HIVis an abbreviation for the human immune deficiency virus while AIDSis the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV therefore is the virusthat causes infection. It can be either the virus or the infection.When the HIV becomes more advanced, it is referred to as AIDS. Whenthe human body contracts the HIV virus, it attacks the immune systemand destroys the cd4 cells which are the infection fighting cells inthe system. When the CD4 cells are destroyed, the body cannot fightback diseases and infections like cancer and therefore the infectionadvances to AIDS.
HIVand AIDS can be spread through contact of infected body fluids. Thebody fluids can be either intentional or unintentional. Those of theinfected person and when it comes into contact with the fluids of theuninfected person, it is transferred and the individual becomesinfected. The body fluids include blood, breast milk, vaginal fluids,semen, pre-seminal fluids and rectal fluids. When HIV is spread fromone person to another, it is referred to as HIV transmission. Whentransmitted from mother to child either through breast feeding or atbirth, it is termed as mother- child transmission.
Inthe United States, the sexual disease is commonly spread throughsexual contact with infected person and also sharing the druginjection objects such as needles. This can be reduced heavilythrough correct and consistent use of condom during sexualintercourse. The spread of the virus can also be reduced by avoidingthe sharing of sharp objects and reducing the number of sexualpartners.
Mostof the children become infected with HIV and aids during birth if themother is HIV positive. The transmission can be reduced through theadministration of the HIV drugs to the mothers during pregnancy, whenthey are giving birth and also to the babies after they have beenborn (Dick, 2006). There have been a number of myths andmisconceptions about the transmission of HIV and aids. One cannot beinfected just by the shake of hands with infected persons, using thedoor knob used earlier by an infected person, and also sharing dishesand toilet seats with HIV positive person.
Antiretroviraltherapy refers to the act of using the HIV medicine to treat theinfection. Antiretroviral therapy from time to time is abbreviated asART. ART involves the use of a number of the HIV medicine everyday soas to treat the hive infection. The medicine is called theantiretroviral and abbreviated as ARVs. ART does not completely treatthe infection but restrict the virus from multiplying and spreadinginto the body organs.by so doing, it therefore reduces the level ofHIV in the body of the infected person.
Whenthe level of virus causing disease is kept as low as possible, theimmune system is maintained if not boosted, and therefore the HIVcannot advance to higher levels such as aids. Apart from ART boostingthe immune system, it is also important in reducing the chances oftransmission. There is no cure yet for HIV but the art is used toenable the people living with HIV to live longer and also livehealthier lives.
Thedisplay of the symptoms by the people infected with HIV and aids isnot uniform. Some people shoe the symptoms immediately after theinfection while others take long to display. Immediately afterinfection, some people show symptoms such as headache, rash orheadache. The symptoms come for either a month or two immediatelyafter infection and then the person live normally.it is after thisfirst and early stage where the HIV virus multiply in the body andadvance to aids (CDC, 2012). After its advancement to aids, then thefull blown symptoms is displayed, the symptoms in the full blownstage include the intensive weight loss, extreme diarrhoea andopportunistic diseases.
Opportunisticinfections refer to the infection that attacks the body of anindividual who is infected more than that of an individual who isnot. This is due to the weakened immune system for exampletuberculosis. The transmission of is possible in anystage of infection even when the individual shows no symptoms andwould be assumed by many to be healthy.
Thediagnosis is aimed at determining whether the person infected withthe virus has aids. The process can be achieved in two main methods.The first method is by determining the number of CD4 cells in asample of blood. The normal CD4 count of a non-infected individual is500- 600 per millimetre of blood. If one is diagnosed and the countis less or is to a point of 200 CD4 cells per mm of blood, then theperson is infected with aids. The second method is through thedetermination of the opportunistic infections. If an individual isfound with more than one of the opportunistic infections, then theHIV virus has advanced to aids (Maguire, 2004).
CDC, LONG , H. “Medical Care 916.” AIDS (2012): 874-7720.
Dick, Bruce. “A Systematic Review of the Evidence From Developing Countries.” Preventing HIV/ AIDS in Young People (2006): 983.
Maguire, Steve, Cynthia Hardy and Thomas. “HIV AIDS Treatment and Advocacy in Canada.” Academy of Management Journal (2004): 657-679.