Family Life and Sexual Health, Grade 7, Lesson 21
C. What is AIDS?
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the last stage of HIV infection, when a person’s immune system doesn’t work very well anymore.
What happens to a person who has HIV?
If a person gets infected with HIV, generally they will still live for many years (unless they get hit by a car or die for some other reason).
Soon after they get infected, their body's immune system will start to fight HIV.
Their immune system will make antibodies to try to fight the virus, but they won’t be able to kill all of it. (Antibodies are special cells in the blood that fight infection.)
Then, probably for years (on average 10 -12 years, but usually a lot longer with treatment), they will NOT have any symptoms showing that they’re infected. They’ll feel fine and healthy and will keep going to work or school. This is called being “asymptomatic.” During that time, they can still transmit the virus to other people even though they feel fine.
Finally, HIV will have damaged their immune system so that it is seriously weak. At this point, they may start to get other infections and conditions that they just can’t fight off very well. The doctor may say that their HIV infection is now called “AIDS.”
Finally, they may die from something their body can no longer fight off. The average person, once they get diagnosed as having AIDS, lives another three years or so. With treatment, people can live much longer.
E. What are four fluids known to transmit the virus?
F. What are the two most common ways that HIV transmission occurs? 1 . U n p r o t e c t e d s e x w i t h a n i n f e c t e d p a r t n e r . [ N o t e : S o m e 7 t h g r a d e r s w i l l t h i n k t h a t “ s e x ” m e a n s v a g i n a l i n t e r c o u r s e o n l y . G a y a n d l e s b i a n 7 t h g r a d e r s m a y a l s o t h i n k you are speaking only to their heterosexual classmates. If you think it is appropriate
for your learners, share with them the age-appropriate definitions of oral, anal and vaginal sex in Lesson #23, page 7.]
2. Sharing needles to use drugs.
What are other ways that HIV transmission occurs?
If a woman is infected with HIV, she can give it to her baby during pregnancy or birth, or by breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed a baby except for moms who have HIV.
Doctors, nurses or other health care workers can be infected with HIV if they get stuck by a used needle or get HIV infected blood in their eyes or in cuts.
It is very rare for a patient to get infected with HIV from receiving HIV-infected blood during an operation or receiving an organ from a person infected with HIV. This was
PUBLIC HEALTH – SEATTLE & KING COUNTY WWW.METROKC.GOV/HEALTH/FAMPLAN/FLASH
SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOLS HIV/AIDS REVISED 2002