It’s that time of the year again, June 27 2011 is national HIV testing day! Now for those of you that may not be aware HIV is incurable and may lead to AIDS. This is the most dangerous STI and can be transmitted through bodily fluids such as blood, semen, and vaginal secretions during vaginal, anal, and oral sex with a partner that is infected.
Since this STI is transmitted through infected blood, individuals that share needles when injecting drugs into their blood system have a higher risk of being infected as well. HIV can also be transmitted via breast milk or during childbirth from mothers to babies.
The tricky thing about HIV is that the symptoms do not appear right away. Symptoms may appear several months even years after being infected. The beginning symptoms may vary from person to person but here are a few common symptoms: (www.kff.org/globalhealth/ReportingGuides.cfm)
· Rapid weight loss
· Dry cough
· Recurring fever or night sweats
· Unexplained fatigue
· Swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck
· Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week
· White spots on the tongue, in the mouth, or in the throat
· Red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids
Do you know your status?
It’s better to just be safe! Get yourself checked out today. The Student Health Services Center provides free anonymous tests to CSUSM students. It is an oral swab test and you can get your results the same day. The Oraquick Rapid tests are administered every first Tuesday of the month from 1:15 P.M. to 4:00 P.M. on a walk-in basis during the Spring and Fall Semesters. During the summer, we provide blood tests.
There is nothing embarrassing about keeping yourself safe. Your health should be a top priority. Call 760-750-4915 for more information or to make an appointment for an STI test or visit us at www.csusm.edu/shcs today!