What exactly is HIV ?
HIV is a virus that targets and causes the immune system to malfunction. HIV infects and destroys CD4 cells, a kind of immune cell known as a T cell, if left untreated.
As HIV destroys more CD4 cells, the body becomes more susceptible to a variety of diseases and malignancies. The virus cannot be spread by the air, water, or through casual touch.
HIV is a lifelong disease because it inserts itself into the DNA of cells. There is presently no medicine that will eradicate HIV from the body, but many scientists are attempting to develop one.
It is, nevertheless, feasible to control HIV and live with the infection for many years with medical care, including antiretroviral medication.
A person with HIV who does not get treatment is at risk of developing the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, also known as AIDS.
In the United States, an estimated 1.2 million persons are HIV-positive. One out of every seven of these people is completely ignorant that they are infected. HIV can have an impact on the entire body.
What exactly is AIDS ?
AIDS is a disease that can develop in HIV-positive individuals. This is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. However, just because someone carries HIV does not indicate they will get AIDS.
CD4 cells are killed by HIV. CD4 counts in healthy people range from 500 to 1,600 per cubic millimeter. AIDS is diagnosed when a person’s CD4 count falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter.
If a person with HIV and develops an opportunistic illness or malignancy that is uncommon in HIV-negative persons, they may be diagnosed with AIDS.
Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia is an opportunistic illness that exclusively affects people who are highly immunocompromised, such as those with advanced HIV infection (AIDS).
HIV can develop to AIDS in a decade if left untreated. AIDS has no cure at the moment, and without treatment, a person’s life expectancy after diagnosis is around three years.
If the person gets a severe opportunistic illness, this time frame may be reduced. Treatment with antiretroviral medicines, on the other hand, can prevent the development of AIDS.
If AIDS develops, it indicates that the immune system has been significantly weakened, to the point that it can no longer respond effectively to most illnesses and infections.
This makes an AIDS patient vulnerable to a variety of illnesses, including pneumonia, tuberculosis, oral thrush, a fungal infection of the mouth or throat, cytomegalovirus (CMV), a type of herpes virus, cryptococcal meningitis, a fungal infection of the brain, toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection of the brain, cryptosporidiosis, an intestinal parasitic infection, cancer, Inc.
The shorter life expectancy associated with untreated AIDS isn’t due to the disease itself. Rather, it’s the outcome of the illnesses and problems that come with having an AIDS-weakened immune system.
What is the link between HIV and AIDS ?
A person must have caught HIV in order to develop AIDS. However, carrying HIV does not guarantee that a person will get AIDS.
HIV cases are divided into three stages
- Stage 1 is the acute stage, which occurs within the first several weeks following transmission.
- Stage 2 clinical latency, also known as chronic latency
- Stage 3 AIDS
The immune system decreases as the CD4 cell count drops due to HIV. CD4 counts in adults range from 500 to 1,500 per cubic millimeter. AIDS is diagnosed when a person’s count falls below 200.
The rate at which an HIV infection develops through the chronic stage varies greatly from person to person. It can persist up to a decade without therapy before progressing to AIDS. It can be treated and made to endure eternally.
Although there is no cure for HIV, it can be controlled. With early antiretroviral medication, people with HIV can frequently have a near-normal lifetime.
In a similar vein, there is presently no known treatment for AIDS. Treatment, on the other hand, can raise a person’s CD4 count to the point where they are no longer diagnosed with AIDS.
Treatment can also aid in the management of opportunistic infections. Although HIV and AIDS are closely connected, they are not the same thing.
Know the facts about HIV transmission.
HIV may infect anyone. The virus is spread by body secretions such as:
- Fluids in the vaginal and rectal canals
- Milk from a mother
A blood transfusion or an organ and tissue transplant can also spread the virus. In the United States, however, strict HIV testing among blood, organ, and tissue donors guarantees that this is extremely unusual.
HIV can possibly be spread through oral intercourse and is regarded exceedingly uncommon.
Being bitten by an HIV-positive individual
- Contact between damaged skin, wounds, or mucous membranes and HIV-positive person’s blood
- Skin-to-skin contact, embracing, shaking hands, or kissing air or water do not transmit HIV.
- Exchanging food or drinks, including saliva, tears, or perspiration from drinking fountains (unless mixed with the blood of a person with HIV)
- Mosquitoes or other insects mosquitoes or other insects sharing a restroom, towels, or beds
It’s crucial to remember that if a person with HIV is being treated and has a viral load that remains undetectable, it’s nearly difficult for the virus to spread to another person.
HIV is a kind of virus that may be passed from African chimps to humans. Scientists believe the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) spread from chimpanzees to humans when individuals ate virus-infected ape meat.
The virus evolved into what we currently known as HIV after it entered the human population. This happened around the 1920s, most likely.
Over the course of several decades, HIV spread from person to person across Africa. The virus eventually spread to other regions of the globe. HIV was identified in a human blood sample for the first time in 1959.
HIV is considered to have been present in the United States since the 1970s, although it wasn’t widely recognised until the 1980s.
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. If you haven’t caught HIV, you can’t get AIDS.
CD4 counts range from 500 to 1,500 per cubic millimeter in healthy people. HIV continues to proliferate and kill CD4 cells in the absence of therapy. AIDS is diagnosed when a person’s CD4 count goes below 200.
Furthermore, even if a person with HIV develops an opportunistic illness linked to the virus, they can still be diagnosed with AIDS if their CD4 count is above 200.
Is there a difference in HIV symptoms in males ?
HIV symptoms differ from person to person, although men and women have the same symptoms. These symptoms may appear and disappear, or they may worsen with time.
If a person has been infected with HIV, they may have also been infected with other sexually transmitted diseases (STIs). These are some of them:
STI signs such as sores on the genitals may be more noticeable in males and individuals with a penis than in women. Men, on the other hand, do not seek medical attention as frequently as women.
Is there a difference in HIV symptoms in males and women ?
The majority of HIV symptoms are the same in men and women. However, the symptoms they experience as a whole may differ depending on the dangers men and women face if they have HIV.
STIs are more common among HIV-positive males and women. Women and those who have a vaginal canal, on the other hand, may be less prone than males to detect tiny spots or other alterations in their genitals.
HIV/AIDS Treatment Options
- Regardless of viral load, treatment should begin as soon as feasible following an HIV diagnosis.
- Antiretroviral therapy, a combination of daily medicines that prevent the virus from replicating, is the most common treatment for HIV. This aids in the protection of CD4 cells, allowing the immune system to remain robust enough to combat illness.
- Antiretroviral treatment (ART) is a drug that prevents HIV from developing to AIDS. It also reduces the risk of HIV transmission to others.
- The viral load will be “undetectable” when therapy is effective. Despite the fact that the person still has HIV, the virus is not apparent in test results.
- The virus, however, is still present in the body. If the individual quits taking antiretroviral medication, the viral load will rise again, and HIV will be able to target CD4 cells once more.