top of page

Necesito ... pruebas de VIH




The Basics of HIV


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the human immune system. HIV is spread through contact with the blood, semen, vaginal, fluid, or breast milk of a person infected with HIV. HIV is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).


HIV Terminology

  • AIDS: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, The latter stages of HIV infection.

  • Adherence: taking your medications exactly as prescribed.

  • ADAP: Federally funded programs that provide medications and other HIV-related services to low-income, uninsured, and underinsured people with HIV/AIDS.

  • CD4: also called T-cells, are specialized cells in your immune system that fights off infection. It is also HIV’s target.

  • CD4 Count: a measurement of how well your immune system is working, and how far HIV has progressed. A normal CD4 count is between 500-1500. It is recommended to start treatment if this number falls below 500.

  • HAART: Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy. These regime suppresses HIV replication.

  • HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

  • Resistance Testing: Laboratory testing to identify which, if any antiretroviral (ARV) drugs will not be effective against a person’s specific strain of HIV. Resistance testing is used to guide selection of an HIV regimen when initiating or changing antiretroviral therapy.

  • Undetectable Viral Load: When the amount of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected with a viral load (HIV RNA) test. Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs may reduce a person’s viral load to an undetectable level; however, this does not mean the person is cured.

  • Viral Load: The amount of HIV in a sample of blood. Viral Load (VL) is reported as the number of HIV RNA copies per milliliter of blood. An important goal of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is to suppress a person’s VL to an undetectable level.


The Basics of HIV Prevention


The most common way to get HIV is by having unprotected sex with a person who has HIV.  Unprotected sex means not using a condom. HIV can also be spread by natural membrane condoms, such as lambskin condoms. Another common way to get HIV is by sharing drug injection equipment (such as needles and syringes) with a person infected with HIV.


To reduce your risk of HIV infection, use latex, plastic, or internal condoms correctly every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex. If you do inject substances, use only clean needles and equipment, and don't share your equipment with others. Ask your healthcare provider about PrEP.


Treatment with HIV medicines (called antiretroviral therapy or ART for short) helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. Although ART can reduce the risk of HIV transmission, it's still important to use condoms during sex.


HIV Prevention and Education at BAO


Until there is a vaccine and a cure, comprehensive HIV prevention and management services remain our best weapon in the fight against HIV/AIDS. BAO offers an array of age-appropriate counseling and educational programs and services to stop the spread of HIV and to help people face the emotional, psychological, social, and/or other challenges of living with HIV and AIDS.

bottom of page