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HIV and Sexually Transmitted Disease STD Screening

HIV and Sexually Transmitted Disease STD Screening

HIV and Sexually Transmitted Disease STD Screening

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is an infection that attacks the body’s immune system. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the most advanced stage of the disease. HIV targets the body’s white blood cells, weakening the immune system. This makes it easier to get sick with diseases like tuberculosis, infections and some cancers.

HIV is spread from the body fluids of an infected person, including blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal fluids. It is not spread by kisses, hugs or sharing food. It can also spread from a mother to her baby. HIV can be treated and prevented with antiretroviral therapy (ART). Untreated HIV can progress to AIDS, often after many years.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are infections that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. They are usually spread during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. But sometimes they can spread through other sexual contact involving the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus. This is because some STDs, like herpes and HPV, are spread by skin-to-skin contact.

Some STDs can be passed from a pregnant person to the baby, either during pregnancy or when giving birth. Other ways that STDs may be spread include during breastfeeding, through blood transfusions, or by sharing needles.

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