HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome)

HIV is a life-threatening virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making it weak and not able to protect the body against illness and infections. Therefore, HIV can easily lead to more severe dangers such as the AIDS virus. The infection is spread sexually, through blood, or even through childbirth.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome) Symptoms

There are those people that show symptoms of having HIV a short while after getting the infection, while on the other hand there are those that take more than ten years before the virus is discovered. HIV has several stages; the first stage is having glands, throat, groin and armpits that are swollen. The second stage includes fever, fatigue, headaches and muscle pains. These symptoms last for a few days, then for several years there is no symptom of HIV. This is the reason why it is difficult to know if someone has HIV virus or not.

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Rash
  • Sore throat
  • Mouth or genital ulcers
  • Swollen lymph glands or nodes
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

If no treatment is received for HIV, the infection could become the AIDS virus due to a severely deteriorated immune system. Signs of that HIV has turned into AIDS include:

  • Soaking night sweats
  • Shaking chills
  • Severely high fever
  • Severe cough
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • White spots or lesions on tongue
  • Severe headaches
  • Weight loss
  • Skin rash or bumps
  • Altered or worsened vision

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome) Causes

To be able to get HIV infection, your body must come across infected blood, vaginal secretion or semen. Ordinary contact does not like dancing, shaking hands, hugging and kissing with someone that is HIV infected does not result to transfer of infection. Methods that lead to HIV infection are:

  • Sex: One might become infected if they have oral, vaginal, or anal sex with a person that is infected, if the semen, vaginal secretion or blood gets into your body. The virus can be able to get into the body though a small tear, mouth sores that at times develop in the rectum or vagina during sex.
  • Blood transfusion: In case a patient is given blood that is from an infected person, then they will be infected. This is the reason that hospitals screen blood for traces for HIV antibodies.
  • Sharing needles: Sharing of syringes and needles that are contaminated with blood that is infected leads to transmission of HIV. Sharing paraphernalia of intravenous drugs puts you at a risk of being infected with HIV.
  • Pregnancies, delivery and breast feeding: Infected mothers stand a risk of infecting their babies. However, there are treatments of expectant mothers that reduce the risk of the baby from being infected.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome) Diagnosis

HIV is diagnosed by testing of saliva and blood for antibodies of the virus. The body takes time to develop antibodies; it can take up to 12 weeks and can go up to six months before the antibody test to become positive.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome) Treatment

There is no cure for HIV; however there are treatments that can be used to enable those with the virus to live a life that is long and healthy.

Medication treatment for HIV

  • If you think that you might be exposed to the virus within the past 72 hours, you can stop the infection by using anti-HIV medication.
  • If you test positive for HIV infection you will receive several blood test before starting treatment. This is because the cell count determines the time and the type of treatment that you will be receiving.
  • One of the common treatments of HIV is antiretroviral (ARV). ARV is used to stop the virus from replicating in the body. This allows the immune system to repair itself and prevents any further damage.