The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) weakens the immune system of affected people and, consequently, lowers their defenses against many infections and illnesses. Still having no cure, HIV remains to be a major global health issue. However, there are preventive measures and effective treatments that can help an affected person live a normal life even after diagnosis.
As a part of our community outreach program in the Washington Metropolitan area, we provide education to communities or groups of people who are at a higher risk of contracting the infection. One of the matters that we emphasize is identifying factors that increase the risk of having HIV. According to the World Health Organization, these factors are the following:
- Having unprotected anal or vaginal sex;
- Having a sexually transmitted infection (STI) such as syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and bacterial vaginosis;
- Sharing contaminated needles, syringes, and other injecting equipment;
- Receiving unsafe injections, blood transfusions, and medical procedures that involve unsterile cutting or piercing; and
- Experiencing accidental needle stick injuries, including among health workers.
It is important to know these risk factors so people in HIV communities will know how to protect or prevent themselves from contracting the infection. Preventing transmission of the virus is the best course of action there is at the present.
At Progressive Alliance For The Targeted Health, we provide prevention and education services, treatment services, and psychosocial support for HIV-affected persons or high-risk communities. As a non-profit organization, we only aim to provide support to those who are in need.