FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

HIV / AIDS

Dec 1, 2012
2012 / December 2012

In the early 1980s, a new, mysterious disease spread through, at the time, the gay community, causing crippling infections and cancers that were killing people. There were concerns about blood supply, transmission through blood transfusions and at-risk populations. In the past 30 years, the United States made great progress in fighting HIV/AIDS. In many developing countries, people are not as fortunate.

AIDS killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

HIV is human immunodeficiency virus. Scientists determined the virus started in West Africa from a type of chimpanzee virus — simian immunodeficiency virus — which was most likely transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV from hunters who came in contact with infected blood while hunting chimpanzees for meat. Over decades, HIV spread across Africa and into other parts of the world.

HIV can lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. In the United States, HIV primarily refers to HIV-1. Both types damage a person’s body by destroying specific blood cells, CD4+ T cells, which are crucial in helping the body fight infections and diseases.

HIV can be transmitted by having unprotected sexual intercourse (anal, vaginal or oral) with someone who has HIV; having multiple sex partners; sharing a needle, syringes or other illicit drug-injecting equipment with someone who has HIV; receiving an organ transplant from an infected donor; or receiving a blood transfusion, although this is rare in the United States, as our blood supply has been tested for HIV since 1985. The presence of other sexually transmitted diseases can increase the risk of infection. Newborns catch HIV from their infected mothers before and during birth and through breast feeding. Health care providers run the risk of infection by a needle stick with infected blood. Casual contact in the home, workplace or public spaces poses no risk of HIV transmission.

Within a few weeks to two months of being infected with HIV, some individuals develop flu-like symptoms lasting a week or two. While some people may have more severe symptoms or symptoms that last a long time, others may have no symptoms for 12 or more years. People living with HIV may appear and feel healthy for several years, but the HIV is still affecting their bodies. During this period, people are highly infectious; the HIV is present in large quantities in genital fluids and blood.

During late stages of HIV infection, the virus severely weakens the immune system, and those infected may experience rapid weight loss; fever or profuse night sweats; unexplained fatigue; prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck; and diarrhea lasting more than a week. Other symptoms are sores of the mouth, anus or genitals; pneumonia; red, brown, pink or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids; memory loss; depression; and other neurologic disorders. Because these symptoms can be related to other illnesses, the only way to find out if you are infected with HIV is to get tested.

Twenty-one percent of Americans living with HIV do not know they are infected. The Centers for Disease Control recommend HIV testing for adults, adolescents and pregnant women routinely. Regular screenings allow health care providers to counsel people unaware they are infected on safe-sex practices, the need to avoid high-risk behaviors and starting antiretroviral therapy. HIV testing can be performed anonymously.

Today, there are 31 antiretroviral drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat HIV. These treatments do not cure HIV or AIDS but rather suppress the virus, even to undetectable levels. By suppressing the amount of virus in the body, people infected can lead longer, healthier lives. However, they can still transmit the virus and must continuously take antiretroviral drugs to maintain their health quality.

Infection with HIV is serious even though the outlook is improving. Receiving a diagnosis of any life-threatening illness is devastating, but the emotional, social and financial consequences of HIV/AIDS can make coping with this illness especially difficult for patients and those closest to them. A wide range of services and resources are available. Most clinics have social workers, counselors and nurses who can help with problems or refer patients to others.

The first World AIDS Day was observed Dec. 1, 1988, and is commemorated yearly. It brings together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrates international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. The day is an opportunity for public and private partners to spread awareness and encourage progress in prevention, treatment and care in high-prevalence countries and around the world.

Reduce Your Risk

• Get tested regularly.
• Consider practicing abstinence.
• Remain faithful to your spouse or partner.
• Consistently use male latex or female polyurethane condoms each time you have sex.
• Do not share needles.
• If you are a health care worker, use personal protective equipment when coming in contact with blood or bodily fluids.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Oct 3, 2022

Palazzo Ricci’s Fractional Ownership Residences to Debut in 2023

Developer Viaggio Resorts soon debuts Palazzo Ricci in Abruzzo, Italy. Built in 1799, the palace is in restoration mode ahead of its 2023 debut. The project is being offered as a private residence club, fractional or co-ownership model.

6,000 Reasons and More to Celebrate!

IHG® Hotels & Resorts certainly has a lot to celebrate, starting with an incredible growth story. Over the past five years, IHG has acquired or launched six new brands: Six Senses® Hotels Resorts Spas, Regent® Hotels & Resorts, Vignette™ Collection, voco™ hotels, avid® hotels and Atwell Suites™. Most recently, IHG reached an important milestone with its 6,000th open hotel. The company looks to further expand its portfolio by 30 percent with 1,800 hotels in the development pipeline, with significant focus on growth in the luxury segment where IHG is positioned as one of the top two hotel chains.

Slideshow
Oct 3, 2022

7 Reasons to Put Stockholm, Sweden, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Stockholm, Sweden, with us.

Daily
Oct 3, 2022

Dutch Design Week

Dutch Design Week 2022 is the biggest design event in northern Europe, taking place Oct. 22–30, in the city of Eindhoven. More than 2,600 designers participate in the event, and about 355,000 visitors from Europe and abroad attend. The almost 500 DDW events offer an opportunity for visitors to explore every imaginable design discipline, with a clear emphasis on experiment, innovation and the development of young talent.

TAP Air Portugal: 77 Years Young

TAP Air Portugal, or rather Transportes Aéreos Portugueses, was founded 77 years ago, March 14, 1945, and flew its first commercial flight September 19, 1946, inaugurating service from Lisbon to Madrid, Spain, aboard a Douglas DC-3.

Daily
Oct 3, 2022

Urban Villages Breaks Ground on the First Carbon-Positive Hotel in the United States

Urban Villages recently started construction on Populus, the first carbon-positive hotel in the United States. The 265-room hotel should open in late 2023 and will be unlike anything Denver has ever seen.

Daily
Sep 28, 2022

Visit California Creates Platform Showcasing Native American Culture in the State

This month, tribal leaders and state officials joined Visit California at the future Agua Caliente Cultural Plaza to unveil a new statewide initiative. This initiative aims to showcase California’s native communities and cultural tourism experiences to domestic and international travelers. At the announcement, tribal leaders from across the state shared with journalists a sampling of the state’s vast array of offerings.

United’s 100 Percent Green Commitment to be Carbon Neutral by 2050

United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.

Daily
Sep 28, 2022

Love Stories Rooted in Southwest Germany’s Palaces and Gardens

Longing for a destination steeped in romance and enchanting stories? In Southwest Germany, a collection of soaring castles and resplendent gardens offers connections to tales of true love. Take a trip to Sepulchral Chapel on Württemberg Hill in Stuttgart, overlooking the Neckar Valley.