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First case of HIV transmitted from woman-to-woman

by BRIANNA SICILIANO Photo/Video Editor

It has been confirmed that an HIV positive woman transmitted the virus to her female sex partner in the first reported case of female-to-female transmission of the disease.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that the human immune system cannot clear out of a person’s body, unlike most viruses.

HIV can remain hidden in the cells of your body for long periods of time, but when the virus attacks, it goes right for your T-cells or CD4 cells. Every human has these cells to fight diseases and infections. However, when HIV invades your T and CD4 cells, the healthy cells are destroyed.

Over time, HIV can destroy enough of a person’s CD4 cells and, as a result, the body will no longer be able to fight infections or disease anymore. When this occurs, HIV infection can lead to AIDS.

“People make jokes about AIDS all the time without a care in the world, and yet most people do not even know what AIDS truly is. AIDS is not a joke; the disease is deadly and serious. People need to be educated about the different deadly diseases that many people have a high risk for,” said an anonymous junior.

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the final stage of the HIV infection. People who have reached this stage of HIV have terribly damaged immune systems, which puts them at risk for opportunistic infections (OIs).

If a person has one or more specific OIs, certain cancers, or a very low number of CD4 cells, they will be diagnosed with AIDS. If you are diagnosed with AIDS, you will need medical intervention and treatment to prevent death.

In the past, AIDS has been recorded from man-to-woman transmission, along with man-to-man transmission. However, woman-to-woman transmission has never been recorded until Thursday, March 13.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated in a report that “the case was investigated, and laboratory testing confirmed that the woman with newly diagnosed HIV infection had virus virtually identical to that of her female partner, who was diagnosed previously with HIV and had stopped received antiretroviral treatment in 2010.”

Transmission of HIV between women who have sex with women (WSW) has been reported rarely and is difficult to confirm.

Potential exposures associated with HIV transmission in WSW include injection drug use (IDU), heterosexual sex, tattooing, acupuncture, piercing, exposure to body fluids of others, etc.

Although other cases of gay women transmitting HIV to one another have been reported, this is the first where both partners had no prior intravenous drug use or sexual history with men.

“I had no idea what, or how serious, HIV and AIDS were until I watched ‘Dallas Buyers Club.’ The movie, starring Mathew McConaughey and Jared Leto, shows the world what diagnosed patients live like. McConaughey’s character was given 30 days to live after his diagnosis, and the sad part is, that happens in real life every day to different people. HIV and AIDS are not a joke,” said junior Alannah Nasser.

Have you been educated about HIV and AIDS prior to this article? If not, what is stopping you?

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