HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is an ailment of the human immune system provoked by the infection with HIV. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) has been given its name due to its long-term effects that pounce upon the bodyís immune system and make it weak as well as deficient. In the course of initial infection, the affected person may encounter a short period of influenza type infirmity. This condition is followed by about an extended period with no symptoms. As the condition progresses, it intervenes more and more with oneís immune system, making the individual more vulnerable to get infected, including excessive infections as well as tumors that do not generally have an effect on people whose immune system is in working state.
has been given this name because its long-term effect is to attack the
immune system of the body, making it weak and deficient. We live virtually
in a sea of microorganisms and at every moment an enormous number of them
are entering our body. It is the immune system that normally fights off
these microorganisms and keeps us healthy. Any compromise with the working
of the immune system has profound effect on our body.
When the patientís condition is aggravated by a prolonged HIV infection then the immune system gets so much weakened that it leads to a number of ailments like pneumonia, tuberculosis, persistent fever, diarrhea, and skin infections. This condition has been termed as AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
Facts to Know:
HIV/AIDS originated during the early 20th century in west central Africa. It was first identified by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) in 1981. Since the discovery of the disease, about 30 million people lost their lives due to AIDS. According to a report of 2013, about 34 million people got affected by HIV worldwide. Each day, thousands of new cases have been seen taking place in each nation of the world.
Causes of HIV/AIDS:
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is transmitted mainly through unprotected sex (anal, vaginal or oral), hypodermic needles, contaminated blood transfusions, and an infected mother to her child during pregnancy or breastfeeding. The virus of this disease is found in almost all the body fluids like semen, blood, saliva, nervous system tissue as well as spinal fluid, pre-seminal liquid (liquid that secrets prior to ejaculation, vaginal secretion), breast milk and tears. Only semen, blood & breast milk have been observed to transmit HIV infection to others.
Prevention of HIV/AIDS:
The most complex aspect of HIV/AIDS is that there is no definite cure for this disease, however can protect himself/herself by following some preventive measures discussed below.
Use a Condom when you have Sex:
If you are unaware about the HIV status of your spouse or partner then make use of a new condom each time you have vaginal or oral sex. Ladies can also make use of a female condom. While using condoms, employ only water-based lubricants as oil based lubricants can make the condom weak and cause it to break. In the course of oral sex you may use a condom or dental dam that is a piece of plastic wrap or medical-grade latex.
Use a New and Clean Needle:
If you take injection for treatment purposes, then ensure the needle is sterilized. Do not share this needle. It may cut down the rate of infection.
Inform your Sexual Partner if you are infected by HIV:
It is relevant to let your partner know about your HIV infection in case you have HIV. If you had sex with your partner then your partner should be tested & given medical care in case of contracting with the virus.
Get Medical Care right Away in Case of Pregnancy:
If you are HIV Positive and pregnant also then you may pass your infection to your baby. However, if you receive immediate treatment in pregnancy then you can cut the risk of transmission of HIV in to your baby by as much as two-thirds.
For further preventive steps you may consult your healthcare professional. Besides, educating people about HIV/AIDS is also important to lower the risk of infection.