What is HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that causes AIDS. A member of a group of viruses called retroviruses, HIV infects human cells and uses the energy and nutrients provided by those cells to grow and reproduce.
What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is a disease in which the body's immune system breaks down and is unable to fight off infections, known as "opportunistic infections," and other illnesses that take advantage of a weakened immune system.
When a person is infected with HIV, the virus enters the body and lives and multiplies primarily in the white blood cells. These are immune cells that normally protect us from disease. The hallmark of HIV infection is the progressive loss of a specific type of immune cell called T-helper, or CD4, cells. As the virus grows, it damages or kills these and other cells, weakening the immune system and leaving the person vulnerable to various opportunistic infections and other illnesses ranging from pneumonia to cancer. A person can receive a clinical diagnosis of AIDS, as defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if he or she has tested positive for HIV and meets one or both of these conditions:
How quickly do people infected with HIV develop AIDS?
In some people, the T-cell decline and opportunistic infections that signal AIDS develop soon after infection with HIV. But most people do not develop symptoms for 10 to 12 years, and a few remain symptom-free for much longer. As with most diseases, early medical care can help prolong a person's life.
How is HIV transmitted?
A person who has HIV carries the virus in certain body fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. The virus can be transmitted only if such HIV-infected fluids enter the bloodstream of another person. This kind of direct entry can occur (1) through the linings of the vagina, rectum, mouth, and the opening at the tip of the penis; (2) through intravenous injection with a syringe; or (3) through a break in the skin, such as a cut or sore. Usually, HIV is transmitted through:
How is HIV not transmitted?
HIV is not an easy virus to pass from one person to another. It is not transmitted through food or air (for instance, by coughing or sneezing). There has never been a case where a person was infected by a household member, relative, coworker, or friend through casual or everyday contact such as sharing eating utensils or bathroom facilities, or through hugging or kissing. (Most scientists agree that while HIV transmission through deep or prolonged "French" kissing may be possible, it would be extremely unlikely.) Here in the U.S., screening the blood supply for HIV has virtually eliminated the risk of infection through blood transfusions (and you cannot get HIV from giving blood at a blood bank or other established blood collection center). Sweat, tears, vomit, feces, and urine do contain HIV, but have not been reported to transmit the disease (apart from two cases involving transmission from fecal matter via cut skin). Mosquitoes, fleas, and other insects do not transmit HIV.
From: Facts for Life - What You and the People You Care About Need to Know About HIV/AIDS 2006 - Our thanks to American Foundation for AIDS Research, which provided this article to The Body. (www.thebody.com)
HIV/AIDS BASIC FACTS
100 Questions & Answers about HIV/AIDS (English)
100 Preguntas & Respuestas sobre el VIH/SIDA
University Health Center at JMU (for JMU students only)
LOCAL AREA VIRGINIA HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
(within the VAN service area)
Central Shenandoah Valley
Page and Shenandoah Counties
University of Virginia Medical Center - Infectious Disease Clinic Charlottesville, VA
UVA - Patient Financial Assistance Information and Application
Rockingham Memorial Hospital
Augusta Medical Center (AMC) Fishersville, VA AMC Financial Assistance Information and Application
Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital Lexington, VA
Harrisonburg Community Health Center (Se habla español) (Мы говорим по-русски)
Augusta Free Clinic
Harrisonburg Rockingham Free Clinic
Rockbridge Free Clinic
VA Association of Free Clinics (statewide locations)
Harrisonburg Rockingham Dental Clinic
25 W Water St., 3rd Fl.
Harrisonburg, VA 22801
MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES
Valley Hope Counseling Center (Staunton/Waynesboro area)
Center for Marriage and Family Counseling (Harrisonburg)
Crossroads Counseling Centers
Harrisonburg Rockingham Community Services Board
(Harrisonburg City & Rockingham County)
Valley Community Services Board(Staunton/Waynesboro/Augusta County/Highland County)
Rockbridge Area Community Services Board
(Lexington-Buena Vista/Rockbridge County/Bath County)
Northwestern Community Services
(Page and Shenandoah Counties)
Charis Institute for Psychological & Family Services (Harrisonburg)
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) (Harrisonburg)
SUBSTANCE ABUSE COUNSELING AND SUPPORT SERVICES
Blue Ridge Area Narcotics Anonymous Staunton/Waynesboro/Harrisonburg/Lexington/Luray, Central Shenandoah Valley
AIDS SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS (NW VIRGINIA REGIONAL)
AIDS Response Effort (A R E)- Winchester region
AIDS/HIV Services Group (A S G ) - Charlottesville region
Fredericksburg Area HIV/AIDS Support Services (FAHASS)
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL SERVICES
Social Services Assistance Programs
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION
Social Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
Shenandoah Valley Gay & Lesbian Association (SVGLA)
Community Resource Center (CRC)
Community Resource Guide (Printable PDF) (Harrisonburg area)
New Directions Center (Staunton)
Shenandoah Valley Grief Services
Institute for Innovation in Health and Human Services
Waynesboro Health Resources Family Life Resource Center
PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
CATS - Coordinated Area Transportation Services
248.2499 800.305.0077 800.305.0077
Serves Staunton, Waynesboro, Augusta and Highland Counties. Handicapped accessible vans are available.
First Choice Transport
444 New Market Road Timberville, VA 22853
(540) 896-5557 (540) 896-5557
We are a transportation service for people with disabilities. We provide non-emergency ambulatory transportation and can accommodate wheelchairs and stretchers. We offer curb to curb service; patient must be ready upon arrival. We have a wide service area covering the Shenandoah Valley, including Staunton, Waynesboro, Winchester, Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, and Rockingham.
Our location is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., however we are available 24 hours a day Monday through Saturday.
Able to accommodate: Incontinence, Wheelchair, Dementia/Alzheimer's, Aged, Hearing Impaired, Physically Impaired, Developmentally Disabled
Serves: Augusta County, Bath County, Buena Vista City, Charlottesville City, Harrisonburg City, Rockingham County, Shenandoah County, Staunton City, Waynesboro City, Winchester City
Harrisonburg Dept of Public Transportation
475 E. Washington Street Harrisonburg, VA 22802
(540) 432-0492 (540) 432-0492
Transportation -City Bus system for public transportation.
Transit and paratransit transportation. Harrisonburg Paratransit is a specialized public transportation service that operates within the City of Harrisonburg for persons who have disabilities as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Wheelchair accessible vehicle service is offered for trips within the City of Harrisonburg. Current schedule can be found on website.Fixed fare structure, cash or transit coupon - half fare senior, disabled, Medicare, non-city students Serves: Harrisonburg City, Rockingham County
Harrisonburg/Rockingham Transportation Program
Harrisonburg/Rockingham Social Services District
901 Chicago Ave, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
PO Box 809, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
PHONE (540) 432-8646
FAX (540) 432-8647
Currently available for Rockingham County residents through the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Department of Social Services. Transportation to medical and essential non-medical appointments is available to elders aged 60 years and up, those with disabilities, and those with income at or below the federal poverty level. There is no limit on trips taken for medical purposes. Accommodates: Wheelchairs Serves: Legal residents of Rockingham County.
EMERGENCY UTILITY ASSISTANCE
Rockbridge Area Relief Association
Staunton/Augusta Church Relief Association (SACRA)
SACRA - The Staunton Augusta Church Relief Association dispenses emergency relief in the form of food and financial assistance for medication, utilities, rent or other basic needs. SACRA is located at 126 North New Street in Staunton, (540) 886-3957
The Salvation Army (HARRISONBURG)
185 Ashby Ave.
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
The Salvation Army
P.O. Box 468, 22803
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
Phone (540) 434-4854
Fax (540) 434-1262
The Salvation Army (STAUNTON)
1700 W. Beverley St.
Staunton, VA 24401
The Salvation Army
P.O. Box 2412
Staunton, VA 24402-2412
Phone (540) 885-8157
Fax (540) 886-3291
Virginia Organizations Responding to AIDS (VORA)
VA HIV/AIDS Resource and Consultation Center (VHARCC)
The Access Project
Virginia Department of Health
Virginia Department of Social Services
Karing With Individuality
NATIONAL and INTERNATIONAL RESOURCES
National HIV Treatment Hotline (Project Inform): 1-800-822-7422
National Institutes of Health - (NIH)
CDC National AIDS Hotline
CDC National HIV Testing Resources
American College Health Association
The Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR)
Clinical Trials - NIH
National Library of Medicine
National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD)
Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance
INFORMATION ON HIV/AIDS MEDICATIONS
Each year nearly 1.5 million Americans are being harmed by prescription drugs and our site is devoted to giving readers a variety of information on how certain drugs can be particularly dangerous.
HIV MEDICATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
The Access Project
DISCOUNT MEDICATION PROGRAMS
Drug Discount Cards and Programs
Prescription Drug Assistance Programs available in Virginia
Virginia Drug Card
Together Rx Access (Prescription Savings Program)
Have NO prescription drug coverage
Not eligible for Medicare
Legal Resident of the U.S. or Puerto Rico
Walmart $4.00 Prescription Program
K Mart Prescription Program
Kroger Generic Prescription Program
Target $4.00 Prescription Program
Walgreen's Generic Prescription Program Walgreen Formulary List
GlaxoSmithKline Patient Savings Card
HIV LEGAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Blue Ridge Legal Services
National HIV/AIDS Clinicians Consultation Center (HIV Testing and VA Laws)
HIV Disclosure Laws in Virginia
DONATE UNUSED HIV MEDICATIONS
Aid for AIDS
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