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World AIDS Day: Fundamentals of HIV and AIDS prevention



HIV-Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a deadly virus that proliferates in the host's body. This virus completely damages the immune system of the host. The body of the infected person can no longer fight infections and other diseases. The damaged immune system makes the human body more susceptible to many diseases. HIV attacks the immune system by destroying CD4 + (CD4 +) T cells, a type of white blood cell needed to fight infections. The destruction of these cells makes the infected person more susceptible to infections, diseases and other complications.

AIDS-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a condition that develops in a person with HIV. The advanced stage of HIV leads to the development of AIDS. It is the final stage of HIV infection when the infected person has one or more opportunistic infections such as pneumonia or tuberculosis and has a dangerously low number of CD4 + T cells (less than 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood).

Read also: Myths and Facts on HIV & AIDS

Symptoms

Symptoms of HIV can easily be confused with other diseases. However, if you notice most of these symptoms, you should consider visiting a doctor.

Early Symptoms

There are very few symptoms in the early stages of HIV infection. After one or two months, the following symptoms may occur in the infected person:

  • fever
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • enlarged lymph nodes in the cervical region

These symptoms usually disappear within one week of the month often confused with another viral infection like flu. However, during this time people are very contagious, as HIV is present in large quantities in the blood of the infected person. Some people who are infected with HIV may initially experience more severe symptoms or longer duration of clinical symptoms, while other symptoms may remain symptom-free for 10 years or more.

In late stages of HIV infection, the virus severely weakens the immune system. People who are infected with the virus may experience the following symptoms:

  • Rapid weight loss
  • Diarrhea lasting more than a week
  • ] Recurring fever
  • Extreme and unexplained fatigue
  • Lymphadenopathy of glands in the armpits, groin or neck
  • Wounds of the mouth, anus or genitals
  • Pneumonia
  • Red, brown, pink or purple Patches on or under the skin or in the mouth, nose or nose eyelids
  • memory loss, depression and other neurological disorders

Also read: 5 facts you need to know Understanding How HIV and AIDS Differ

Prevention

There is currently no cure or special vaccine for HIV. However, there are certain steps to be taken to prevent the infection from entering the body.

  • Get regular testing for HIV
  • If you are planning to have a baby, make sure that both partners are tested for HIV before and during pregnancy
  • Make sure you are taking intravenous medication use a new needle.
  • Pregnant women need HIV testing, and if they see positive results, take all measures to protect the baby from the deadly virus. This can be done by taking an antiretroviral drug and deciding to deliver Caesarean section. It protects your baby from all infections
  • Take prescribed antiviral medicines to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV-infected blood to the baby.

There are ongoing attempts to vaccinate against HIV. To date, however, there is no vaccine against HIV infection. Only prevention methods can help to reduce the spread of the infection.

Antiretroviral drugs can reduce the HIV virus present in the body. In addition, it also helps to slow down the destruction of the immune system by obtaining CD4 + T cells.

Read more articles about AIDS.

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