What is HIV?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). A person infected with HIV is called seropositive or HIV positive. When you are HIV positive your immune system doesn’t work properly anymore. You’ll speak of AIDS when the immune system can’t protect the body from all kinds of infections and diseases anymore. The body becomes weaker and without treatment a person will die from the consequences of AIDS.


How can you get HIV?

Everybody can become infected with the HIV virus: men, women and children. HIV is a sexually transmitted disease and it can also be transmitted through blood, from mother to daughter/son and while breastfeeding. You can NOT become infected through saliva, perspiration, tear fluid, urine and faeces unless it contains visible blood.



What can you do to prevent HIV?

By practising save (with a condom) sex you can prevent infection with the virus. If a pregnant woman has HIV, the virus can be transmitted from mother to child during the pregnancy or the delivery. After the delivery the mother can pass on the virus while breastfeeding. By treating the mother with medication during the pregnancy, delivering the baby with a caesarean and refraining from breastfeeding, the chances of transmission can be limited to 2%.



Will you ever be able to get rid of it?

Once you are infected with the HIV virus, you cannot get rid of it anymore. There are however, HIV inhibitors that can prevent or postpone AIDS.



How do you find out?

Through blood tests you can find out whether you are infected with the virus. Would you like to know what Orange Babies does to stop HIV in Africa? Check out what we do!