What is the immune system?It is part of your body that kills germs, bacteria and viruses.
Germs, bacteria and viruses can make you sick.
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system.
If your immune system doesn't work right,
it's easy to catch diseases like cancers and pneumonia.
But sometimes HIV doesn't kill the immune system right away. Sometimes it hides inside healthy cells.
So you may look and act healthy.
You can play tennis, sing karaoke, go to work or school.
But maybe the virus is in your body and you don't know it.
At some time, if you have HIV, it will start to kill the immune system. If your immune system isn't strong, it can't fight diseases. When a person shows symptoms, we say she or he has AIDS.
But HIV is a weak virus. It dies easily in chemicals like bleach or in high temperatures.You can't catch HIV in a swimming pool or onsen. Can you think of other ways you CAN'T catch HIV?
There are only three ways that you can catch HIV.
1. If you don't use a condom when you have sex with a person who has HIV.
2. If you share needles for drugs.
3. A pregnant mother can give HIV to her baby. That's all. HIV isn't easy to catch in daily life.
But you have to remember this: You can't see that someone has HIV just by looking at him/her.
And remember.... when you drink, you don't have good judgement. You might make a bad decision. You might have unsafe sex!
How do you know if you or your partner has HIV?
You can have an HIV test. You can get a test at any hokenjo. An HIV test is free. You don't have to write your name, address or phone number. They take a little bit of your blood. The test results come back in about two weeks.
And remember.... ALWAYS use a latex condom when you have sex, from start to finish.
PLAY IT SAFE.