What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that harms the immune system. It directly attacks the CD4 cells, a type of T cell, which in result makes the immune system weaker. While gradually killing CD4 cells in the body, it makes the entry easy for other types of infections and diseases, mainly cancer.
Patients who carry this virus experience the symptoms after a long time, which makes it difficult to diagnose initially. HIV is known as a lifelong infection, but timely diagnosis, medications, and proper care can minimize further risk and complications.
If it remains untreated, it will reach at a severe end disease stage, known as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
What are the symptoms of HIV?
In many cases, the symptoms of HIV occur very late after contracting the virus, but some of the initial symptoms of HIV may include:
- Fever of unknown cause
- Joint Pain
- Muscle Aches
- Sore Throat or chronic cough
- Sweating during night
- Enlarged Glands
- Unexplained Weight Loss
How is it transmitted?
HIV is transmitted mainly through the following any kind of bodily fluids:
- Breast Milk
- Vaginal fluid
Sexual intercourse, without using protection barriers( like condoms) with a person who has HIV can transfer this virus into your body. As well as, HIV can be transmitted through getting in touch with the blood of an infected person through maybe sharing the same needle, etc. Intravenous (IV) drugs in druggist abuse carry major chances of transmitting virus. Homosexuals and multiple sexual partners are other risks factors associated with infection.
An infected pregnant mother can transmit the virus to child, or it can also transmit through breast feeding.
There are various myths in the society about the spread of the virus and these patients are socially ignored by the people around them. We need to educate the patients and their families about the precautions by imparting correct knowledge about treatment and consequences.
Myths about HIV
HIV cannot be transmitted through many direct physical interactions, such as a handshake, hugging, sharing meals, sharing washrooms, and staying together. The patients should be encouraged to correctly follow with the clinician for the medications, treatment and check-up in time to avoid further spread of there disease. The rate of infection is controlled with medications available currently.
Is HIV and AIDS same?
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune deficiency syndrome. It is the later stage of the virus HIV. This stage arrives when the proper medication hasn’t been taken or when the virus destroys the T-cells immensely that their bodies become extremely weak to combat diseases.
A person having HIV may not necessarily have AIDS, but the people with AIDS should be having HIV, because of the explained reason above. So far, there is no treatment for AIDS, but there are some medications to prevent AIDS from developing.
Share this piece of knowledge with your friends and family to raise awareness about facts and myths of HIV and AIDS, which will help patients and society to understand it better. There are many support groups and social organizations working in for cause which can be useful for the patients.
As far as medical sciences are concerned, a lot of innovators are working for the development of the HIV vaccine which could be a medical wonder to treat and control this dreadful viral infection!