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HIV/AIDS FAQs

What is HIV?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that weakens the body’s defense (immune) system until it can no longer fight off illnesses, such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, cancerous tumors and others. 
HIV kills CD4 cells (T cells), which direct the body’s immune system to defend against infection. 

What is AIDS?

A person is considered to have AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) when HIV seriously damages the immune system. 
In the U.S., an HIV-infected person receives a diagnosis of AIDS when his or her CD4 count is less than 200 or if diagnosed with a specific illness. (An average CD4 cell count in a healthy person is 1,150.) 

Is there a cure for HIV or AIDS?

There is still no cure or vaccine for HIV or AIDS. 
There are new drug treatments that can help many people with HIV stay healthy longer and delay the onset of AIDS. As a result of these drugs, the number of HIV cases that develop into AIDS, and the number of AIDS-related deaths, have dropped dramatically in the U.S.

How might I become infected with HIV?

HIV can only be passed from person to person through body fluids, like blood, semen, precum or pre-ejaculate fluid, vaginal fluid and breast milk. The most common ways HIV is passed are:

  • By having unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex with an infected person.
  • By sharing needles and syringes for injecting drugs with an infected person.

Children born to infected mothers can also become infected during pregnancy.

If I am pregnant, will my child be born with HIV?

A mother with HIV can expose her child to the virus through exposure to infected blood during childbirth, but that risk can be reduced to nearly zero if the mother and child follow a recommended course of treatment during and immediately after pregnancy.

Can I get HIV from casual contact with an infected person?

No. You do not get HIV from an HIV-infected person by working together; playing sports; shaking hands; hugging; closed-mouth kissing; sharing drinking glasses, eating utensils or towels; using the same wash water, drinking fountain or toilet; swimming in the same pool; or coming into contact with the person’s sneezes, coughs, tears, or sweat. 
You also don’t get HIV from bug bites or by donating blood.

What are the symptoms of HIV?

HIV affects each person differently. Many people with HIV can look and feel healthy for years, so you cannot rely on symptoms to know if you (or others) are infected. 
The only way to know if you are infected is to be tested.

See how HIV spreads inside the body

Click HERE to see how HIV spreads from cell to cell inside the human body 

General Disclaimer:
The Allies for Health + Wellebing website is designed for informational and educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through thisnwebsite should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your healthcare provider.

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Hours:

Clinic Hours:
Mon - Fri: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Call 412-248-0550 to make an appointment

 

Testing Hours:
Sun: Noon – 3:30 p.m.
Mon-Tue, Thu - Fri: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wed: 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
No appointment necessary

 

Food Pantry Hours*:
Sun: Noon-4:00 p.m.
Mon, Tues, Thu: Noon-4:00 p.m.
Wed: 3:00-7:00 p.m.

 

The food pantry is closed on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

*Clients may use the food pantry once per month; Clients who are overdue for their 90-day updates will not be able to use the Food Pantry on Wednesday after 4 p.m., or on Sundays

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