AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a disease caused by a virus called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The illness alters the immune system, making people much more vulnerable to infections and diseases. This susceptibility worsens as the disease progresses. HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person (semen and vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk). The virus is passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood and sexual contact.
In addition, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy, delivering the baby during childbirth, and through breast feeding. HIV can be transmitted in many ways, such as vaginal, oral sex, anal sex, blood transfusion, and contaminated hypodermic needles. Both the virus and the disease are often referred to together as HIV/AIDS. People with HIV have what is called HIV infection. As a result, some will then develop AIDS.
The development of numerous opportunistic infections in an AIDS patient can ultimately lead to death. According to research, the origins of HIV date back to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century in west-central Africa. AIDS and its cause, HIV, were first identified and recognized in the early 1980s. What is the difference between HIV and AIDS? HIV is the virus which attacks the T-cells in the immune system. AIDS is the syndrome which appears in advanced stages of HIV infection.
HIV is a virus. AIDS is a medical condition. HIV infection causes AIDS to develop. However, it is possible to be infected with HIV without developing AIDS. Without treatment, the HIV infection is allowed to progress and eventually it will develop into AIDS in the vast majority of cases. HIV testing can identify infection in the early stages. This allows the patient to use prophylactic (preventive) drugs which will slow the rate at which the virus replicates, delaying the onset of AIDS.
AIDS patients still have the HIV virus and are still infectious. Someone with AIDS can pass HIV to someone else. Preventing AIDS AIDS, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is caused by a viral infection (HIV) that wreaks havoc on the body’s immune system. The following information will help you protect yourself against HIV and AIDS. AIDS Information Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes AIDS, which is the term used to describe the later, potentially more serious, stages of HIV infection.
HIV damages the immune system and destroys the body’s CD4 T lymphocytes (T cells), one of many types of white blood cells the body uses to fight disease. T cells help the immune system “identify” foreign organisms that should be attacked. Thus, when the T cells are destroyed, it’s like being defended by a leaderless army that is easily defeated. A person can be infected with HIV for ten years or even longer without showing any symptoms. However, in most cases, during that time the virus is attacking the immune system and destroying T cells.
By the time HIV damages enough cells to bring on full-blown AIDS, many of the typical symptoms can be present: weight loss, sporadic fevers, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, and opportunistic infections such as certain types of pneumonia. Rare cancers and infections of the kidneys, digestive system, and brain can also develop. HIV is passed from person to person by direct contact with blood or other body fluids through activities like unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sexual contact with an infected person or through sharing syringes or needles during intravenous drug use or tattooing.
HIV-infected mothers can transmit the virus to their children during pregnancy, during childbirth, or through breast milk. Before 1985, HIV was passed through blood transfusions. Today, however, according to the American Red Cross, donated blood is routinely screened for HIV, making the risk of acquiring HIV through a blood transfusion less than one in 1. 5 million. A great deal of progress has been made in the nearly 30 years since HIV and AIDS were first recognized.
Although HIV infection is a terminal illness with no cure or vaccine, people today can live with HIV for years, and they might not develop AIDS, thanks to a combination of medications. With treatment, HIV/AIDS can be considered a chronic disease like high blood pressure or diabetes in many people. However, HIV infection is a major threat in the developing world, where treatment is often unavailable. According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, 24. 5 million of the 38. 6 million people in the world who are infected with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa.