Do YOU know what HIV stands for?

By Health.com
August 01, 2018

Your favorite crew is back. This time the Sex Ed Guys explain—or, well, try to explain—sexually transmitted infections.

First, we hit them with an acronym: Do you know what HIV stands for? The guys guessed everything from “human infection venereal” to “hypo immuno virus.” They were on the right track, but HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.

HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and affects more than one million people in the United States alone. Out of those one million, one in seven doesn’t know they have it. This could be because it can take a decade for symptoms to develop.

RELATED: 7 Men Tell Us What They Know About Ob-Gyns, Pap Smears, and the G-Spot

From there, we quizzed them about AIDS. “Acute immune deficiency syndrome?” Nope. “Autoimmune deficiency syndrome?” Almost. AIDS actually stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV. The time it takes for HIV to progress to AIDS varies from person to person, but on average, it takes 10 years. Though there’s no cure for HIV, medication and other treatments can help slow down the progression to AIDS.

The next question they got right: a full STI panel tests for HIV and a host of other conditions, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, and syphilis.

“I think that all can be done with a pap smear,” one of the guys told us. Wrong. Only HPV, human papillomavirus, is tested with a pap. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are detected with a urine test, and the rest are done by blood test.  

Because HPV is the most common STI, it is important for women to get regular paps. 80% of women will contract HPV, though most of the time, the virus goes away without doing any damage. But some types of HPV are linked to cervical cancer.

These guys might be clueless, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. Be smart, and make regular STI testing a priority. Your body deserves it.