HIV AIDS Virus Infection
There a number of ways of becoming infected with the virus. These days the most common ways people can become infected are by sharing infected needles; having unprotected sex (including vaginal sex, anal intercourse, and oral sex); sharing needles or syringe to inject drugs; from a mother who is hiv positive to a baby; and breast feeding from an infected person.
An infected people have the virus in their body fluids, including semen and vaginal fluids, blood, inside the anus and breast milk. Unlike other viruses such as colds or flu, it is not spread easily. There is no evidence that one will become infected with hiv in the following ways: kissing; shaking hands; sharing a toilet, or room; mosquitoes and insect bites; donating blood. But it is important to bear in mind that live viruses can enter the bloodstream through cuts and sores.
Hiv aids testing facilities are available in most countries. The testing centre will arrange for a blood test, which will enable them to detect hiv antibodies. If the antibodies are present then it will indicate that you are infected with the virus. When people are tested positive to aids, it means that their immune system is unable to fight off infections and diseases, and appropriate treatments will be commenced. There are drugs available that will prevent or delay the hiv from developing to a full blow aids.
Hiv aids symptoms
A number of people with hiv do not have no symptoms for many years while the virus spreads and quietly damage their health. Some people may have flu like symptoms in about 2 – 6 weeks after catching the virus. The hiv aids symptoms, which can last up to four weeks, are a sign that your immune system is putting up a fight against the virus.
The likely hiv aids symptoms are sore throat, fever, muscle pain, joint pain, swollen glands, a blotchy rash, and tiredness. Those that have developed aids may experience extreme weight loss; pneumonia; cancer; and damage to their nervous system. Do remember that having these symptoms does not in itself mean you have a hiv virus, as they could be caused by other health conditions. However, if you have several of these symptoms, you ask for an blood test if you believe you may be at risk of hiv infection.
Hiv Aids Treatment
There is no cure for aids, but treatment is used to manage the symptoms of hiv aids. Most treatments will use use triple therapy, when three drugs are prescribed at once for the following reasons:
- Mixing the drugs enhances the affects of each drug,
- Lower doses can be used and still be effective, thus avoiding bad side effects;
- A mixture of drugs helps the virus’ resistance.
The three drugs used tend to be a combination of nucleoside reverse transcriptase, inhibitors; protease inhibitor; and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor. The results of the blood tests and the symptoms will determine the choice drugs. The blood tests result will show how low the particular white blood cell count is and the amount of the virus in the blood.
HIV makes you more vulnerable to infections. So vaccinations against various infections, which the immune system is not able to fight off will be recommended. These infections include TB; hepatitis B; pneumococcus;and haemophilus. People with the infection tend to get viral, bacterial, fungal and protozoan infections more often than people who are not hiv positive. Treatment for these infections is possible, but in some cases these infections can become rapidly overwhelming and may lead to death.
In particular, Kaposi’s sarcoma is more common in people who are hiv positive. This is a tumour that tends to involve the skin, lungs, gut or lymph nodes. Where the tumour is located in small area of the body it can be treated with radiotherapy, but a more generalised spread will require chemotherapy treatment.
Although aids patients may suffer a premature death, however, effective medical care may be prolonged their lives.
Hiv Aids prevention
In majority of instances hiv aids can be preventing and the spread of the infection curtailed by taking the following precautions:
- Always use condoms for all kinds of anal, vaginal, oral sex;
- Do not share needles or syringes with anyone;
- If you are an hiv positive mother, you should not breast-feeding your baby.
You are not safe from hiv aids infection simply by keeping only to one sexual partner, unless you are certain that they are not hiv positive.
- Male circumcision for HIV prevention
- Chlamydia — a sexually transmitted disease
- Lessons on HIV and AIDS – Oral thrush
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