All About HIV/AIDS
Welcome to the Real Health Center for HIV/AIDS information. Please click on the following links to learn more about each topic.
Prevention and Treatment
HIV and the Black Community
HIV has disproportionately affected African-American communities nationwide. Though blacks make up only 13 percent of the U.S. population, they account for half of all new AIDS cases.
Transmission and Prevention
HIV was established as the cause of AIDS in 1983. Since then, we’ve learned a great deal about the ways HIV can—and cannot—be transmitted.
Getting an HIV test is just the beginning. A positive test result gives you the chance to keep ahead of the virus. A negative test result gives you the opportunity to stay that way. (Watch video.)
Testing HIV positive is not the end of the world—and especially not the end of you. Being HIV positive is a challenge, but it also can be an opportunity to grow. (Watch video.)
Access to Care
If you’re HIV positive, you can greatly prolong your life and maintain your health—as long as you have the right medical care and services.
Going on HIV treatment for the first time can seem scary and overwhelming. There is no right or wrong answer. Working closely with your doctor, you can determine the best time to start.
Just as you rely on your antiretrovirals (ARVs) to be proven safe and effective, your ARVs rely on you to take them correctly and on time—every time—so that they can best protect your health.
Living With HIV/AIDS
While nutrition is vital to everyone’s survival, it is particularly crucial to those living with HIV infection.
Not only is working out good for general health and well-being; it may help prevent or reverse some complications of HIV infection and treatment.
Consider the health of your whole body, realizing that treatment may be needed for concerns beyond HIV.
Both HIV and antiretroviral treatment can cause problems that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, there are many ways to protect your heart if you’re HIV positive.
Though antiretrovirals usually do a remarkable job of fighting HIV and keeping you healthy, they can sometimes have toxic effects on the liver.
Nearly one in three HIV-positive people has abnormal kidney function.
Studies show that over 50 percent of people living with HIV experience some kind of skin condition in their lifetime.
Women and HIV
Women are more likely to experience a lack of access to HIV testing, care, services and support and to pay more attention to the health needs of their loved ones than their own.
While having children is definitely an option for HIV-positive women (and men), it requires careful planning with a health care provider.
People over 50 represent 15 percent of those living with the virus. In turn, there’s a growing need for comprehensive care to prevent and manage typical age-related maladies.