what is hiv and aids pdf

What Is Hiv And Aids Pdf

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All currently advocated preventive measures such as health education, condom use, safer sex practices, and treatment of sexually transmitted infections have been incorporated. This volume is an excellent reference for science graduates and post graduates, medical students, research scholars and scientists across the world. Skip to main content Skip to table of contents.

What Are HIV and AIDS?

HIV is a virus that targets and alters the immune system, increasing the risk and impact of other infections and diseases. Without treatment, the infection might progress to an advanced stage called AIDS. The life expectancy of a person with HIV is now approaching that of someone who tests negative for the virus, provided that the person takes medications called antiretroviral therapy on an ongoing basis.

These are types of T cell — white blood cells that circulate, detecting infections throughout the body and faults and anomalies in other cells. HIV targets and infiltrates CD4 cells, using them to create more copies of the virus. This increases the risk and impact of opportunistic infections and some types of cancer. It is worth noting, however, that some people have HIV for long periods without experiencing any symptoms.

HIV is a lifelong condition, but treatments and certain strategies can prevent the virus from transmitting and the infection from progressing. Also, they may diagnose AIDS if a person has characteristic opportunistic infections, associated types of cancer, or both.

However, advances in antiretroviral treatments have made this progression to AIDS increasingly less common. In , there were more than 1. HIV can transmit when body fluids containing the virus come into contact with a permeable barrier in the body or small breaks in moist tissues of areas such as the genitals.

The virus cannot transmit through saliva, so a person cannot contract HIV through open-mouthed kissing, for example. One of the main causes of HIV transmission in the U. For the transmission to happen, the people must not be using barrier protection, such as a condom, or taking pre-exposure prophylaxis PrEP , a treatment that aims to prevent HIV transmission among people with known risk factors. Also, there is a chance of transmission in blood transfusions, though the risk is extremely low when blood donations are effectively screened.

HIV can only transmit through fluids that contain a certain amount of the virus. If a person has undetectable levels of HIV, the virus cannot transmit to another person. Doctors consider HIV to be undetectable when the amount of the virus in the body is so low that a blood test cannot identify it. Having undetectable levels requires a person to continually receive effective treatment and follow the recommended plan carefully, which usually involves taking medications every day.

A person with undetectable levels still has HIV, and regular monitoring with blood tests is key to maintaining this status. For the most part, other infections — with bacteria, other viruses, fungi, or parasites — cause the more pronounced symptoms of HIV. Some people with HIV have no symptoms for months or even years after contracting the virus. Partly because of this, 1 in 7 people with HIV in the U. While a person with no symptoms may be unlikely to seek care, there is still a high risk of transmission.

For this reason, experts recommend regular testing, so that everyone is aware of their HIV status. These symptoms are collectively called acute retroviral syndrome. Read about the timeline of HIV infection here.

These symptoms result from the immune system fighting off different types of infection. Anyone who has several of these symptoms and may have contracted HIV in the past 2—6 weeks should take a test. Some symptoms of HIV vary by sex. Read more about symptoms in males and symptoms in females. After the symptoms of acute retroviral syndrome resolve, many people go on to experience no HIV symptoms for years. While they feel well and appear healthy, the virus continues to develop and damage the immune system and organs.

If the person does not take medication that prevents the replication of the virus, this slow process can continue for around 8—10 years. The presence of certain opportunistic infections, involving bacteria, viruses, fungi, or mycobacteria, also help a doctor identify AIDS. A person with AIDS has a significantly increased risk of developing a life threatening illness.

Without treatment, people with AIDS typically live for around 3 years after the diagnosis. However, by taking other medications alongside HIV treatment, a person with AIDS can control, prevent, and treat serious complications.

When a person with HIV takes effective treatment, the infection may never progress to stage 3. Treatment can also help a person recover some lost immune function, which will help ward off severe infections.

Late-stage HIV reduces the ability of the body to combat a range of infections and associated complications and types of cancer. Current treatment is often effective enough to keep many infections at bay. If a person with HIV does not receive treatment, latent infections that once caused minimal or no health problems can pose a serious risk.

Doctors refer to these infections as opportunistic. Below are some opportunistic infections that can signal to a doctor that a person has AIDS:.

Candidiasis is a fungal infection that typically occurs in the skin and nails, but it often causes serious problems in the esophagus and lower respiratory tract in people with AIDS. Inhalation of the fungus Coccidioides immitis causes coccidioidomycosis. A doctor may refer to this infection in healthy people as valley fever.

Cryptococcosis is an infection with Cryptococcus neoformans fungus. Any part of the body may be involved, but the fungus usually enters the lungs and triggers pneumonia.

It may also lead to swelling of the brain. Cryptosporidiosis is an infection with the protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium. It can lead to severe abdominal cramps and chronic, watery diarrhea.

CMV can cause a range of diseases, including pneumonia, gastroenteritis , and encephalitis , a brain infection. It is a medical emergency. Herpes results from infection with the herpes simplex virus HSV.

This virus usually transmits through sex or childbirth. In a person with reduced immune function, herpes can cause painful cold sores around the mouth and ulcers on the genitals and anus that do not go away.

These sores, rather than a herpes diagnosis, can indicate AIDS. Herpes can also infect the lungs or esophagus of someone with AIDS.

Histoplasmosis is an infection with the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum , and it causes extremely severe, pneumonia-like symptoms in people with advanced HIV. Histoplasmosis can also become progressive and widespread, affecting organs outside the respiratory system. The bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis cause tuberculosis , and they can transfer through the air if a person with an active infection sneezes, coughs, or speaks.

The signs and symptoms can include a severe lung infection, weight loss, a fever, and fatigue. Tuberculosis can spread to the brain and other organs. Types of mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium kansasii are naturally present and tend to cause few problems.

However, in a person with HIV, especially if it is in the later stages, these infections can spread throughout the body and cause life threatening health issues. Many different pathogens can cause pneumonia, but a type of bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae can be one of the most dangerous for people with HIV. A vaccine for this bacterium is available, and everyone with HIV should receive it. Meanwhile, infection with a fungus called Pneumocystis jirovecii can cause breathlessness, a dry cough, and a high fever in people with suppressed immune systems, including some people with HIV.

Chronic intestinal isosporiasis occurs when the parasite Isospora belli enters the body through contaminated food and water, causing diarrhea, fever, vomiting, weight loss, headaches , and abdominal pain. When Salmonella bacteria enter the body — also usually via contaminated food or water — they can circulate and overpower the immune system, causing nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

In this case, a doctor may diagnose recurrent Salmonella septicemia. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that inhabits warm-blooded animals, including cats and rodents, and it is present in their feces. Humans contract the resulting infection, called toxoplasmosis, by inhaling contaminated dust or eating contaminated food, including commercial meats.

Toxoplasmosis can cause severe symptoms involving the lungs, retina, heart, liver, pancreas, brain, testes, and colon. To reduce the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, wear gloves while changing cat litter, and thoroughly wash the hands afterward.

A person with advanced HIV or an opportunistic infection may experience complications, including:. HIV can trigger encephalopathy, or inflammation in the brain. Doctors do not fully understand the underlying mechanisms.

PML stems from infection with the John Cunningham virus. This virus is present in many people, and it usually lies dormant in the kidneys. If a person has a weakened immune system — possibly due to HIV or medications such as those for multiple sclerosis — the John Cunningham virus attacks the brain, leading to PML, which can be life threatening and cause paralysis and cognitive difficulties. Part of the weight loss may also involve fat loss.

A person with HIV may have a higher risk of various types of cancer, including lymphoma. These can develop anywhere in the body. On the skin, a doctor may recognize characteristic solid, purple or pink spots, which may be flat or raised. These affect the lymph nodes and lymphoid tissues. Also, a female with HIV should recieve regular checks for cervical cancer. Read more about possible complications of HIV here. It is important to manage the viral load with HIV medications and take additional precautions, such as:.

Antibiotic , antifungal, and antiparasitic drugs can help treat opportunistic infections. Data suggest that 1 in every 7 HIV-positive people in the U. They will retest the blood before confirming a positive result. Home testing kits are also available. People with known risk factors should undergo testing more often. Anyone at risk of an infection can have a rapid test. If this is negative, the test provider usually recommends having another test within a few weeks.

Explaining HIV and AIDS

COVID is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation. Get the latest CDC public health information. HIV human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex sex without a condom or HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV , or through sharing injection drug equipment. So, once you have HIV, you have it for life.

A Comprehensive Guide to HIV and AIDS

At that time, "structural adjustment programs" were imposed by the World Bank to allow the granting of loans. These policies were applied by most of the countries implicated, thereby threatening educational, social and health systems, and preventing access to vital services by the most impoverished communities and individuals. In the year alone, a total of 4. This overview includes an estimate that more than 15 million children under the age of 18 have lost one or both parents due to the AIDS epidemic and its consequences. The UNAIDS report has shown that sub-Saharan Africa, particularly southern Africa, continues to be the most highly affected area on the planet, with more than 12 million children orphaned by AIDS and the highest incidence rate among young adults years old, three-quarters of whom are girls.

HIV is a virus that targets and alters the immune system, increasing the risk and impact of other infections and diseases. Without treatment, the infection might progress to an advanced stage called AIDS. The life expectancy of a person with HIV is now approaching that of someone who tests negative for the virus, provided that the person takes medications called antiretroviral therapy on an ongoing basis. These are types of T cell — white blood cells that circulate, detecting infections throughout the body and faults and anomalies in other cells.

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It harms your immune system by destroying a type of white blood cell that helps your body fight infection. This puts you at risk for serious infections and certain cancers.

HIV is a virus that targets and alters the immune system, increasing the risk and impact of other infections and diseases. Without treatment, the infection might progress to an advanced stage called AIDS.

HIV is a virus that targets and alters the immune system, increasing the risk and impact of other infections and diseases. Without treatment, the infection might progress to an advanced stage called AIDS. The life expectancy of a person with HIV is now approaching that of someone who tests negative for the virus, provided that the person takes medications called antiretroviral therapy on an ongoing basis. These are types of T cell — white blood cells that circulate, detecting infections throughout the body and faults and anomalies in other cells. HIV targets and infiltrates CD4 cells, using them to create more copies of the virus. This increases the risk and impact of opportunistic infections and some types of cancer. It is worth noting, however, that some people have HIV for long periods without experiencing any symptoms.

We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. HIV is a virus that damages the immune system. Over time, as HIV kills more CD4 cells, the body is more likely to get various types of conditions and cancers. At that point, the immune system is too weak to successfully respond against other diseases, infections, and conditions. Untreated, life expectancy with end stage AIDS is about 3 years. With antiretroviral therapy, HIV can be well-managed, and life expectancy can be nearly the same as someone who has not contracted HIV.


Today HIV/AIDS is a major global health emergency, affecting for Disease Control and Prevention, (etcc2016.org​pdf.


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus HIV. By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body's ability to fight infection and disease. It can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding. These drugs have reduced AIDS deaths in many developed nations. Some people infected by HIV develop a flu-like illness within two to four weeks after the virus enters the body.

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