Human immune deficiency virus/Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a spectrum of conditions caused by Human deficiency virus(HIV). HIV virus suppresses the immune system of our body hugely by affecting the T cells and destroying them. T cells are the most important warrior of our body to fight infection. With very less immune to other infections, our body becomes susceptible to all possible conditions of any other diseases.
- After initial infection, HIV viruses reproduces very fast, and the body may show certain influenza like symptoms in response to that infection, as out immune system produces HIV antibodies.
- HIV can show no symptoms after the initial infection from certain months to even many years to decades.
- In 2015 there are around 37.2 million people living with HIV/AIDS and resulted in a 1.2 million death, mostly in the sub-Saharan Africa.
- Since HIV was discovered, 78 million people have contracted HIV, and AIDS has claimed 35 million lives
Symptoms of HIV /AIDS:
- The first phase of the infection is known as acute phase. Most people experience influenza like symptoms post 2-4 weeks after infection, whether some people don't have any symptoms. These symptoms include:
- Swollen lymph glands
- Several aches and pains
- After initial stage, a stage of latency occurs where the HIV infection last in the body for many years without showing any signs or symptoms. Without treatment, the HIV infection can acquire the form of AIDS must faster than people undergoing any treatment.
- In AIDS, the immune system of our body is acutely compromised, so people have high tendency to get certain diseases which are:
- cytomegalovirus (CMV), a type of herpes virus
- cryptococcal meningitis
- toxoplasmosis, and infection caused by a parasite
- cryptosporidiosis, an infection caused by an intestinal parasite
- cancer, mostly which are caused by viruses such as Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) and lymphoma
- kidney disease
- Symptoms of AIDS can include:
- recurrent fever
- chronic swollen lymph glands, especially of the armpits, neck, and groin
- night sweats
- dark splotches under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids
- sores, spots, or lesions of the mouth and tongue, genitals, or anus
- recurrent or chronic diarrhea
- rapid weight loss
- neurologic problems such as difficulty concentrating, memory loss, and confusion
- anxiety and depression
Causes of HIV/AIDS:
- HIV can only be transferred from one person to another by bodily fluids, such as:
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
- HIV doesn't spread by:
- skin-to-skin contact
- hugging or shaking hands
- air or water
- eating or drinking items, including drinking fountains
- saliva, tears, or sweat (unless mixed with blood from an infected person)
- sharing a toilet, towels, or bedding
- mosquitoes or other insects
- HIV/AIDS is only caused by HIV virus, which can spread from one person to another by bodily fluids.
- HIV can be transferred from mother to child during pregnancy, but treatment can reduce the risk.
- HIV can be transferred from a infected person to a healthy person by blood transfusion and sexual contact.
Treatment for HIV:
- There is no cure for HIV. No vaccine also which can reduce the risk to this disease.
- But antiviral therapy is given to the patients which can reduce the symptoms and help in improving the immune system.
Diagnosis of HIV/AIDS:
- During the few months of infection antibody result may come false negative, as the immune cells may not form the antibodies in that period.
- Most people develop antibodies in 21 to 87 days of period antibodies for HIV are tested for in the blood sample, which may confirm the infection.
- Other test include nucleic acid test, which look for the virus for itself in the blood.
HIV patients are isolated from the society, which make them more vulnerable to the disease. It is not a communicable disease till someone doesn't share the bodily fluids with anyone he/she cannot get infected. HIV affected people should be accepted by people and help them overcome their deadly disease.
Certain precautions during blood transfusion or sexual contact can decrease the risk of this disease.