AIDS – Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, describes the collection of symptoms and infections that commonly complicate the state of a unique acquired immunodeficiency. The virus affects the cells of the human immune system and impairs their function. It progressively disables part of the immune system. So the immune system no longer fights certain infections and diseases and kills the individual. The immunodeficient people are vulnerable to a wide range of infections.
Relationship between HIV and AIDS
HIV and AIDS are two different stages. An individual when he or she acquires the HIV virus from some source, and the virus starts to replicate in the individual, the individual is infected. He appears and functions as any other healthy individual. At this stage also, he can be transmitting infection unknowingly. But after a variable number of years the infection overwhelms and makes the individual immunodeficient. He becomes sick. This late stage of the disease is called AIDS. When suffering from HIV AIDS, the individual has a number of infections that usually do not affect a healthy person. The infected person loses weight and usually loses the battle of life soon after, mostly due to the numerous infections.
After the initial infection with the AIDS causing virus, immediately no symptoms develop and the patient is as normal as any other individual. So the infected people and others are not and cannot be aware that they are infected. When the infection gains an upper hand, some people have fever, rashes, joint pain and enlarged lymph nodes. A HIV infected person in the later stages is highly infectious through his bodily fluids. They can transmit the virus to another person.
Carriers of HIV virus
The important AIDS information is HIV is found in high concentration in bodily fluids like, blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. It is transmitted through infected blood transfusion, sex with an infected individual, using needles contaminated with the virus and infected mothers can transmit the virus to the newborn or transmit the virus through breast feeding. HIV virus cannot be transmitted by touching, talking, kissing, sharing toilets, or through fomites like clothes, towels, bedding, etc.
Indiscriminate sexual relationships must be avoided. Reckless sexual activities should be strongly discouraged in the strongest possible way and the knowledge disseminated widely among high risk behavior groups. When blood transfusion is absolutely indicated, safe screened blood from a reputed blood bank should be chosen. Reusing needles must be discouraged. All antenatal mothers must be screened and proper antenatal care stressed and instituted.
When indicated, disposable needles or needles that are properly sterilized only should be used. For body piercing and tattooing, the instruments used for penetrating the skin, should be disposable or properly sterilized according to the issued guidelines, before reusing. Sharing razor with an infected person is highly risky, unless sterilized.
Cure for AIDS
The origin of the HIV virus is still under scrutiny. The HIV infection was first described in the year 1981. It is now widely rampant in countries where poor hygiene prevails and where transmission is easy and the knowledge of the disease is low.
There is no cure for HIV infection. No vaccine is available. But there are drugs to reduce viral replication and to treat the infections that the individuals suffer in the advanced stages.
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