Giant Microbes, HIV, Small
Want a super fun and cute way to learn more about STIs? GiantMicrobes are here to entertain, educate, and cuddle. These plush toys are about 5 inches in height, and represent a number of different sexually transmitted infections.
Each microbe includes a printed card with educational and fascinating facts. A perfect gift for students, scientists, health professionals & anyone with a healthy sense of humor!
This little microbe represents the HIV virus. Below is more information about HIV, courtesy of our friends at Planned Parenthood.
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It breaks down the immune system-- our body's protection against disease. HIV causes people to become sick with infections that normally wouldn't affect them.
HIV causes AIDS. AIDS is short for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of HIV disease.
HIV is transmitted in blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. The most common ways HIV is spread are by:
- having vaginal or anal intercourse without a condom with someone who has HIV/AIDS
- sharing needles or syringes with someone who has HIV/AIDS
- being deeply punctured with a needle or surgical instrument contaminated with HIV
- getting HIV-infected blood, semen, or vaginal secretions into open wounds or sores
Babies born to childbearers with HIV/AIDS can get HIV during birth or from breastfeeding.
There are many ways you can protect yourself from HIV. The surest way is to abstain from sexual intercourse and from sharing needles and "works" if you use steroids, hormones, or other drugs.
Don't share personal items that may have blood on them. This includes toothbrushes, razors, needles for piercing or tattooing, and blades for cutting or scarring.
If you choose to have sex, have safer sex to reduce the risk of exchanging blood, semen, or vaginal fluids with your sex partner(s).
Some kinds of sex play are "safer" because they have lower risk of infection than others "Safer-sex" activities are those we choose to lower our risk of exchanging blood, semen, or vaginal fluids-- the body fluids most likely to spread HIV. Each of us must decide what risks we will take for sexual pleasure.
Here are some common sexual behaviors grouped according to risk.
VERY LOW RISK — No reported HIV infections due to these behaviors:
- fantasy, cyber sex, or phone sex
- using clean sex toys
- masturbation or mutual masturbation
- manual stimulation of one another
- touching or massage
- fondling or body rubbing
- oral sex on a man with a condom
- oral sex on a woman with a dental dam or plastic wrap
LOW RISK — Very few reported HIV infections due to these behaviors:
- deep kissing that causes bleeding
- vaginal intercourse with a condom or female condom
- anal intercourse with a condom or female condom
- oral sex
(Try not to get semen, vaginal fluids, or blood into the mouth or on broken skin.)
HIGH RISK — Millions of reported HIV infections due to these behaviors:
- vaginal intercourse without a condom
- anal intercourse without a condom
HIV is NOT transmitted by simple casual contact such as kissing, sharing drinking glasses, or hugging.