AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a fatal disease that targets the immune system of the human body and the infected person’s immune system will be very low that even a simple disease such as a common cold could prove deadly. It is recorded that an estimated 2.2 million people die due to HIV every year. The origin of the virus is unknown, though some believe it was transmitted from apes somewhere in Africa.
Various researches have been undergone by various countries to find a cure for the disease, yet there is no proven cure for the disease till date. Advancements in science and technology had produced various treatments to slow down the progress of the disease, but the drugs are very costly and are not practical in poor countries such as Africa where the disease is widespread and so prevention is the best option.
How it Spreads?
It is important to know how the disease spreads so that we can follow preventive methods:
Sexual Contact: HIV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact from a person who is HIV positive. If an infected person has unsafe sexual contact with another person there is a surety that at the disease will be transmitted. Hence, if you a person who is sexually active and cannot abstain from constant sex, it is advisable that you use condoms and prevent exchange of bodily fluids.
Heredity: It is likely that a parent who is HIV positive is likely to transmit the disease to his/her unborn child.
Blood Transfusion: One of the most lethal attributes about HIV is that the infected person may not know that he is infected with the virus and simple blood transfusion in case of an emergency may lead to giving the gainer HIV. It is reported that 25 percent of infected people are not aware of their disease. The virus can be transmitted through blood transfusions, used needles, shaving blades, etc.
People infected with HIV face a very hard life as they have to undergo frequent medications and be extra careful every time and they are also mentally hurt as they are certain about their inevitable end. And the sad thing is that instead of supporting them in their needful time, many people ridicule and discriminate them and most infected persons cannot live a successful social life. To help these patients gain confidence many counselling is given by government and various social empowerment groups are available where people can share their thoughts with others and gain the confidence to live life.
People in underdeveloped and developing countries need to be educated about the disease and made them know about how the disease spreads and how it affects the body. Also, people have to be thought that the disease cannot be transmitted through a simple touch or a handshake and hence not to consider infected persons as some vile untouchable being but to show compassion towards them and treat them as any normal person.
The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome which is shortly known as AIDS is a serious disease which is caused by the virus named HIV. When a person is affected by this Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) his immune system will be affected and makes him weak to get affected by various infections and diseases. Normally this HIV virus will present in the fluids such breast milk, vaginal fluids and semen of the person who is infected. Both the syndrome and virus are commonly referred as HIV/AIDS.
The HIV virus can be passed from the infected person to another through sexual contact and blood to blood. Also if a pregnant woman has HIV infection then her baby will also get the virus in the birth and also in the time of breastfeeding. The virus can also be transmitted in many other ways such as oral sex, anal sex, vaginal, contaminated hypodermic needles and blood transfusion. This is the most severe disease which can lead a person to death and this was originated in Africa in the period of early twentieth century. However there is no treatment for this deadly disease. But the affected persons can take some treatments which can slow down the effect of the disease.
The HIV virus can affect the most significant organs in the body and the progression of the disease will depends upon various factors like age of the person, the ability of the body against HIV virus and genetic inheritance of an infected person etc.
There are many misconceptions about this disease and many of the people believe that the HIV virus can be transmitted through shaking hands, sneezing, casual kissing, hugging, sharing towels, using same toilet etc. But there are no such possibilities and the virus will not be transmitted in these ways. Many people do not know the symptoms of the HIV infection and they will not consider that as a serious problem. There are some common symptoms for the early infection of HIV virus and they are joint pain, fever, muscle ache, chills, sore throat, sweats and enlarged glands etc.
If the severity is increased then the person may have blurred vision, dry cough, night sweat, permanent tiredness, shortness of breath, weight loss, swollen glands for weeks etc. If a person is having these symptoms then he or she has to take immediate check-up and start treatment. The HIV virus can be diagnosed by doing a blood test which is especially performed to detect this virus. If the results are positive then it is confirmed that the person is having the HIV infection and he has to undergo some additional treatments. In another way, the virus infection can be identified by the ultra sensitive HIV sensor. This can give the accurate results when compared to the other tests. As it is mentioned already this problem does not have treatment but the transmission of the disease and its severity can be controlled. Also the life expectancy of the person can be extended. These are the possible outcomes from the HIV treatments (see our other articles here and/or here).
Symptom is a feeling that is observed by patient indicating the presence of syndrome or abnormality inside human body. It is merely a reaction from patient’s body in response to some particular disease.
Symptoms of HIV & AIDS are the indications or warning signs showing whether somebody is affected with HIV or not; it’s better to say HIV symptoms are subjective feelings. When symptoms of AIDS are concerned we have a whole list of indicators. Before I mention symptom of AIDS I must tell the readers that it would be wide of mark if you just rely on symptoms, the one and only way to make sure about some one’s HIV status is to go for HIV Test. Reason behind the logic is that it may happen that somebody is not showing any of the symptoms but he or she is found with HIV later on.
Let me start with earliest symptoms of HIV and then AIDS, worth mentioning is the formation of antibodies. It happens between six weeks to three months (it’s usually 12 weeks period) after getting infected with HIV virus. Just after antibodies development the foremost attack is of Flu. Yes Flu!!! And it can come up with dry cough. However Flu can come up in several forms including prolonged fever, body rashes, muscular pain and swelling of lymph nodes or swollen glands. Swelling mostly occurs in neck and armpits. This is rather a stage when infection is making a web in your body making a way for mouth infections, and bruising. One may also suffer heavy night sweats, high temperature and abrasion on skin or inside mouth. Here appear marks on the tongue. The Reddish colored lumps all over body start appearing and getting multiplied. There are also cases when people suffered Thrush; it’s a thick white coating in mouth, often Dentists and ENT specialists can make identification for HIV initially because of this particular symptom. Person gets weaker day by day and suffers deep fatigue without apparent reason. One may also experience slight attacks of pneumonia.
The infirmity is called Acute HIV syndrome in medical terms. it’s a set of disorders that continues to smash up the body. It is noticed that victims feel swamped, just snowed down in this phase, they may have weight loss and it can be above 10% of the total body weight. They may suffer nausea repeatedly and persistent diarrhea for more than one month. A lot of individuals suffer with vaginal infection as well. Every symptom in itself is ultimately leading the individual towards psychosomatic torture.
For the duration of this phase there will be a towering quantity of the virus in body, the virus is continually getting proliferated i.e. multiplying itself and thinning out to all other body parts rapidly. Individual at this stage if get tested will show a positive HIV test. Very important mania about this stage is that victim cans pass on infection to others at this point quickly. Subsequently individuals undergo profuse depressed state heading their way to neurological disorders.