Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or otherwise referred to as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is labeled as one of the deadliest conditions known presently. Being capable of permanently damaging an individual’s immune system, HIV/AIDS disables the body’s natural immune system. Presently, research conducted towards finding a cure to fight it has shown no progress. Although there are medications that have proven to slow it down over time.
HIV/AIDS is normally caused by a virus. The known ways of transmitting this virus are through sexual intercourse/contact and blood transfusion. It is also transmitted to children through their mothers during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or childbirth.
Patients may start to develop symptoms that a normal person with a healthy immune system would not. The first signs become evident as a person’s immune system starts to decline. Some of the early symptoms include,
- Losing weight
- Infection – Oral Yeast
- Swelling lymph nodes
During the first indication of patients with HIV/AIDS started to surface, it was noticed that it was normally transmitted to men who had intercourse with other men. Later findings proved it possible for its transition through heterosexual contact as well. Individuals of any race, age, or sexual orientation are at risk if,
- Engaged in unprotected sex
- Have STI
- Preference for intravenous drugs
- Men who aren’t circumcised
Individuals with HIV infection are more likely to be exposed to various other diseases. These are also inclusive of different types of cancers as well, over time. Infections that are common to people with HIV/AIDS infection,
- Cryptococcal Meningitis
An individual can have HIV without being aware of it, but the progression toward AIDS is through the complete destruction of CD4 T Cells (White Blood Cells). The normal indication involves the count of WBCs dropping down to 200 or below this level.
There is no clear or definitive way to completely cure a person of HIV/AIDS infection. However, there are a number of preventive measures people can start practicing or medication that can slow down the progression of the infection. The preventive measures include,
- Medicine – Truvada
- Properly informing your partner if you have HIV
- Preference for using clean needles
- Consideration towards circumcision (Males only)
Over the years, the research conducted towards getting a better insight into HIV/AIDS infection has provided valuable information to medical institutions, academia, and government. The research has proven its pathogenesis, immunology, epidemiology, and treatment. Various actions have been taken into spreading awareness among the masses, causing a drastic drop in deaths caused by HIV/AIDS in the United States.
“HIV/AIDS – Symptoms And Causes.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., 2018. Web. 18 Mar. 2018.
“What Is HIV / AIDS & How Do You Get It?.” Plannedparenthood.org. N.p., 2018. Web. 18 Mar. 2018.
Wong, Eric Y, and Indira K Hewlett. “HIV Diagnostics: Challenges And Opportunities.” HIV Therapy 4.4 (2010): 399-412. Web.