June 27th is National HIV Testing Day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hosts the holiday in partnership with organizations, healthcare providers, and local communities to spread awareness about the early detection of HIV.
What is HIV?
HIV is short for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, and unlike most viruses, it will never go away. It is the first step in developing AIDS, the most severe type of HIV. HIV medications can help to slow down or prevent the development of AIDS when taken the correct way, but there is no cure for the disease. HIV is spread through bodily fluids of someone who has the disease, such as blood, vaginal fluids, semen, and breast milk. In the United States, the disease is most easily spread through the sharing of drug needles and through unprotected sex.
Making the Change
Because this horrible disease can be so easily spread, it is important to know who your body comes in contact with and to get tested as often as necessary to your lifestyle. The CDC promotes HIV testing at least once a year, and they make it easy to find a clinic or office that can test you on their website. HIV is a very preventable disease, so it’s our responsibility to be safe, take necessary precautions, and to help put an end to the spreading of HIV.
There are many of causes of dry mouth among people with HIV. A condition called HIV-associated salivary disease, may present as dry mouth. Dry mouth also can be a side-effect of medications, including antiretroviral drugs. If you’ve been diagnosed and are seeking relief, consider Lubricity!