HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body's natural defense system. HIV weakens your immune system which normally protects you against sickness.
There's a lot of misinformation about how the disease is spread, so educate yourself in order to protect yourself.
The first thing you should do is stop abusing alcohol and drugs.
Already having STDs and STIs puts you at a higher risk for getting HIV. The infections weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to contracting HIV when you are exposed.
Needles and syringes can easily carry HIV from one person to another. Never use recreational drugs which use needles and never use any needles not given to you by your doctor.
If you're male and having sex with women, circumcision can greatly lower your risk of contracting HIV.
If you do expose yourself to HIV, seek medical attention immediately.
You never know who has HIV, since there is no stereotype, and someone may not even know if he or she is infected, so the best policy is to always be careful.
If you become pregnant and you're worried that you may have HIV, get tested and seek medical help immediately.
As always, if you have a medical problem or questions, you should ask a doctor!
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