The Complete Guide to HIV & AIDS
Treatment, Prevention, and Symptoms
The AIDS epidemic is one of the most devastating pandemics in human history. This article will explain everything you need to know about HIV and AIDS, including symptoms, prevention, and treatment.
The HIV virus was first identified in the 1980s by a group of scientists that were studying the rare cancer called AIDS. It was initially believed to be a virus that only affected gay men and drug users, but as time progressed it became apparent that it could also affect heterosexuals and children.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), which can progress over time and cause death.
How to Tell If You Have HIV
HIV can be diagnosed with a blood test or by taking a swab from the inside of the cheek. The symptoms of HIV/AIDS can vary from person to person, but they often include fever, swollen glands in the neck or armpit, night sweats, weight loss, and diarrhea.
The virus destroys the body’s ability to produce enough antibodies to fight off other infections.
How Is HIV Transmitted?HIV is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner, contaminated needles, shared infected syringes, and from mother to child during childbirth.
How to Prevent the Spread of the Disease?
There are four ways:
Vaccination: Vaccination is a process that is used to stimulate an individual’s immune response to produce antibodies against a specific disease. There are two types of vaccines- live and inactivated vaccines. Live vaccines contain either weakened or killed versions of the virus, while inactivated vaccines contain whole killed viruses or parts of viruses.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics are drugs that kill bacteria and help fight infections caused by these organisms. They do not affect viruses and fungi, which cause many other infections, so they are not used for those types of diseases.
Quarantine: Quarantine is a public health measure where people who may have been exposed to an infectious agent (such as someone who has been infected with HIV) are kept away from others until it can be determined whether they have become ill from the exposure.
Condoms: One of the best ways to prevent HIV is by using a condom during sex. If you are not in a monogamous relationship, you should use a condom every time you have sex. Men who have sex with other men should also use a condom and get tested regularly for HIV.
The Dangers of HIV Infection:
What Are the Long-Term Effects?
- Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as CFS, is a condition characterized by persistent and unexplained fatigue lasting for more than six months.
- There is a higher risk of developing heart disease and stroke due to inflammation in blood vessels caused by HIV.
- The immune system may be compromised which can lead to an increased risk of developing cancer.
- There may be an increase in bone density loss leading to osteoporosis or bone fractures.
- There may be an increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease due to inflammation in brain cells caused by HIV.
Treatment for HIV and AIDS
HIV is usually treated with antiretroviral therapy which can reduce the risk of developing AIDS from HIV infection by up to 95% and death from AIDS-related illnesses by up to 50%.
A person can be treated for HIV in the following ways:
♦ Antiretroviral therapy (ART)
♦ ART through a needle in the arm (PEP)
♦ ART through a needle in the leg (LPEP)
♦ Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT)