AIDS.

Now lots of people think that HIV is no big deal. We have a few magic bullet pills to take each day that make HIV no longer a threat in our life. Get infected? So what? I can just take the antiretrovirals and be okay…

But unfortunately, that is just not true and this belief may be leading people to engage is some very risky behaviors because they don’t know the real consequences.

Why is this important to you?

Let’s get real here. HIV is probably manageable but certainly not cured by medication. There are no magic bullets here.

You may not know that HIV meds don’t eliminate all the virus from your body. What they do is merely reduce levels of the virus to undetectable levels, or less than 75 copies per milliliter of blood. Now that is enough to keep them from inflicting major damage on your immune system. But, you have about 5200 milliliters of blood in your body or around 400,000 copies of the virus hanging around.

And those 400,000 copies can still do some do some harm because they can mutate and cause drug resistance. They are also causing an inflammation response in your body that impacts many of your major organs including your brain.

You don’t have to feel or look sick for HIV to continue its march inside your body that has long term effects.

How does this affect your path?

Taking risks and exposing yourself to HIV means a lifetime battle against the virus. No vacations, no time off for good behavior.

What you can manage about HIV is your treatment program, your overall health, and your lifestyle. You can reduce complications and drug resistance by following the plan you develop with your doctor. You can help control the impact of your side effects by working with your doctor and let him know what you are experiencing.

What you can’t manage about HIV is that it is an invader that seeks to wreak havoc on your body and at best, you can expect a draw in your ongoing battle. There is never a total victory – yet.

 “In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.”  ~Ulysses S. Grant

Do you really want to put yourself in this war?

The power is yours. What path will you choose?

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