Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander HIV Awareness Week (ATSIHAW) is held each year in the first week of December. Now in its 8th year, ATSIHAW has been making sure that all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people know about the risks of HIV. They also share some great information about how to get tested and what treatment involves.
This year, the theme is U and Me Can Stop HIV and there are events being held around the country. You can find out about the events by visiting the ATSIHIV website.
Anyone can get HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
When someone has HIV, their body’s immune system is attacked, so they’re more likely to catch, or get sick from other sicknesses. The virus is carried in their blood, so it’s important to keep safe!
People most at risk of catching HIV are those who:
- have unprotected sex with someone who has HIV
- share a syringe or needle with someone with HIV
- get blood from an infected person in an open cut or wound
- get the virus from their mum when they are a baby if she has HIV.
It’s important to be aware of the risks and get tested for HIV if needed. If HIV isn’t treated it can become a very serious disease that could lead to ending up in hospital, or even dying.
Getting tested for HIV is about looking after your health, and the health of your community. To find out more about HIV, visit the ATSIHIV website.
To get tested for HIV, have a confidential yarn with your healthcare worker.