HIV & AIDS
What is HIV?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the cells of the body's immune system. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can't get rid of HIV completely, so those who have HIV, have it for life.
THEN, WHAT IS AIDS?
There are 3 stages of HIV. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, known as AIDS, is the third and final stage of HIV.If a person with HIV begins receiving treatment early on, they might never advance to having AIDS.
HOW DOES IT SPREAD?
HOW DOES SOMEONE CONTRACT HIV?
HIV is spread through direct contact with certain bodily fluids, including sex, sharing a needle, or during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding
HIV is not transmitted through casual contact such as shaking hands, sharing toilets, sharing dishes/drinking glasses, water, or mosquitos
IS THERE A CURE?
Unfortunately there is no official “cure” for HIV, but there is treatment! HIV treatment, known as ART (antiretroviral treatment), is free in Uganda thanks to the PEPFAR Fund passed under the George W. Bush's presidency in 2003.
People living with HIV take an assortment of medication depending on the strain and strength of the HIV virus in their body. Medications, called ARVs (antiretroviral drugs), are taken twice a day.
Since the immune system is compromised for a person with HIV, they are often vulnerable to cancer, tuberculosis, and other disease and have to be on and off on treatment for these as well.
In 2015, Cherish Health Centre opened and is now a certified location to administer ARVs. Children in Cherish's care, as well as the public, can receive ART at Cherish Health Centre, who is partnered with Uganda's MildMay Hospital.