HIV-HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system (the body’s defense against infection). HIV uses healthy white blood cells to replicate itself, breaking down the immune system and leaving the body more susceptible to illness. Without treatment, most people infected with HIV become less able to fight off germs that we are exposed to every day. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a late stage of HIV infection. An HIV positive person is diagnosed with AIDS when their immune system is so weakened that it is no longer able to fight off illness. People with immune deficiency are much more vulnerable to infections such as pneumonia and various forms of cancer. These diseases are called opportunistic infections because they take advantage of the weakened immune system. There is no known cure or vaccine for AIDS. People who appear perfectly healthy may not know they have the virus and can pass it on to others. 1 out of 4 Americans with HIV do not know they have the virus. The only way to know if you have HIV is to GET TESTED(lifebeat.org).
STDs-Sexually transmitted diseases (also known as STDs — or STIs for “sexually transmitted infections”) are infectious diseases that spread from person to person through intimate contact. Unfortunately, STDs have become common among teens. Because teens are more at risk for getting some STDs, it’s important to learn what you can do to protect yourself (www.kidshealth.org).
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