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The Month of December is World Aids Month.

During this month we seek to bring awareness to the HIV aids virus that infects millions of people every year worldwide. 

There is an important difference between aids and HIV. 

HIV is the precursor to aids and with the help of modern medicine is able to be treated meaning a person with HIV is likely to go on living a full and normal life.  Sadly, there is no cure for AIDS so this is why we must focus on prevention. 

The HIV/AIDS virus is transmitted through bodily fluids, it is not possible to catch AIDS by hugging or kissing someone infected with the aids virus. 

Normally and most commonly the virus is transmitted through sexual contact. This is especially prevalent when a condom is not used, 

It is also possible to catch the aids virus through other means such as intravenous drug use when a needle is shared between users. 

Pregnant mothers can also transmit the virus to their unborn babies through the umbilical cord. 

There are some very effective ways to lessen your chance of contracting the virus.

These methods are simple and readily available, the most common of these is the condom. 

The condom is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of aids through sexual contact.

This applies to any person who is sexually active regardless of sexual partner or age, apart from this it also can prevent other STI (sexually transmitted infections).

Your GP is also able to help you access (PREP) which is a range of drugs that can lessen your chances of transmitting and catching the virus. (prep) must be taken before any sexual contact with your partner and is used as a preventative for those at a higher risk of contracting AIDS in the community such as those who have multiple sexual partners. 

Lastly, if you are pregnant or Brest feeding it is possible to take a course of anti-viral drugs that can help stop the infection between mother and baby.

So, Who should be Tested? And are you at Risk? 

You should be tested regularly if, you have more than one sexual partner on a regular basis. 

Engage in sexual contact of any type without the use of a condom. 

You should also be tested if, you have received a tattoo or piercing form in another country as not all governments adhere to the same strict standards of cleanliness that we enjoy in Australia.

If you have been exposed to a needle that is not sealed in its sterile sleeve or given by a medical practitioner.

Lastly, aids have no cure so we as a clinic can’t stress the importance of prevention, but if you have contracted the HIV virus, early treatment is essential to help you remain happy and healthy, those who are HIV positive can know the help of modern medicine go on to live life to the fullest if the infection is caught early. 

We at Box Hill Superclinic can help every step of the way, you can book in with your GP today to discuss any of the preventative measures previously discussed. 

Or if you just need support and expert care with testing or post-exposure, let us know or book in with any of our GP. 

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