HIV can not live outside the human body. It is an especially fragile virus - much less tough than the cold virus.
It is transported in body fluids. You can only become infected with HIV through direct contact of your body fluid with those of someone with the virus.
How HIV affects the immune system
- The HIV virus attacks some types of lymphocyte (white blood cells) in the blood stream.
- Lymphocytes produceantibodies ---> attack theantigens on invading microbes.
- Some lymphocytes are storedin lympho nodes ---> protection against future infection.
- HIV prevents this immunity being retained, so the AIDS sufferer has no protection against diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) and pneumonia.
Methods of transmission:
- unprotected sexual intercourse with infected person
- drug use involving sharing needle used by infected person
- transfusion of infected blood
- infected mother to fetus
- feeding a baby with milk from an infected mother
- unsterilised surgical instruments
- condom for sexual intercourse
- refuse sexual intercourse
- screen blood (for transfusion)
- use sterilized needles
- feed baby with bottled powdered milk (if mom has HIV)
- use sterilised surgical instruments.