What is AIDS?
AIDS simply means,
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
It is a chronic condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
What is HIV?
HIV simply means Human Immunodeficiency virus .
HIV interferes with human body’s ability to fight the organisms that cause disease. It does this,by damaging the body’s immune system.
How can HIV be spread?
HIV is a sexually transmitted infection. It can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding.
Without medication, it may take years before HIV weakens someone’s immune system to the point that it can cause AIDS.
How can HIV be cured?
There’s no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are medications that can dramatically slow the progression of the disease. These drugs have reduced AIDS deaths in many developed nations.
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The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection.
Primary infection (Acute HIV)
Most of the people who are infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness in a space of a month or two after the virus enters the body. This illness, known as primary or acute HIV infection, may last for a few weeks.
Predisposing signs and symptoms include:
*Muscle aches and joint pain.
*Swollen lymph glands, especially on the neck.
Majority of time, the symptoms of primary HIV infection may be mild enough to be unnoticed, the amount of virus in the bloodstream (viral load) is particularly high at this time. Because of this reason, HIV infection spreads more efficiently during primary infection than during the next stage of infection.
Clinical latent infection (Chronic HIV)
Persistent swelling of lymph nodes usually occurs in some people during clinical latent HIV, period. Sometimes, there are no specific signs and symptoms.
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HIV remains in the body, however, and in infected white blood cells.
Generally, Clinical latent infection lasts about 10 years especially, if the person is not receiving Anti-retroviral therapy. However, this phase can last for decades in people taking Anti-retroviral drugs.
Early symptomatic HIV infection
In some cases, as the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells, the infected person may develop mild infections or chronic symptoms such as:
*Shingles (herpes zoster).
*Swollen lymph nodes — often one of the first signs of HIV infection.
*Loss of weight.
*Oral yeast infection.
Progression to AIDS
In about 10 years, if an infected person did not receive any treatment for HIV infection, it will develop to AIDS. The immune system will be severely damaged, as soon as the illness develops into AIDS. And this will make the person to become susceptible to any form of opportunistic infection.
The symptoms of these infections includes the following:
* Skin rashes.
* Soakings night sweats
* Loss of weight.
* Recurring fever
* Chronic diarrhea
* Persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth
* Persistent, unexplained fatigue.
What are the risk factors of HIV/AIDS ?
*Having unprotected sex.
*Using intravenous drugs.
*Having other STIs.
*Exchanging sharp objects like injection needles, broken bottles, knife, surgical blades, etc.
What are the Causes of HIV/AIDS ?
HIV is a viral infection that can be transmitted through sexual contact, through blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding.
How does HIV become AIDS ?
HIV destroys CD4 cells — a specific type of white blood cell that helps the body fight disease.
The immune system weakens as more white blood cells are killed. HIV infection can be in the body of an infected person for years before it progresses to AIDS.
People infected with HIV progress to AIDS when their white blood cells count falls below 200 or they experience an AIDS-defining complication.
How can HIV be transmitted ?
To be infected with HIV, infected blood, semen or vaginal secretions of an infected person must enter another person’s body.
HIV can not be transmitted through physical contact such as :
*shaking hands — with someone who has HIV or AIDS.
HIV can’t be transmitted through the air, water or insect bites.
*Someone can become infected with HIV in several ways, including:*
*By having unprotected sex with an infected person.
*From blood transfusions.
*By sharing conte contaminated needles.
*Sharing intravenous drug.
*During pregnancy or delivery or through breast-feeding.
Tests and diagnosis
The most common diagnoses for HIV is by testing the blood or saliva for antibodies to the virus.
An earlier diagnosis may prompt people to take extra precautions to prevent transmission of the virus to others.
To do the test, you swab fluid from your upper and lower gums. If the test is positive, you need to see your doctor to confirm the diagnosis and discuss your treatment options.
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If the test is negative, it needs to be repeated in three months to confirm the results.
*Tests to tailor treatment*
If you receive a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, several types of tests can help your doctor determine what stage of the disease you have.
*These tests include:*
*Tests for complications*
Your doctor might also order lab tests to check for other infections or complications, including:
*Sexually transmitted infections.
*Liver or kidney damage.
*Urinary tract infection.
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