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In 1981, the first cases of severe immune system deterioration were recognized developed unusual infections. The new disease was later named "AIDS". At that time, no one knew what was causing the disease. Since then, science has shown that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the cause of AIDS. As HIV infection progresses, it weakens a person's ability to fight off diseases. By attacking the immune system, the virus leaves people more susceptible to other diseases. When a person with HIV contracts one of several additional diseases, or when a person's immune system shows serious deterioration, that person is classified as having AIDS. As of June 1994 over 550,000 Americans had AIDS. I have updated numbers.
Globally, 37.8 million adults and children were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2003. More than 95% were living in low- and middle-income countries. In 2003, 4.8 million people were newly infected with HIV, and there were 2.9 million adult and child deaths due to HIV/AIDS. Almost 50% of newly infected adults were women. Since the beginning of the epidemic, there have been more than 20 million AIDS deaths.
HIV is transmitted during sex, through significant and direct contact with infected blood (including menstrual blood), from mother to baby, Breast milk, Semen and possibly pre-seminal fluid ("pre-cum"), Vaginal secretions. In order for HIV to be transmitted HIV must be present. HIV must get inside the body. The sexual behaviors that can transmit HIV. Vaginal sex (penis in the vagina), Anal sex (penis in the anus) involving either men or women and Oral sex (mouth on the penis or vagina). Other ways that HIV can be transmitted Sharing needles when shooting drugs Home tattooing and body piercing Accidental needle sticks Blood transfusions Childbirth Breast-feeding. It is important to know, Most people with HIV infection do not look sick. It is important to remember that HIV is NOT transmitted through Saliva, tears, sweat, feces, or urine Hugging Kissing Massage Shaking hands Insect bites Living in the same house with someone who has HIV Sharing showers or toilets with someone with HIV
Some behavior is more risky than others. It is important to recognize that risk factors are not the direct cause of disease. HIV affects people at every point on the risk spectrum and many people who are most "at risk" for HIV infection never become infected. Understanding HIV risk factors can help you better evaluate your own risk.

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