HIV stands for Human immunodeficiency virus infection and AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome, HIV/AIDS is a spectrum of conditions caused by microbes infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Up to now, there is no HIV cure or HIV treatment, but medications are effective in fighting HIV and its complications. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. This HIV virus breaks down certain cells in your immune system. This virus destroys T cells CD4+ & this T cells helps for body immunity. Although basic awareness and prevention can eliminate this disease from the society.
How HIV & AIDS is spread?
- It primarily spreads through a sex partner who is carrying this virus by unprotected sex (including anal and oral sex).
- Contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles
- From mother at the time of pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Signs and symptoms of HIV & AIDS:
- Symptoms can be like flu and may last from a few days to several weeks.
- Mild to moderate fever can be seen
- Lymphatic glands are tenderness & swollen
- Body ache
- Skin rash
- Sometimes sores of the mouth and genitals
Chronic HIV/Clinical latency: The initial symptoms are followed by a stage is Chronic HIV/Clinical latency. In many cases, after the initial symptoms it disappears, there can be any further symptoms for many years. During this time, the virus damages the immune system and organs. While typically there are few or no symptoms at first, near the end of this stage few people experience fever, weight loss, lymphadenopathy, muscle pains & gastrointestinal problems.
Late-stage HIV infection/Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS): In this stage T cell CD4+ count below 200 cells per µL. In this stage symptoms are:
- Permanent tiredness
- A fever, dry cough & night sweats
- Weight loss
- Candidiasis, cytomegalovirus
- Kaposi’s sarcoma
- Shortness of breath
Prevention of HIV & AIDS:
- The best way to prevent HIV is Practice safer sex, use a condom, lubricant for sex.
- Never share needles or other injecting equipment, including syringes, needles, blade, spoons, and swabs.
- Be aware before blood transfusion.
- Don’t use an old & used blade.
- Be aware of body piercing & body tattoo, always use the unused or sterile material.
- Screen for HIV in pregnancy. Currently, permanent HIV cure or HIV treatment can’t be possible but prevention can help to eliminate this disease from the society.
Diagnosis of HIV & AIDS:
Antibody test: During the first few months of this infection, HIV test may provide a false-negative result & may be without any significant symptoms. Between three to twelve weeks after infection, maximum people will develop detectable HIV antibodies, which can be found in the blood or saliva. OraQuick HIV Test & Home Access HIV-1 Test System kits available home test for diagnosis.
Nucleic acid test (NAT): This is for people who have early symptoms of HIV or recently had a high-risk exposure, this is an expensive test isn’t used for general screening.
Tests to know stage disease and treatment:
If it diagnosed as HIV & AIDS, several tests are needed to help a doctor determine the stage of your disease and the best treatment. These tests include:
- CD4 T cell count. CD4 T cells are white blood cells that are specifically targeted and destroyed by HIV. Even if you have no symptoms, HIV infection progresses to AIDS when your CD4 T cell count dips below 200. This test helps to count theCD4 T cell Count for proper treatment.
- Drug resistance. Some strains of HIV are resistant to some medications. This test helps your doctor determine if your specific form of the virus has resistance and guides treatment decisions, prescribe the medicine according to that.
- Viral load (HIV RNA). This test measures the amount of virus in your blood. A higher amount of viral load infection can cause the poor outcome.
- Test for other infection & disease if symptoms are present.
HIV Cure or HIV Treatment:
There is currently no HIV cure , medicine & proper care can stop the progression of the condition Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the use of HIV medicines to treat HIV infection. Daily proper medications that stop the virus from there reproducing, this medicine can’t permanently kill the virus. This helps protect your T cells, keeping your immune system strong enough to fight off disease. However, continuous research is going on it improve treatment & to cure the AIDS.
What is antiretroviral therapy?
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the use of HIV medicines to treat HIV infection, this medicine stops the virus from there reproducing but this medicine can’t permanently kill the virus. People on Antiretroviral therapy take a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV regimen) every day. Most people who are getting treated for HIV take 3 or more drugs, this is called combination therapy or antiretroviral therapy (ART) or highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Combination therapy is the most effective treatment for HIV. The first antiretroviral drug Zidovudine was developed in 1987 & later so many medicines are developed.
Diet for HIV & AIDS patients: Take the proper advice from your doctor, with HIV should eat a balanced diet, without too much fat, sugar or salt. That is because of your body will undergo changes, both from medications and the disease itself. A healthy diet can help to keep your immune system strong. Proper foods like fish, eggs, milk, beans, and nuts contain protein, which can help you build and maintain muscle & maintain proper body weight. Fruits, vegetables, and fiber provide essential vitamins and minerals and also gives you proper nutrient & feeling full. Take sufficient water. Try to maintain your Oral health & General Health.
Reference: 1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucleic_acid_test