Be Aware, Protect Yourself from HIV/AIDS
AIDS or Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a life-threatening and grave medical condition that is caused by HIV or human immunodeficiency virus. HIV harms the immune system and weakens the human body so that it is no longer able to fight organisms that attack the body and cause diseases.
HIV is usually transmitted through sexual intercourse or by blood transfusions. HIV can be spread from an infected person through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, pre-seminal clear fluids and even by breast milk.
You can take an HIV test to know your HIV status (positive or negative). There are many types of tests that can be conducted to examine your blood or bodily fluids for detecting the presence of HIV virus. Sometimes, even if a person is infected, the test can turn to be negative in the early stages. It takes at least 6 months for the virus to grow inside a human body and infect a person with the disease. If you have AIDS, an HIV test can help start a clinical treatment to live a long and quality life, without passing the infection to other people.
While HIV testing can determine the status of an HIV infection, initial testing cannot determine if the person has developed AIDS disease. The most advanced stage of HIV infection is known as AIDS, so a medical expert needs to run more screenings and tests to ascertain if the person has AIDS. When a person contracts HIV, it ultimately leads to the development of AIDS.
HIV Test Clinic
An HIV testing can be done through reputed laboratory near your locality. Most of the registered hospitals and clinics conduct HIV testing anonymously and give the result only to the concerned person.
An HIV test should be carried out for the following people:
- Individuals who have had multiple sexual partners
- People who have unprotected sex
- People who inject drugs with needles on a regular basis
- Individuals who have a medical history that includes TB, STD, herpes or hepatitis.
- Individuals with a history of substance abuse (drugs)
- Pregnant women
Signs and Symptoms of HIV/AIDS
Common Signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS include:
- Fever that lasts for more than a week
- Constant headache
- Rashes on the skin
- Mouth sores and sore throat
- Bloated lymph glands
Chronic symptoms include:
- Fever that rages for weeks
- Fatigue with weight loss
- Oral infections
- Shingles or Herpes
- Enlarged lymph nodes
AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is a term used for a collective set of symptoms that are caused due to the HIV virus. AIDS is the final or most advanced stage of HIV infection. AIDS disease can totally corrupt your immune system, thus making you weak and susceptible to dangerous diseases and infections.
A person blessed with healthy immune system has a CD4 cell count anywhere between 500 to 1600 for every cubic mm of blood. When the count of CD4 cells falls below 200 for every cubic mm of blood, then the person is said to be suffering from AIDS. Once an individual has been diagnosed with AIDS, then that individual is always considered to be a permanent AIDS patient, irrespective of his CD4 T count recovery.
According to medical experts, there is apparently no cure for HIV/AIDS. However, there are various medical drugs made available to patients to control the virus. The doctor may suggest anti-retro viral therapy (ART). Nowadays, there are different classes of drugs in ART and other anti-HIV drugs used for AIDS treatment.
AIDS experts suggest that people with an HIV infection should be offered anti-viral medicines, irrespective of their CD4 T cell count. Patients with severe symptoms that include under 350 CD4 T cell count, kidney infections or hepatitis B or C symptoms should be treated immediately with anti-viral medications. Pregnant women with HIV infection should also be given prompt treatment.
Is there a cure for HIV/AIDS?
No, HIV/AIDS is incurable. However, adhering to the treatment and taking anti-retroviral regimens can drastically slow-down its progress. Taking medications also helps to prevent other medical complications.
What are the first signs of HIV?
Fever is the very first symptom of HIV, accompanied by various milder symptoms such as sore throat, fatigue, and enlarged lymph glands.
What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
AIDS is a medical condition, whereas HIV is a potent virus that can cause infection leading to an AIDS condition. Contracting HIV infection leads to stage-3 HIV or AIDS. Doctors often term it as 'full blown AIDS' that completely weakens bodily defence mechanism, allowing entry to opportunistic infections.