General Overview of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

What is HIV? It’s a virus that was first discovered in the USA in 1981. Since then, an increasing number of cases are reported every year from practically all over. Its incubation period is twelve to thirteen years, after which it slowly weakens the host’s immune system. Soon after that, the host develops various diseases and dies when his body fails to endure any more infections.

CAUSES OF AIDS

The AIDS virus (HIV) is highly infectious. It has been detected in body fluids like blood, semen, saliva, tears, and urine. Here are some causes which lead to AIDS:

(I) One of the most common causes is sexual intercourse between men when one of the two is infected. The virus occurs in the fluids of their reproductive passages. This virus is even more common among homosexual males because of homosexual intercourse with an infected person. Also, prostitution is the biggest source of the infection’s spread.

(II) Contaminated blood transfusions have also led to a spike in HIV cases. This virus gets transmitted through contaminated blood.

(III) Another cause is mother to child transmission. The virus crosses through the placenta and reaches the baby in the mother’s womb.

(IV) Injection needles, if shared by more than one person, may introduce the virus from one individual to another. This is why this disease is more common in drug abusers. For the same reason, doctors in hospitals now only use disposable syringes which are used just once.

SYMPTOMS

Various symptoms may suggest that the person has AIDS. These include swollen lymph nodes, fever, night sweats, weight loss, and recurrent infections.

PREVALENCE

In India alone, it is estimated that there are more than two lakh confirmed cases of AIDS. This disease is rare among toddlers and children, but very prevalent in teenagers and young adults. WHO statistics show that there were 33 million living with AIDS in 2019. It has been found more common in African regions where one in twenty-five people is HIV positive.

TREATMENT

AIDS has no certain cure yet and no vaccine so far. However, speaking of AIDS MEDICINE, there are HIV antivirals. This kind of treatment is called antiretroviral therapy. These medicines do not cure the infection, but they have proved helpful in some cases. Taking this medicine is like giving your immune system a chance to recover.

These medications make AIDS a manageable condition. They also prevent the host from spreading or transmitting the virus to other people. However, these medications are usually more complicated than they seem to appear. Numerous side-effects can occur while having these medicines on a day-to-day basis.

It also varies from person to person, whether the medicines are likely to work. Depending upon the time for which they have been infected, the medicines are periodically changed. You must remember to consult your health care expert from time to time about your side effects. Also, having a proper medication schedule is indispensable. Delays in taking medicines or changing medicines frequently can also make the virus more resistant to those medicines in your body.

General Ideas

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