Protection from AIDS
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) designates an infectious illness that is caused by a virus (HIV= human immune deficiency virus). HIV-infected or HIV-positive means that a person has been infected by the virus. As a result of the infection a weakening of the immune system occurs, a process that can be gradual and take many years. During this period of time the infected person does not feel ill, but he can transmit the virus to others. It is not yet possible to cure AIDS, but if a person finds out about the infection in time, he can enhance his immune system by taking appropriate medication. Doing so delays (inhibits) the outbreak of the illness.
An infection with the virus can only occur when blood, semen or vaginal fluid containing the virus gets into the body through open wounds or mucous membranes. Other bodily fluids (saliva, perspiration) do not transmit infections. Unprotected sexual intercourse is the most common means of transmission; therefore one should use a condom. There is also a very great risk of infection if the same syringe and needle are used by many persons (drug addicts).
No risk is incurred by mere skin and body contact (for example shaking hands and petting), or when a person is coughed or sneezed on or when people use the same dishes, cups and silverware.
If you administer first aid and thereby come into contact with bleeding wounds, be sure to use disposable gloves (take them with you in your car). After you have used them once, throw them away and replace them with new ones. Also use a disposable cloth (for one-time use) when you perform artificial respiration, either mouth-to-nose or mouth-to-mouth.
An AIDS test can be obtained gratis and anonymous from the Upper Austrian AIDS-Hilfe (AIDS Help). This test determines whether or not a person is infected with HIV. If the test is positive (the virus is present) the organization “AIDS-Hilfe” offers advice and counselling.
OBERÖSTERREICH“ (AIDS Help) of Upper Austria
Blütenstraße 15/2, 4040 Linz/Urfahr
Tel.: 0732 2170
Monday 2 – 5pm, Wednesday 4 – 7pm, Friday 11am – 2pm.