Currently, about 1.1 million Americans are living with HIV infection, and up to 18 percent don't know they have the disease - because they have no symptoms and have not been tested. 50,000 people become infected yearly, and 15,000 die yearly in the U.S. from AIDS.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that approximately 62 percent of new HIV cases yearly are due to male to male sexual contact, with up to 11 percent due to IV drug use. 28 percent of new cases involve heterosexual contact. Less than 1 percent of new cases yearly fall into an "other category" including- babies catching the disease during birth from infected mothers, blood transfusions, and accidental needle sticks. This amounts to about 51 cases per year in the "Other" category.
By using Personal Protective Equipment and following Universal Precautions, people can be kept safe and sound in the workplace.
Symptoms are unreliable, and only a blood test can tell if someone is infected, but symptoms can include fever, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, rash, and a dry cough.
The HIV virus itself dies very quickly outside the body, generally within seconds upon exposure to air, depending on conditions.
HIV is NOT spread by casual contact. As of right now, there is no vaccine and no cure.
HIV and other pathogens are covered in the AHA's Bloodborne pathogen course. Contact us to arrange a course at your workplace!