Medical Info & Resources

 

Questions and Answers

How can I make sure I am eating right, to stay healthy?

Moose stew? Char? Blueberries? Bannock? For the first time, a national food guide has been created which reflects the values, traditions and food choices of First Nation, Inuit and Métis.

Eating Well with Canada's Food Guide - Firstn Nations, Inuit and Métis reflects the importance of both traditional and store-bought foods for Aboriginal people living in Canada.


What is HIV?

HIV infects cells in the immune system and the central nervous system. One of the main types of cells that HIV infects is the T helper lymphocyte. These cells play a crucial role in the immune system, by coordinating the actions of other immune system cells. A large reduction in the number of T helper cells seriously weakens the immune system.

HIV infects the T helper cell because it has the protein CD4 on its surface, which HIV uses to attach itself to the cell before gaining entry. This is why the T helper cell is sometimes referred to as a CD4+ lymphocyte. Once it has found its way into a cell, HIV produces new copies of itself, which can then go on to infect other cells.

Over time, HIV infection leads to a severe reduction in the number of T helper cells available to help fight disease. The number of T helper cells is measured by having a CD4 test and is referred to as the CD4 count. It can take several years before the CD4 count declines to the point that an individual is said to have progressed to AIDS.

HIV infection can generally be broken down into four distinct stages: primary infection, clinically asymptomatic stage, symptomatic HIV infection, and progression from HIV to AIDS.


How is HIV transmitted?

The most common ways that people become infected with HIV are:

  • by having sexual intercourse with an infected partner
  • by injecting drugs using a needle or syringe which has already been used by someone who is infected.
  • by blood transfusions (it is a lower risk than in the past, but still a risk)

HIV can be passed on in these ways because the virus is present in the sexual fluids and blood of infected people. If infected blood or sexual fluid gets into your body, then you can become infected.  Saliva and sweat contain the HIV virus, but not in quantities sufficient for transmission.


What are the signs and symptoms of HIV?

Some people who become infected with HIV do not notice any immediate change in their health. However, some suffer from a brief flu-like illness within a few weeks of becoming infected, or develop a rash or swollen glands. These symptoms do not indicate the development of AIDS, and the symptoms usually disappear within a few days or weeks.


Where can I get an HIV test?

If you are a client of CINHS we will provide an HIV test. Talk to your medical provider today!

or

AIDS Prevention Program (Needle Exchange)
1114 3rd Avenue, Prince George BC


Where can I go for HIV/AIDS related support?

Positive Living North in Prince George offers support for people living with HIV, as well as their family and friends, which may include:

  • Social Support
  • Advocacy
  • Crisis Intervention
  • One-on-one and Group Support
  • Support for Alcohol and Drug Issues
  • Support Team Services
  • Health Information
  • Grief and Loss Support

PLN’s  Member Support Services department is made up of a dynamic and understanding team of caring individuals who truly know what those living with HIV/HCV, or affected by HIV/HCV are experiencing.

Positive Living North
1563 2nd Avenue, Prince George

Steve Lorenz
Member Services Manager
250.562.1172