VIRAL - INCURABLE - TREATABLE
HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS.
HIV damages a person’s body by destroying specific blood cells, called CD4+ T cells, which are crucial to helping the body fight diseases.
In Indonesia HIV is concentrated in key population groups, especially gay men, transgender women, sex workers, people who inject drugs and prisoners.
For someone to get HIV, an infectious fluid like blood or semen has to get inside their body. There are a number of ways that this can happen, but in Bali the most common transmission routes are through unprotected sex and sharing needles. This is because sex and the sharing of needles allows transmission fluid access into the body.
Typical symptoms include a fever, sore throat, headache, aches and pains, and a blotchy red rash. Symptoms of HIV vary from person to person, and some may have none at all. The only way to be sure if you have been infected with HIV is to have an HIV test. You cannot tell from symptoms alone. If you have HIV, it’s very important that it’s diagnosed for the best chance of getting treatment and care, and of staying well.
Most of the opportunistic infections associated with HIV can be treated and more importantly prevented, with drugs that are not too expensive and widely available. These drugs inhibit the progression of HIV in the body so that people with HIV can live longer and avoid AIDS. These drugs are known as antiretroviral drugs or ARVs. ARV drugs must be taken for life and to be most effective require consistent adherence (taking them at the same time every day). This is vital as consistently forgotten courses of ARV may severely limit the effectiveness of the therapy.