Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the condition caused by a retro virus called HUMAN IMMUNO DEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV). AIDS is characterized by set of disease affecting the human immune system. AIDS in today`s world is a disease spreading actively in all the parts of the world.
According to various researches states that AIDS originate from the central Africa. At the end of the 20th century AIDS patient across the world has increased tremendously, especially in India. Knowledge on this disease is still at a low rate and not reached everyone. Here we give the complete information on the disease.
The world aids day is on 1st December.
HIV is the retro type of virus. Once it enters the body it directly attacks the CD4 type of white blood cells in the blood and destroys them. CD4 is the main white blood cell type which fights against the infections. When these cells are destroyed body`s resistance against infections is reduced and body is more prone to infections. More infections continue to develop and these set of disease comes to the end stage called AIDS.
HIV infected person have viruses in the blood, semen and vaginal fluid.
Types of HIV:
- HIV 1 – this type is mainly responsible for AIDS all over the world.
- HIV 2 – this type is mainly seen in African regions and rare in few areas. The life time in this type is longer.
Transmission of HIV:
HIV is easily spread from AIDS affected person to others in various ways through following transmissions.
- Insecure method of sexual intercourse with the infected person.
- Having sex with more multiple sex partners.
- Blood transfusion from the infected person.
- Use of syringe for injection without sterilization.
- Transmitted from the infected mother to the child.
Possible Symptoms seen in AIDS:
Symptoms can be seen only in the last stage of HIV infection. Before that the person looks healthy and normal in all aspects. The following symptoms occur all together and suddenly.
- Persistent feverish feeling for more than one month.
- Continued cough reflex for several months, usually with dry cough.
- Sudden loss of more weight is noticed.
- Frequent diarrhea for about more than a week.
- Chronic fatigue.
- White spot seen in the mouth region
- Increased sweat during the night time
- Infectious conditions like pneumonia, tuberculosis, herpes simplex, hepatitis, meningitis, etc… are prone to show their symptoms due to weak immune system of the AIDS affected person.
- Neurological disorders – few memory loss and depressions are seen
Test for AIDS detection:
Most commonly the serological tests are used to diagnose the HIV presence. In this test the antigen and antibody presence are tested.
To test the antibody presence we have two common types of tests – ELISA and WESTERN BLOT tests. These tests are accurate in detecting the presence of antibody against the HIV infections.
In antigen test the level of antigen to provoke antibody response is checked in the serum.
In the blood test the counts for the RBCs, WBCs and PLATELETS are checked. The hemoglobin content is also checked.
The level of CD4 T cells count shows the exact phase of the HIV infection development in the body.
Viral load test:
This test indicates the amount of virus present in the body.
Various symptoms of the other infective conditions help n diagnosing the HIV infection.
AIDS has no accurate cure means; we can only fight against HIV infection. The aim of treatment is to slow down or control the progression of the HIV infection in the body. The immune system is targeted to prevent further complications. Various medications are used to control the symptoms of AIDS.
Few drugs are available to slow the progression or replication of HIV infection.
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI) drugs – ABACAVIR, DIDANOSINE, and ZALCITABINE.
- Protein inhibitor drugs – AMPRENAVIR, ATAZANAVIR, and INDINAVIR and LOPINAVIR.
- Fusion inhibitors – FUZEON or T-20.
- Highly active anti retro viral therapy.
- Non nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors.
The AIDS/HIV infection can be prevented from being infecting the body by the following ways.
- Education is the main need in creating awareness about AIDS and preventing it.
- Avoiding unsafe sexual contact with the HIV infected persons.
- Avoiding sexual contact with multiple partners.
- Use of condoms during sexual contact.
- Avoiding breast feeding of the child by the HIV infected mother.
- Following proper sterilization method in using the syringes for injection.
- Proper and comprehensive check up of blood before transmission.
Ways HIV not transmitted:
We know the mode of transmission of HIV infection. There are certain modes (people fear of transmission) through which HIV doesn`t spread or transmit.
- Open air or environment – HIV infection doesn’t spread through air from one person to another.
- Doesn`t transmit by coughing or sneezing.
- Eating foodstuff together and sharing equipment and clothes will not transmit.
- Using the same toilet or bathroom will not transmit.
- Hugging and kissing will not transmit.
- Various insects bites or house flies will not transmit HIV infection.
- Caring for AIDS patient will not infect others.
AIDS is epidemic. Today it is spreading fast in all the countries in the world. The education mode on AIDS prevention is still lacking. Furthermore campaigns are needed to be conducted all over the world. The best way to be safe from HIV infection is by awareness on it.
This article is mainly emphasis on the awareness on the fundamentals of the AIDS/HIV infection.