What are HIV and AIDS? Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

Filed in: Diseases & Conditions.

What is HIV, the virus that causes AIDS?

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS.

The hiv It is the abbreviation of human immunodeficiency virus. The virus attacks and suppresses the immune system, making those who suffer it more susceptible to infections and Cancer. AIDS means acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (a disease in which the cellular immunity of the body is severely damaged and, therefore, reduces its resistance to infections and / or malignancies). HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. While there is no cure for the disease, there are medications that delay its progression. People who have HIV can take steps to lower the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

Where did HIV / AIDS come from?

IV originated in primates in Africa. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s2-where-did-hiv-aids-come-from.jpg

HIV is a virus that probably originated in monkeys and monkeys in Africa. One theory says that HIV started as a virus that infected these animals. The virus later changed to a form that was able to infect humans. The disease may have started to infect humans more than 100 years ago. There was an HIV pandemic in the Congo in the 1920s. The virus made its way to the population of Haiti in the 1960s. It later emerged first in the United States and in other countries and became very prevalent (in everyone) in the eighties.

What does HIV do to the immune system?

HIV attacks the white blood cells of the immune system. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s3-what-does-hiv-do-to-the-immune-system.jpg

HIV attacks white blood cells, or T cells, in the immune system. It attacks a certain type of white blood cell called a positive T cell for CD4. The virus replicates, copies itself and infects a greater number of T cells. As the virus damages more T cells, levels of healthy T cells decrease and a person is susceptible to infections and certain types of cancer. When enough T cells are infected by the virus, AIDS develops.

How is HIV spread?

HIV can be spread through sexual contact. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s4-how-does-hiv-spread.jpg

HIV spreads through contact with infected body fluids. Sex and needle sharing are the two main forms of HIV transmission. Body fluids that can contain and transmit HIV include pre-ejaculate, semen, blood, vaginal fluid, breast milk and rectal mucus. The fluid of an infected person comes in contact with a mucous membrane, bloodstream or a cut or injured area of ​​another person to transmit the virus.

Can HIV be spread through casual contact?

HIV is not transmitted through casual contact. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s5-can-hiv-be-spread-through-casual-contact.jpg

It is not possible to get HIV from an infected person with whom you have casual contact. You can not get HIV by hugging, shaking hands, a toilet, a source of drinking water, or eating foods prepared by a person who is HIV-positive. You can not get HIV from a insect bite. You can not get the virus of tears, saliva, sweat or kisses with your mouth closed. HIV dies quickly when it is on surfaces outside the human body.

Does HIV cause early symptoms?

Many people with HIV do not experience early symptoms. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s6-does-hiv-cause-early-symptoms.jpg

Most people who have contracted HIV do not know it when they get infected for the first time. However, some people have symptoms similar to those of the flu within 2 to 4 weeks of the infection. The first symptoms of HIV can include fever, headache, fatigueswollen lymph nodes and a sore throat. Nowadays, tests can detect HIV infection much earlier than they did in the past. If you experience flu-like symptoms and have engaged in behavior that may have put you at risk for HIV, consult your doctor and get tested.

What are the symptoms of AIDS?

Kaposi's sarcoma is a skin cancer that can develop in patients with AIDS. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s7-symptoms-of-aids.jpg

HIV infection follows three stages, the last of which is the most serious and causes full-blown AIDS. The first stage is the acute infection stage. Many people who acquire HIV for the first time do not experience any symptoms. Those who do may suffer from symptoms similar to the flu. The second stage of HIV is called clinical latency. This means that the virus is inactive, inactive and reproduces at a much slower rate than in the acute phase. This stage can last up to a decade, but in some people it can progress faster. The third stage of HIV infection is full-blown AIDS. In this stage, people have very low T– Cell counts and compromised immune systems that make them susceptible to infections and certain types of cancer. Early detection and treatment of HIV can help prevent the development of full-blown AIDS.

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Who is at risk of contracting HIV?

A pregnant mother with HIV can transmit the infection to her baby. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s8-who-is-at-risk-for-hiv.jpg

Anyone can get HIV at any age, but certain populations are more at risk than others. Men who have sex with other men and people who inject drugs are at high risk of contracting HIV. Infected mothers who are pregnant can transmit the virus to the fetus in the womb. Infected mothers can also transmit the HIV virus to their babies in breast milk. A man who is infected can pass the virus to a woman. Approximately 1.1 million people in the United States were living with HIV as of 2014. About 1 in every 7 people who have HIV do not know they have it.

Who should be tested for HIV?

All people 13 to 64 years old should be tested for HIV at least once. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s9-who-should-be-tested-for-hiv.jpg

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between 13 and 64 years old be tested for HIV at least once as part of routine medical care. People at high risk of HIV should get tested at least once a year. High-risk groups include men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, people who have sexually transmitted infections and people who have multiple sexual partners. There are several types of tests available to detect HIV. There are tests available at home that can provide results in just 20 or 30 minutes. If your HIV test is negative, but recently you have had high-risk behavior, try again 3 months later, as the body can take so long to make antibodies to HIV.

What are treatments for HIV / AIDS?

HIV treatment consists of antiretroviral therapy. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s10-what-are-hiv-aids-treatments.jpg

HIV AIDS It used to be a much more deadly infection before the development of drugs that help slow the progression of the disease. If you are diagnosed with HIV, ask your doctor for treatment as soon as possible. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) involves taking two or more medications of various kinds. These drugs prevent HIV from replicating or prevent the virus from infecting new T cells. These drug cocktails are adapted to the person by the doctor. People who are infected with HIV and adhere to their treatment plan have the same life expectancy as people who are not infected.

Do alternative treatments work for HIV?

Some alternative therapies can be dangerous. "Src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s11-do-alternative-treatments-work-for-hiv.jpg

There is no cure for HIV. Antiretroviral therapy increases the likelihood that people living with HIV have a normal life expectancy. It has not been proven that alternative treatments or folk remedies treat or cure HIV. However, many people with HIV can use yoga, acupunctureMassage, meditation and visualization as complementary or support methods conform to the standard treatment. These therapies can help reduce stress and alleviate some of the symptoms associated with HIV / AIDS. Some people also use medicinal herbs. Check with your doctor before incorporating complementary and alternative therapies into your treatment regimen, especially with regard to herbs. Some herbs may interfere with the activity of certain medications.

What are the self-care strategies to control HIV?

Social support is an important part of managing your condition. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s12-what-are-self-care-strategies-for-managing-hiv.jpg

People who have HIV have an increased risk of infections and other conditions. It is important that you take care of yourself.

Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, lean meat, fish and dairy products. Minimize your intake of sugar and salt. Try to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day, as long as your doctor has said that it is safe for you to exercise. Get enough sleep and rest. Spend time with friends and family. Social support is important for your body and mind. Consult your doctor for routine check-ups. Seek the help of a therapist if you suffer from depression or anxiety. Take your medications, including anti-HIV medications, as prescribed. If you are experiencing side effects, consult your doctor. He or she can adjust your regimen, if necessary. Newer HIV medications are generally better tolerated than older medications.

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Do I have to reveal that I have HIV?

Some people need to know if you are HIV positive. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s13-do-i-have-to-disclose-that-i-have-hiv.jpg

In general, you should inform people who may be affected by your HIV status about your disease. Your doctor must know how to optimize your care. You may want to inform your family and close friends about your condition. You may want to reveal that you have HIV to others who have it, such as a support group. Sex partners and people with whom you share needles should know if you are HIV positive. They are at risk of getting the virus from you. Some states have laws that make it a crime not to disclose their HIV status to their sexual partners or couples who share needles before having sex or injecting drugs. Employers can not discriminate based on HIV status.

Can you prevent HIV?

Condoms reduce the chance of contracting HIV through sex. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s14-can-you-prevent-hiv.jpg

Practicing sexual abstinence and avoiding high-risk behaviors is the only sure way to minimize the risk or prevent HIV. If you are going to have sex, use a condom Each time (reduces but does not eliminate the risk of HIV infection). Limit the number of sexual partners you have to decrease the risk of exposure. It is less likely to be infected with HIV by having oral sex than by having vaginal or anal sex. If you have a very high risk of contracting HIV, ask your doctor about medications that can substantially reduce your risk of contracting the virus. If you engage in high-risk behavior, there are prophylactic medications available to decrease the risk of contracting HIV. If you inject drugs, always use clean and sterile needles. Avoid sharing needles. People at risk of HIV should get tested at least once a year, even more often.

HIV prevention for high-risk groups

Certain medications reduce the risk of becoming infected with HIV. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s15-hiv-prevention-for-high-risk-groups.jpg

In the 1990s, HIV infection was the cause of death number 1 between the ages of 25 to 44 years. In 2014, HIV was the eighth cause of death in people aged 25 to 34 years and the ninth leading cause of death in the world Those 35 to 44 years of age. Better diagnosis and treatment and greater public awareness are responsible for the reduction of mortality rates. There are even newer drugs designed to reduce the risk of contracting HIV in those who are exposed. For people who are at high risk for HIV, taking a combination of medications known as PrEP decreases the risk of infection. People who have been exposed to HIV can take antiretroviral drugs or post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to decrease the risk of infection. These medications should be started within 72 hours of the suspected exposure and should be taken for 28 days. They do not guarantee that they will not be infected with HIV, but they reduce the risk.

Get tested and get help

Get tested for HIV, especially if you are at risk. "src =" https://images.onhealth.com/images/slideshow/hiv-aids-s16-get-tested-get-help.jpg

There is no cure for HIV, but there are effective treatments that can increase life expectancy. Early diagnosis and treatment of the virus are important to achieve the best possible results. Get tested for HIV, especially if you engage in high-risk behavior. AIDS.gov provides a list of many government resources for people living with HIV, including places for testing. The CDC provides similar resources at gettested.cdc.gov or 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636).

Reference: https://www.onhealth.com/content/1/aids_hiv_symptoms_treatment_prevention

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