HIV/AIDS

HIV/ AIDS
AIDS by womenshealth.gov

Introduction

HIV

It is the virus that infects the cells of the immune system, destroying their function. After the virus infects the immune system there is progressive deterioration of the immune system, leading to “immune deficiency.” As a result the immune system no longer does its regular task of fighting infection and disease

 

AIDS

AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. It can be taken as the final stage of HIV. AIDS is the stage when the immune system of the person is badly damaged and they become vulnerable to opportunistic infections. Pathologically saying when the number of you CD4 cells falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood, then one can considered as infected with TB. A person can aslo be diagnosed with AIDS if they develop one or more opportunistic infections, regardless of CD4 count.

 

Global Scenario

According to WHO and UNAIDS, 36.7 million were living with HIV globally in 2015. In 2015 1.1 million people died of HIV related cases and 2.1 million people became newly infected.

 

HIV Transmission

HIV as are virus can’t survive independently. They need some host. HIV is spread through contact with certain body fluids from a person infected with HIV. Some fluids are:

  • Blood
  • Semen
  • Pre-seminal fluids
  • Vaginal fluids
  • Rectal fluids
  • Breast milk

The transmission can be through the above fluids from person to person with direct contact. Sometimes HIV transmits from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding; these are called mother-to-child transmission of HIV. HIV can also be transmitted through sharing of contaminated needles, syringes, surgical equipment or other sharp instruments.

 

Treatment

HIV is not curable but the standard of live can be made good with the treatment. The years of life can be prolonged. The use of HIV medicines to treat HIV infections is called Anti-retroviral therapy (ART). It involves of regimen of taking a combination of HIV medicines every day. ART prevents virus from further multiplying and reduces the amount of HIV in the body. Reducing the virus from the body protects the immune system and prevents HIV infection from advancing to AIDS.

 

 

FAQs for HIV

Q1. Should I get tested?

Ans. Ask yourself some questions if your answer to these questions are Yes then you must have a test.

  • Are you having sex with a man?
  • Have you exchanged sex for drugs or money?
  • Have you had anal or oral sex with an HIV positive partner?
  • Have you had more than one sex partner since your last HIV test?
  • Have you had sex with any person whose sexual history you don’t know?

 

Q2. How can I limit my risk of HIV transmission through sex?

Ans.

  • Use male or female condoms at the time of sex.
  • Try to be faithful in a relationship with no promiscuous sex behavior.
  • Take antiretroviral drugs for pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV(PrEP)

 

 

Media Taken from: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

 

References

  1. WHO
  2. Aids.gov
  3. CDC