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Understanding Aids

Understanding Aids

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Published by Latoya Hurst
The informational pamphlet that Koop authored and mailed to U.S. households
The informational pamphlet that Koop authored and mailed to U.S. households

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Published by: Latoya Hurst on Feb 26, 2013
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07/10/2013

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UnderstandingAIDS
A Message From The Surgeon General
T
his brochure has been sent to you by the Government of theUnited States. In preparing it, we have consulted with the tophealth experts in the country.I feel it is important that you have the best information nowavailable for fighting the AIDS virus, a health problem that thePresident has called “Public Enemy Number One.”Stopping AIDS is up to you, your family and yourloved ones.Some of the issues involved in this brochure may not bethings you are used to discussing openly. I can easily understand that. But now you mustdiscuss them. We all must know about AIDS. Read this brochure and talk about it withthose you love. Get involved. Many schools, churches, synagogues,and community groups offer AIDS education activities.I encourage you to practice responsibleJMbehavior based on understanding and strong personalC. Everett Koop, M.D., Sc.D.values. This is what you can do to stop AIDS.Surgeon General
U.S. Department of Health& Human ServicesPublic Health ServiceCenters for Disease ControlP.O. Box 6003Rockville, MD 20850BULK RATECARRIER ROUTE PRESORTPOSTAGE & FEES PAIDPHS/CDCPermit No. G-284Offkial Business
POSTAL CUSTOMER
HHS Publication No. (CDC) HHS-88-8404. Reproduction of the contents of this brochure is encouraged.
 
What AIDS Means To You
A
IDS is one of the most serious healthproblems that has ever faced the Americanpublic. It is important that we all, regardlessof who we are, understand this disease.AIDS stands for acquired immunodejkiencysyndrome. It is a disease caused by the HumanImmunodeficiency Virus, HIV-the AIDS virus.The AIDS virus may live in the humanbody for years before actual symptoms appear. Itprimarily affects you by making you unable to fightother diseases. These other diseases can kill you.Many people feel that only certain “highrisk groups” of people are infected by the AIDSvirus. This is untrue.Who you are has nothind todo with whether you are in dander of bein& infectedwith the AIDS virus.What matters is what you do.People are worried about getting AIDS.Some should be worried and need to take someserious precautions. But many are not in dangerof contracting AIDS.The purpose of this brochure is to tell youhow you can, and just as important, how you can’tbecome infected with the AIDS virus.Your children need to know about AIDS.Discuss it with them as you would any healthconcern.
How Do You Get AIDS?
T
here are two main ways you can get AIDS.First, you can become infected by havingsex-oral, anal or vaginal-with someonewho is infected with the AIDS virus.Second, you can be infected by sharingdrug needles and syringes with an infected personBabies of women who have been infectedwith the AIDS virus may be born with theinfection because it can be transmitted from themother to the baby before or during birth.In addition, some persons with hemophiliaand others have been infected by receiving blood(see afle 3).
Can You Become Infected?
Yes, if you engage in risky behavior.The male homosexual population was thefirst in this country to feel the effects of thedisease. But in spite of what you may have heard,the number of heterosexual cases s growing.People who have died of AIDS in the U.S.have been male and female, rich and poor, white,Black, Hispanic, Asian and American Indian.
How Do YouGet AIDS From Sex?
The AIDS virus can be spread by sexual inter-course whether you are male or female, heterosex-
-
“Obviously women canBetAIDS. I’m here to witnessto that. AIDS is not a‘we,’ ‘they’ disease, it’s an‘us’ disease. z
- Carole has AIDS
ual, bisexual or homosexual.This happens because a person infectedwith the AIDS virus may have the virus in semenor vaginal fluids. The virus can enter the bodythrough the vagina, penis, rectum or mouth.Anal intercourse, with or without acondom, is risky. The rectum is easily injuredduring anal intercourse.Remember, AIDS is sexually transmitted,and the AIDS virus is not the only infection that ispassed through intimate sexual contact.Other sexually transmitted diseases, such asgonorrhea, syphilis, herpes and chlamydia, canalso be contracted through oral, anal and vaginalintercourse.If you are infected with one of thesediseases and engage in risky behavior (see a&e 3))you are at greater risk of getting AIDS.
AMERICA RESPONDS TO AIDS
2
 
You Won’t Get AIDS From Insects-Or A Kiss
You won’t get AIDS from clothes, a telephone,or from a t&let seat. It can’t be passed by usinga glass or eating utensils that someone else hasused. You won’t get the virus by being on a bus,train or crowded elevator with a person who is in-fected with the virus, or who has AIDS.
N
o matter what you may have heard, theAIDS virus is hard to get and is easilyavoided.You won’t just “catch” AIDS like a cold orflu because the virus is a different type. The AIDSvirus is transmitted through sexual intercourse, thesharing of drug needles, or to babies of infectedmothers before or during birth.You won’t get the AIDS virus through every-day contact with the people around you in school,in the workplace, at parties, child care centers, orstores. You won’t get it by swimming in a pool,even if someone in the pool is infected with theAIDS virus. Students attending school with some-one infected with the AIDS virus are not in dangerfrom casual contact.You won’t get AIDS from a mosquito bite.The AIDS virus is not transmitted through amosquito’s salivary glands like other diseases suchas malaria or yellow fever. You won’t get it frombed bugs, lice, flies or other insects, either.You won’t get AIDS from saliva, sweat, tears,urine or a bowel movement.You won’t get AIDS from a kiss.
What Behavior PutsYou At Risk?
You are at risk of being infected with theAIDS virus if you have sex with someone whois infected, or if you share drug needles andsyringes with someone who is infected.Since you can’t be sure who is infected,your chances of coming into contact with thevirus increase with the number of sex partnersyou have. Any exchange of infected blood,semen or vaginal fluids can spread the virusand place you at great risk.7%e oLlowinA behaviors are risky whenperformed with an infected person. You can’ttell by Looking if a person is infected.
The Difference BetweenGiving And ReceivingBlood
1. Giving blood. You are not now, norhave you ever been in danger of gettingAIDS from giving blood at a blood bank.The needles that are used for blood dona-tions are brand-new. Once they are used,they are destroyed. There is no way youcan come into contact with the AIDS virusby donating blood.2. Receiving blood. The risk of gettingAIDS from a blood transfusion has beengreatly reduced. In the interest of makingthe blood supply as safe as possible, donorsare screened for risk factors and donatedblood is tested for the AIDS antibody.Call your local blood bank if you havequestions.
RISKY BEHAVIOR
Sharing drug needles and syringes.Anal sex, with or without a condom.Vaginal or oral sex with someone whoshoots drugs or engages in anal sex.Sex with someone you don’t know well(a
pickup or prostitute) or
with someoneyou know has several sex partners.Unprotected sex (without a condom)with an infected person.
SAFE BEHAVIOR
Not having sex.Sex with one mutually faithful, uninfected partnerNot shooting drugs.
AMERICA RESPONDS TO AIDS
3

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