What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) while AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). HIV is the virus that causes HIV infection whereas the most advanced stage of HIV infection is AIDS.
This virus attacks the CD4 cells of the immune system. The loss of CD4 cells makes it troublesome for the body to battle infections and cancerous growths. This makes individuals significantly more prone to infections and diseases. Without treatment, HIV can progressively crush the immune system and progress to AIDS. In any case, it is possible to be HIV positive without developing AIDS.
Once a man has been determined to have HIV, they have it forever. Around 40,000 individuals are diagnosed to have HIV in the United States every year.
How is HIV transmitted?
Sexual transmission — it can happen when there is contact with contaminated body fluids (rectal, genital, or oral mucous layers). This can happen while having unprotected sex with HIV positive person including anal, vaginal or oral sex.
Perinatal transmission — HIV can be transmitted to child by mother during delivery, pregnancy and lactation.
Blood transmission — HIV is spread by transfusing unscreened blood from HIV positive persons, IV drug abusing, and sharing and reusing syringes contaminated by blood of HIV positive patients.
In the United States, HIV is spread for the most part by engaging in sexual relations with or sharing syringes with somebody who has HIV.
Myths about HIV:
You can’t get HIV by shaking hands or embracing a man who has HIV. You likewise can’t get HIV from contact with articles, for example, dishes, seats of toilets, or doorknobs utilized by a man with HIV. HIV does not spread through the air or through mosquito, tick, or other bug bites.
Early Symptoms of HIV Infection:
A few people with HIV contamination remain asymptomatic for several months. However, approximately 80 percent may develop acute retroviral syndrome after 2-6 months of infection in which they have flu-like symptoms.
The features of early HIV disease may include:
- Sore throat
- Fever, chills
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- sweating (especially during the evening)
- A red rash
- Oral thrush
- Significant weight loss
As a rule, after the underlying manifestations vanish, there won’t be any further symptoms for a long time. The patient is apparently healthy and has no symptoms.
During this time, the infection advances and destroys immune system. Without antiretroviral drugs, this virus keeps on replicating and depleting immune system for an average of 10 years.
This stage can be intruded if patient shows compliance for antiretroviral.
Advanced HIV infection:
This phase is also known as stage 3 HIV or AIDS. This occurs when infection is left untreated and the capacity to battle diseases is debilitated.
Symptoms may include:
- blurred vision
- Chronic diarrhea
- Dry hack
- fever of over 100 °F (37 °C) going on for a considerable length of time
- Night sweats
- Shortness of breath
- Weight loss
- Mouth ulcers
Without treatment, HIV disease advances to AIDS in 10 years or more.
How HIV is diagnosed?
Determination is made through a blood test that screens particularly for the infection. The blood is re-tried a few times previously a positive outcome is given. After contamination with HIV, it can take from 3 weeks to a half year for the infection to appear in testing. Re-testing might be essential.
An exposed person needs to be tested as soon as possible for earlier detection and successful treatment.
How is AIDS diagnosed?
Criteria below is utilized to diagnose AIDS:-
- CD4 count of less than 200 cells/mm3 in a sample of blood.
- Person has contracted opportunistic infections.
There is at present no cure for HIV or AIDS. Earlier antiretroviral medications is essential as it stops the progression and improves quality of life.
Emergency HIV pills:
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can be given with 72 hours of exposure. Treatment lasts for 4 weeks.
Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs):
ARVs battle the disease and slow down the spread of the infection. Patients are treated with a combination of drugs called HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy).
There are various subgroups of antiretrovirals; these include:
These incorporate atazanavir, cobicistat, lopinavir, ritonavir, darunavir and cobicistat.
Integrase inhibitors are elvitegravir, dolutegravir and raltegravir.
Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs)
NRTIs include abacavir, lamivudine, zidovudine and emtricitabine.
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs)
Chemokine co-receptor antagonists
These inhibitors keep HIV from entering T cells.
A blend of these medications will be utilized; the correct blend of medications is adjusted to every person.
Following safety measures should be taken to prevent HIV:
Protected sex and use of condoms
Avoid sharing sex toys
Treat sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Avoid sharing needles and syringes
Screening of blood before transfusion
Use of safety measures like gloves by healthcare professionals
C-section of a pregnant lady who has HIV infection