Tuesday, November 6, 2007

HIV/AIDS Basics: What Do You Know?

This past weekend I took my camera out and decided to do a little interviewing. I wanted to know if people knew the basics of HIV/AIDS. Peep this:

Did you know all the answers?

Some of the interviewees knew the correct answers, however, none were certain they were right.

What does HIV stand for? :Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV harms the body's immune system by attacking certain cells, known as helper T cells or CD4 cells, which defend the body against illness.
What does AIDS stand for? :AIDS, or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, occurs when an individual's immune system is weakened by HIV to such an extent that the individual develops one or more of about 25 "opportunistic infections" (OIs), conditions that take advantage of a weakened immune system.
What does an HIV test look for: When HIV enters the blood, the body reacts by making cells called antibodies. Most HIV tests look for these antibodies and not the virus itself. It can take the body up to three months to make enough antibodies to be detectable on the test, but most people will create enough antibodies in just 4 weeks after infection.
When does HIV become AIDS: According to the official definition published by the CDC, a person receives an AIDS diagnosis when he or she has a CD4 CELL COUNT of less than 200 and/or certain opportunistic conditions common with advanced immune efficiency.

For more information to learn more about HIV/AIDS go to

UPDATE: Yes, everyone, relax... I know this PSA thing of mine is not doing anything to "solve" the HIV/AIDS epidemic, nor the how-to-get-the-message-through issue either. It simply was an experiment to see if this is a subject matter worth exploring. I got my answers and I think it is. I plan, as I always have, on hitting more directly related demographics (i.e., gays, youths, minorities, and minority youths) with more obvious, less clinical related, relevant questions.


Unknown said...

OMG you are so fucking brilliant

Sparber said...

Hey! Did you know that 51 white women and 13 Asian women in NYC tested positive this past year? Out of 1007 new women HIV cases! Maybe you should broaden your demographic.

pdxprofessor said...

that's really depressing. american historical memory is painfully short. were the 80's really that long ago though? people still remember reagan don't they? back to the basics indeed. good work eric. keep fighting the good fight.