Aids – HIV Causes and Symptoms

Human immunodeficiency virus infectionINTRODUCTION
Human immunodeficiency virus infection and Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a disease that grows in people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). After initially being infected, the patient may not notice any symptoms immediately but may develop flu like symptoms. As minutes turn to days and later months, the immune system of the infected person starts to reduce in they start to develop infections example tuberculosis (TB). These late symptoms of infection are known   as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the patient will experience weight loss at this stage.

HIV/AIDS is considered a pandemic and from the time AIDS was identified in the early 1980s to 2018 and still counting, the disease has caused an estimated 35 million deaths worldwide and believed to having originated from west central Africa during the 19th or early 20th century. HIV/AIDS over the years has had a great negative impact on society because of illness leading to death and also has had large economic impacts worldwide. Over the years, Scientists have believed that HIV originated from a virus in chimpanzees in West Africa during the 1930s, and was transmitted to humans through the transfer of blood when they hunted these animals, the virus then spread through Africa, and to other parts of the world .

HIV progress through three stages as shown below:

First Stage
Acute Stage, the first few weeks after transmission or infection.

Second Stage
chronic stage or clinical latency, or, the speed of how it spreads in people differs on the immune system. When treatment is ignored, it can last up to a decade before advancing to AIDS whereas with treatment, it could stay forever in the body.

Third Stage
AIDS, When HIV lowers the CD4 cell count, the immune system also weakens, therefore a person with a count below 200 is considered to have AIDS.

HIV is transmitted through three main routes namely:

Sexual Contact
The most frequent mode of transmission of HIV is through sexual contact with an infected person. Infected are secretive therefore any sexual contact, it could be attained easily.

Significant exposure to infected body fluids or tissues: The second most frequent mode of HIV transmission is via blood and blood products. when getting injected, needle sharing or when using an intravenous drug could result into a blood borne-transmission, needle stick injury, contaminated blood transfusion or blood product, or medical injections that are not sterilized with the sterilizer. HIV is transmitted in about 93% of the people who share blood and it does not have to be direct but rather through such items like needles.

during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding
HIV can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, during delivery, or through breast milk, resulting in the baby also contracting HIV.  This is also known as vertical transmission

Early-stage HIV infection symptoms may include:
joint pain
enlarged glands
a red rash
muscle aches
sore throat
sweats especially at night
unintentional weight loss

Late-Stages HIV infection symptoms may include:
blurred vision
night sweats
white spots on the tongue or mouth
dry cough
permanent tiredness
shortness of breath
swollen glands lasting for weeks
fever of above 100 °F (37 °C) lasting for weeks
unintentional weight loss

There is currently no cure or effective HIV vaccine. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is the only type of treatment that slows progression of the disease. In 2010 an average of over 6.6 million people were taking them in low and middle income countries. Treatment can also be through preventive and active treatment of opportunistic infections. Prevention is always the best way of treating and avoiding AIDS.

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