Unconditional Love Inc. is a Safe and Private Place to Receive Testing and Counseling for HIV/AIDS
The HIV/AIDS public health clinic at Unconditional Love Inc. does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity or transgender status), age (over 40), disability and/or genetic information.
Top 3 Questions About HIV/AIDS Answered
1. Are HIV and AIDS the same thing?
No. HIV is a virus, while AIDS is a stage of advanced infection. Specifically, HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, is an infectious virus that gradually breaks down a person’s immune system, leaving the body less able to defend itself against viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. AIDS, or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the stage of the disease when the immune system is weakened by the loss of CD4 cells (also called T-helper or T-4 cells) — white blood cells that help fend off harmful pathogens in the body. AIDS is diagnosed when a person has a CD4 count of less than 200 (meaning less than 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood) or has at least one of 27 AIDS-defining conditions outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such as recurrent pneumonia and some lymphomas.
2. Which Activities Are Most Likely to Transmit HIV?
Here is the estimated probability of acquiring HIV from an infected source, per exposure act, according to the CDC:
- Receptive anal sex: 1 in 72
- Shared injection drug use: 1 in 159
- Insertive anal sex: 1 in 909
- Receptive penile-vaginal sex: 1 in 1,250
- Insertive penile-vaginal sex: 1 in 2,500
3. How Long Can I Wait Before Starting Treatment?
Ideally, you shouldn’t wait at all. In the past, doctors would delay treatment until a person’s CD4 count fell below 500 — largely because of concerns about the long-term effects of HIV treatment and the premature development of a drug-resistant virus — but that’s no longer the case.
What are the stages of HIV?
When people with HIV don’t get treatment, they typically progress through three stages. But HIV treatment can slow or prevent progression of the disease. With advances in HIV treatment, progression to Stage 3 (AIDS) is less common today than in the early years of HIV.
- People have a large amount of HIV in their blood and are very contagious.
- Many people have flu-like symptoms.
- If you have flu-like symptoms and think you may have been exposed to HIV, get tested.
- This stage is also called asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency.
- HIV is still active and continues to reproduce in the body.
- People may not have any symptoms or get sick during this phase but can transmit HIV.
- People who take HIV treatment as prescribed may never move into Stage 3 (AIDS).
- Without HIV treatment, this stage may last a decade or longer, or may progress faster. At the end of this stage, the amount of HIV in the blood (viral load) goes up and the person may move into Stage 3 (AIDS).
- The most severe stage of HIV infection.
- People with AIDS can have a high viral load and may easily transmit HIV to others.
- People with AIDS have badly damaged immune systems. They can get an increasing number of opportunistic infections or other serious illnesses.
- Without HIV treatment, people with AIDS typically survive about three years.