AIDS, an acronym for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is a persistent, potentially life-threatening condition brought about by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The HIV disease interferes with the body's immune system hence compromises its ability to fight the organisms that cause the disease.
The symptoms associated with AIDS depend on the level of infection. If you notice that you have been infected with the HIV or you are potentially exposed the risk of contracting the disease, you should seek treatment as soon as you can. When treatment is sought early enough, it becomes easier to reduce the effects of the HIV. For primary infections the symptoms include
Early Symptomatic AIDS infection
Progressive AIDS symptoms
HIV, the virus that causes AIDS is sexually transmitted. The virus can be also spread by coming into contact with blood containing the virus or from mother to child during pregnancy, at childbirth or through the mother's milk. It may take several years before the HIV totally makes the immune system weak to such a point that you have AIDS. The HIV continuously attacks the immune system cells. As this damage continues, the body generally becomes weak and is vulnerable to infections. In short, it is at the advanced stage of HIV infection that a person is said to have AIDS. HIV affects the CD4 cells, and a person is said to be HIV positive if their CD4 count is below 200.
HIV is typically diagnosed by conducting tests on blood or saliva antibodies for the virus. Note that it takes relatively long for the body to develop the antibodies. At times, it may take up to 6 months for an HIV test to become positive. Some of the HIV/AIDS diagnosis tests include:
There is no known cure for AIDS. However, there are a number of drugs that can be used to control HIV and reduce its effects. Each group of drugs used to control HIV works by blocking the activities of the virus in a number of ways. For the best results, it is advisable that you use a combination of at least three drugs for different classes. This helps minimize the chances of creating strains of HIV that are immune to single drugs. You and your health care profession need to come up with a treatment regimen that suits your needs. Factors that determine your treatment plan include things such as the will and readiness to start therapy, the stage of infection and other health problems.
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