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How can I get HIV?
Nov 28, 2008

I have heard and read several times about the various ways of contracting HIV. However, I would like you to explain into detail how the contraction occurs. I learned women are more prone to the HIV than men, is that true? Is there a complete cure for HIV? If yes, what is it? Thank you. - Ghana, W. Africa.

Response from Dr. McGowan

HIV is present in many of the bodily fluids, especially the blood, semen and vaginal secretions. The most common means of contracting HIV is through sexual contact in which there is contact with infectious bodily fluids or through injection drug use when the needle is shared with someone who has HIV in the blood. Men and women are equally at risk (the risk is more dependent on the type of sexual activity, the amount of virus in the infected persons blood/body fluids, whether the man is circumscised and if there are genital sores or ulcers or other breaks in the skin which make it easier for the virus to spread). For these reasons we recommend that sexual contact (vaginal, anal and oral) be done with the use of a latex condom and that needles should not be shared for any purpose.

persistent sore thraot lasting for 3 weeks, elevated white blood cell, and invisible blood in urine (white and red cell)
undetectable without medication

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