WHAT IS HIV/AIDS ?

Hello everyone ! We all know that soemething called HIV/AIDS exists. But do you actually know what HIV/AIDS  is ? If NO then this blog is specially for you . If YES then you shall definitely know more about it till the end . So let’s begin.

 

1. WHAT IS HIV/AIDS ?

HIV AIDS
Webdunia
  • HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the cells that help the body fight infection.
  • It makes a person more prone to infections and diseases.
  • HIV/AIDS spreads by coming in contact with certain bodily fluids of a person already affected with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom ).
  • It can also spread by sharing injections or drug equipment.
  • If left untreated, HIV can lead to the AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). A person affected from HIV has it for lifetime.
  • There is no effective cure for it.
  • HIV infection in humans came from a type of chimpanzee in Central Africa.
  • This passed to humans when humans hunted these chimpanzees for food and meat and came in contact with their infected blood.
  • AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection that occurs when the body’s immune system is completely damaged because of the virus.
  • A person with HIV is considered to have moved to AIDS when they develop one or more infections.
  • Avoiding the HIV medicine, people with AIDS typically survive about 3 years.
  • Once people reach a dangerous opportunistic illness, life expectancy without treatment falls to about nearly 1 year.
  • HIV medicine can still help people at this stage and it can even be life saving.
  • But people who start soon after they get HIV experience more benefits.
  • Hence HIV testing plays an important role.

2. HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE HIV ?

How do I know if I have HIV/AIDS?
Imperial College London
  • The only option to make sure if you have HIV is to get yourself tested.
  • Testing is very simple and you can ask your healthcare provider for it .
  • Many clinics, community health centers and hospitals too offer the test.
  • A home testing kit is also available at pharmacies as well as online.
  • But deciding the way through a Dr. is recommended.
  • HIV testing locations can be used to locate HIV Services Locator.

3. WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF HIV/AIDS ?

Causes of HIV
Volunteers of America Mid States
  • HIV is caused by a virus.
  • It can spread through blood or sexual contact with partners who are already affected with HIV.
  • It can also spread through pregnancy, from mother to child or during breast-feeding.

4. HOW DOES HIV BECOME AIDS ?

How does HIV become AIDS
FierceBiotech
  • HIV destroys CD4 T cells which are white blood cells that play an important role in helping your body fight against diseases.
  • The fewer CD4 T cells you have, the weaker your immune system becomes.
  • The weaker your immune system gets the faster you shift from HIV to AIDS.
  • You can have an HIV infection, with few or no symptoms, for years before it turns into AIDS.

5. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HIV/AIDS?

Symptoms of HIV/AIDS
CDC
  • The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary from person to person depending on the phase of infection.

–Primary infection (Acute HIV).

  • Some people infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness within two to four weeks after the virus entering their body. This is known as primary (acute) HIV infection, may last for a few weeks.
  • Possible signs and symptoms include fever, headache, weight loss,cough,night sweats ,etc. These symptoms are mild and might even go unnoticed.

–Clinical latent infection (Chronic HIV)

  • In this stage of infection, HIV virus is still present in the body and in white blood cells. However, people might not experience any symptoms or infections during this time.
  • This stage can last for years if the affected person hasn’t taken the Antiretroviral therapy (ART).

–Symptomatic HIV infection

  • At this time the virus continues to multiply and destroy your immune cells — the cells in your body that help fight off germs and diseases. Development of mild infections such as fever,fatigue , oral yeast, pneumonia, etc are seen.
  • This is the stage where the HIV symptoms are visible and also the progression to AIDS takes place.Thanks to better antiviral treatments, most people with HIV in the U.S. today don’t develop AIDS. Untreated, HIV typically turns into AIDS in about 8 to 10 years.

6. HOW CAN HIV/AIDS BE TREATED AND CURED?

Treatment of HIV/AIDS
Infectious disease advisor
  • The main treatment for HIV is ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY (ART) .
  • This is a combination of regular medications that restrict the virus from increasing.
  • This helps in keeping the immune system strong and in taking proper measures against diseases.
  • Antiretroviral therapy helps stopping HIV from progressing to AIDS.
  • It also helps reduce the risk of transmitting it to others.
  • When treatment is effective, presence of the virus will be undetectable.
  • The person will still have the HIV virus, but it will not be visible in test results.
  • If that person stops taking antiretroviral therapy, the viral load will increase again, and the HIV can again start attacking the body cells.
  • These ANTIRETROVIRAL medications are grouped into six classes:

–Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)
–Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)
–Protease inhibitors
–Fusion inhibitors
–CCR5 antagonists, also known as entry inhibitors
–Integrase strand transfer inhibitors

These were certain important points to be known about HIV/AIDS.

This is a very large concept that talking about it can never end.

All you need to do is recognise the changes you notice in our body and consult a DR. immediately if needed.

Checkout my last blog on MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SEX.

 

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