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  4. Is HIV a Death Sentence?

Avoid contracting HIV if you're HIV-, but don't despair if you're HIV+.

Becky Kuhn, M.D. explains that an HIV diagnosis is NOT a death sentence. When a person is diagnosed with HIV, it's impossible to predict precisely what the course of that individual's infection will be. Some people diagnosed early in the epidemic did not progress to clinical AIDS and are still alive today. In the developed world, the median time between initial infection with HIV and the development of clinical AIDS symptoms may be as long as ten years. But averages say little about what a particular individual's experience will be. People can also make wise choices that will improve their chances of living a long, healthy life. If an HIV positive person follows their doctorâs instructions, including the use of antiretroviral medications where appropriate, they may be able to prevent HIV from progressing to clinical AIDS for years, decades, or possibly for the rest of their life. If you don't know your status, get tested.

mp4Is HIV a Death Sentence
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It's important to use condoms (rubbers, prophylactics) to help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). These diseases include the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV (the virus that causes AIDS), chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, and syphilis. You can get them through having sex -- vaginal, anal, or oral.

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