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Introduction: What is HIV/AIDS?

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a continual, doubtlessly life-threatening condition as a result of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). By harming your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s capability to combat infection and disease. Let’s check out all about HIV and AIDS

What Causes HIV/AIDS?

It is caused by a virus that can spread through – 

  • sexual contact, 
  • illicit injection drug use, 
  • Sharing needles, 
  • contact with infected blood, 
  • from mother to child during pregnancy
  • childbirth or breastfeeding.

This virus destroys the body’s white blood cells namely CD4 T cells which play an important role in fighting various infections and diseases. The lesser the CD4 T cells, the weaker will be your immune system.

hiv aids

How does Human Immunodeficiency Virus become AIDS?

A person might have a Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection with very few or no symptoms at all for years, and it can eventually turn into AIDS. 

AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is diagnosed when the count of CD4 T cells falls below 200 or the person might have an AIDS-defining complication, such as a very serious infection or even cancer.

Risk Factors of HIV:

Any person of any age, race, gender or sexual orientation can be inflamed with HIV/AIDS. but, you are on the verge of the greatest threat of HIV/AIDS in case you:

1. Have unprotected intercourse. Use a new latex or polyurethane condom whenever you’ve got sex. Anal intercourse is riskier than vaginal intercourse. Your threat of Human Immunodeficiency Virus multiplies when you have more than one sexual companion. (Source)

2. Have an STI. Many STIs produce open sores in your genitals. these sores act as gateways for HIV to go into your body.

3. Use illicit injection drugs. individuals who use illicit injection drugs frequently share needles and syringes. This exposes them to droplets of other humans’ blood.

drug addict

How HIV doesn’t spread? 

No ordinary contact can spread HIV. This means one cannot catch Human Immunodeficiency Virus or AIDS by kissing, touching, hugging, hugging, shaking hands, or dancing with someone who has the infection.

Besides, the virus also doesn’t spread through the air, insect bites, and/or water.

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Symptoms of HIV:

The symptoms of Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection.

You may have HIV while not having any signs and symptoms. That’s why it’s crucial to get examined even if you don’t feel ill.

From time to time, you’ll have flu-like signs whilst you first get infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus. (Source)

These signs can consist of:

  • Fever.
  • Chills.
  • Fatigue.
  • Sore throat.
  • Muscle aches.
  • night sweats.
  • Rash.
  • Swollen lymph nodes.
  • Mouth sores.

Diagnosis & Treatment of HIV:

The most common method for the diagnosis and recognition of HIV in a person is by the means of blood tests. At the moment, there are 3 acknowledged blood tests for Human Immunodeficiency Virus diagnosis. These include the Antibody test, NATs (Nucleic Acid Tests), and Antibody/Antigen tests. These tests check for the presence of antibodies (that the body has created to fight off the virus) in the infected blood.

 If an individual suspects any HIV symptoms, they should immediately go for an examination without any further delay.

Currently, there is no acknowledged cure for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. However, suitable medications and drugs can control the infectious growth in the body, preventing it from further progression. Thanks to Antiviral treatments, the death rate per annum has been reduced globally.

Different international organizations and agencies are working the increase the availability of preventive measures and treatment facilities in poor countries.

HIV Facts:

  • Anyone can get HIV. One stubborn misconception about Human Immunodeficiency Virus is that only young gay men can acquire the disease. But in fact, people can also get HIV by non-sexual means such as via sharing of contaminated needles and other instruments. Every individual is at risk of HIV of age, gender, race or sexuality, etc.
  • Women and babies also get Human Immunodeficiency Virus as the virus can effortlessly transfer from a pregnant woman to her baby.
  • You can have HIV and not know it as the symptoms can be mild or invisible at all, depending upon the phase of HIV.
  • You can’t get HIV from insect bites, stings, handshaking, or simple contact with the skin of an infected person.

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Prevention of Human Immunodeficiency Virus:

Some simple preventive measures for HIV/AIDS are as follows:

  • Use latex condoms while having any type of sexual intercourse.
  • Avoid any condom made from animal skin, usually lambskin.
  • Prefer water-based lubricants over others.
  • Never share any type of needle with others, be it a syringe needle or any other personal tool.
  • Take blood tests on a regular basis.
  • If you think you have any symptoms of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, even if it is a minor ones, contact your healthcare provider asap.
  • Avoid getting drunk or intoxicated as people lose control over themselves in such conditions and are more inclined towards risky activities.

Also Read: Things to Do After Unprotected Intercourse or Condom Failure