Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening disease caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It’s an advanced stage of HIV and the survival rate is very low. The HIV that enters into our body damages the immune system of our body failing to fight against the infectious virus. Fortunately, with different treatment and vaccinations, there are chances of people who survive before reaching this stage.
According to the WHO, over 70 million people have been infected by HIV and about 35 million have faced the death. In 2015, over 36.7 million were infected with HIV.
Examining the Cause of AIDS:
This viral infection is transmitted through unsafe sexual contact and other transmission ways. The virus entering our body destroys CD4 cells- which is an important white blood cell. Since the CD4 cells are killed, the immune system weakens giving way to AIDS.
There are many ways an individual can get infected with HIV:
- Sexual Contact: If you sexually contact with an HIV infected person through oral sex or semen secretion, the virus can enter into your body.
- Blood Transfusion: Virus can enter through the blood transfusion during test or surgery. Blood banks and hospitals are now screening every blood before infusing into the body of the patient.
- Sharing Needles: The virus can be transmitted through needles and syringe having contaminated blood.
The HIV later progresses into AIDS when the patient isn’t given treatment or vaccine to stop the virus multiplying.
Signs that you’ve AIDS- Symptoms:
AIDS is an advanced stage of HIV when the immune system is severely damaged. AIDS symptoms have different stages and it increases as the HIV infection progresses. In the initial stage, person may get flu symptoms which can go away within a week, but it progresses to AIDS in next 10 years where he will witness symptoms of AIDS like:
- High Fever
- Weight Loss
- Oral Yeast Infection
- Chronic Diarrhoea
- Muscle Pain
This is the stage where the immune system is severely damaged and your body has no energy to fight the virus.
Saving your Life- Treatment and Prevention:
Recently, there have been many treatments processed to cure the diesease. Two types of HIV vaccines are tested- Preventive and Therapeutic. Under therapeutic, Antiretroviral Therapy is performed to control the virus. It is directed to consume along with other medications, helping to improve the immune system and increase the life expectancy. After going through few tests, doctors would put you on medication to bring down the symptoms level.
You’ll also be under observation to see the CD4 cell count. It is important to increase the count of CD4 cell helping the immune system to fight the virus. Besides medication, there are other preventive steps like:
- Safe sex
- Avoid sharing needles
- Consumption of advised healthy food
- Getting Immunizations to prevent infections
- Seek medical assistance in the initial stage of symptoms
Being the most dangerous disease, HIV/AIDS is now under control. Many countries have taken preventive step like educating people about unsafe sex and other mediums. Taking right precaution will certainly keep you away from this dreaded disease.