By: Abby Frazier


     "HIV" stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This means it is a virus that only infects humans, it weakens your immune system, and it is a virus, which can only reproduce itself by taking over a cell in the body of its host. HIV is a virus that completely destroys your immune system, which means you can't fight off this virus. Once you have HIV, you have it for life. HIV hides itself in your body, so you do not notice it for a while. While in hiding, it destroys the key part to your immune system, preventing you from fighting any infections or diseases. By the time you can no longer fight infections, you are already in the last stage of HIV, AIDS.        "AIDS" stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. This means you acquire it after birth, you destroy your immune system, and it is a collection of symptoms and signs of disease. Not everyone who has HIV gets to this stage of AIDS, but when you are at this stage you are at risk of opportunistic infections.


HIV is usually contracted through certain body fluids, such as: Blood, Semen, Pre-seminal fluids, Rectal fluids, and Breast milk. It is spread by receiving blood transfusions, blood products, or organ/tissue transplants that are contaminated with HIV. Also,  sharing needles, syringes, rinse water, or other equipment used to prepare injection drugs with someone who has HIV. The most common way it is spread is through blood.


  • Fever (this is the most common symptom)
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Recurring fever or profuse night sweats
  • Extreme and unexplained tiredness
  • Prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck
  • Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week
  • Sores of the mouth, anus, or genitals
  • Pneumonia
  • Red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids
  • Memory loss, depression, and other neurologic disorders


                    Stages of the HIV infection

Initial Infection--------------------------------------0 to 5 years

Asymptomatic Infection--------------------------------5 to 10 years

Symptomatic Infection--------------------------------10 to 20 years

AIDS----------------------------------------------rest of your life


     One myth about HIV is that you can contract the virus just by being around people who are HIV positive. People also say you can contract the virus by hugging, kissing, or even shaking hands with someone who has HIV, which is not true.


     Gay and bisexual men of all races are the most severely affected by HIV. One in seven people living with HIV are unaware of their infection. About one in four new HIV infections is among youth ages 13-24.


Ephesians 4:32-

"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."

Luke 6:31-

"And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them."

     We as Catholics should not judge others based on an illness they have. We should not treat them any differently than we would treat our family or friends. As the first quote says we should be kind and tenderhearted. The second quote states that we should treat other as we would like to be treated. You should think to yourself if I were in the same position as them how would I want to be treated, then you treat that person the same way. We should all treat each other equally regardless of an illness or problem we may have.     

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