AIDS is a deadly medical condition on the rise. The human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that inevitably causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. There are many causes of the disease. There are ways to prevent it. There are ways it can complicate a carrier’s life. All through it, though, there are ways to live with it. AIDS is a very serious medical condition that is caused and transmitted in many ways. Unfortunately, there still is no cure. AIDS is an incessant, life-threatening condition that gradually will destroy a person’s immune system.
A person realizes they have AIDS when their immune system has become too weak to fight off various infections. HIV is the direct cause of AIDS. HIV is a virus that, over time, will attack a person’s immune system cells. While infected with this disease, a person’s immune system becomes much too weak to fend off various infections, viruses, and bacteria. When HIV gets too advanced and complex, that is when it becomes referred to as AIDS. HIV is acquired through the body through the mucous cells or through blood to blood contact.
A person can obtain this disease if they have vaginal, oral, or anal sex with another person who is infected with HIV. If one sexual partner is has infected blood, semen, or vaginal secretions, the other can become infected with the disease as well. Another way to contract HIV is to use shared sexual devices that are not clean or not covered with a condom. A person who has already contracted a sexually transmitted disease is at greater risk of developing HIV. Against what many people think, there still is no cure for AIDS.
There are many ways to prevent contracting the virus, but there is currently no cure. People take more chances of getting it, unaware that there is no cure. AIDS is transmitted in the exact way HIV is, but AIDS is the later infection of the virus. There are many symptoms to the condition, as well. The beginning stage of HIV has symptoms similar to the influenza virus including fever, headache, sore throat, and a rash. As the infection worsens, the virus provides the carrier with swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, weight loss, a fever, and shortness of breath.
In the worst phase of the infection, the person becomes subject to opportunistic infections, as pneumonia. The easiest and safest way to prevent HIV/AIDS is to avoid unsafe sexual contact with an infected person. When looking into sexual partners with an infected person, one must take careful chances and precautions. First off, men on men relationships involving HIV/AIDS are very unsafe. When two men come together, it drastically increases the chances of contracting HIV. Unprotected anal sex with casual and random partners is an increasing concern with AIDS.
Some of the reason men may be doing this because they are “serosorting, or only having sex with a partner whose HIV serostatus, is the same as theirs,” as said by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. This interaction has led to many new contractions of men who were not infected to begin with. Many people take several unsafe chances with HIV/AIDS. Seeing as there is still no cure for AIDS, a person must take very many precautions to avoid getting this virus. A good way to start is to be educated about HIV/AIDS and how it is transmitted.
Also, everyone should know the HIV status of any sexual partner that they plan on engaging intercourse of any sort. Also, a couple should always wear a condom when engaging in anal or vaginal sex. If it is two women, wear a female condom. If one of the persons is allergic to latex, provide a plastic condom. Avoid lambskin condoms, though. As they do no protect from HIV/AIDS, lambskin condoms are not a good choice for a couple who wants to remain HIV negative. Also, males should consider male circumcision.
Studies show that medically performed circumcision greatly decreases a man’s risk of contracting HIV through heterosexual intercourse. Another way is, if a person intends on injecting a needle into their arm that they do not share it. Also, make sure the needle is sterile before using it. If someone is HIV positive, they should practice safe-sex guidelines to avoid transmitting the disease to someone else. Also, a good plan would to tell or ask all new sexual partners about their HIV status. Many attributes come with the disease itself, including types of cancers and other diseases.
With HIV atrophying a person’s immune system, they are subject to many other diseases, viruses, and some forms of cancer. A person is apt to get bacterial pneumonia, mycobacterium avium complex, tuberculosis, salmonellosis, and bacillary angiomastosis. All five are caused by a bacterium that comes around an HIV positive person. Viral infections include cytomegalovirus, viral hepatitis, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, herpes simplex virus, and human papillomavirus. Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is one of the most common causes of several sexually transmitted diseases.
This especially increases in a woman’s case. A woman has a far greater chance of getting HIV/AIDS if they have already contracted human papillomavirus. Also, this can lead to cervical cancer in many women. Fungal infections include candidiasis and cryptococal meningitis. Parasitic infections include pneumocystis, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Cancers include Kaposi’s sarcoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Other complications include wasting syndrome which is fairly treatable, but it is still found in many people with cases of AIDS. Neurological complications seem to occur as well.
HIV/AIDS usually does not affect the nerve cells, but it can still cause symptoms such as confusion, forgetfulness, changes in behavior, depression, anxiety and trouble walking. One of the most common neurological problems is AIDS dementia complex. This diminishes mental functioning and leads to behavioral changes. This condition is best treated with strong anti-retroviral medicines. Many other complications occur while struggling with being HIV/AIDS positive, but these seem to be the main ones. The biggest struggle for most HIV positive people is learning how to live with their condition.
When preparing for the first few appointments, it is recommended that any person should take a relative or friend with them to help with the news and process. Also, it is good to write down questions for the doctor and to remember or write down important personal information. The people should be sure to compile a list of any medication they have taken on a daily basis. Also, it is cautioned to not have unprotected sex while waiting for a response from the doctors. As anyone gets the confirmation that they are positive, they should contact a doctor.
The doctor may ask odd questions just to learn more about the patient’s condition, but this seems to be necessary and standard protocol. If the doctor sees fit, he or she will put the patient on several treatment medicines. When HIV was first discovered in the 1980s, there were no medicines to treat it. Thankfully for people nowadays, they can retrieve medication and treatment for their various conditions. Medications to treat these diseases and viruses include anti-retroviral drugs such as nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors. This was the first anti-retroviral drug to ever be developed.
A major side effect of nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors is bone marrow suppression, which causes a decrease in white and red blood cells. Another form of medicine is protease inhibitors. This medicine interrupts HIV’s replications in the later stages. This prevents more damage to other blood cells. Side effects of this medicine include diarrhea, nausea and digestive tract infections. More medicines are non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors, fusion inhibitors, integrase inhibitors, and co-receptor inhibitors.
A person should always make sure that their doctor knows how to treat HIV/AIDS. They should also follow their doctor’s instructions in all aspects. They should go to all appointments and take medicines as regularly as the doctor specifies or recommends. They should get immunizations and not use illicit drugs or smoke. A person who is HIV positive should eat very healthy and avoid foods that could put them at risk of infection. A person can live a pretty basic life while living with HIV/AIDS; they just have to take many precautions and watch what they do.
Also, they should always have someone nearby for any emergency contact. As anyone could see, there are many disadvantages to having the dangerous disease known as HIV/AIDS. A person can live their life with AIDS, but it stunts many of their activities while struggling through the pressure the virus puts on them. One day, scientists will find a cure to this rapid-spreading disease, but for now, sexually-active people just have to take precautions to avoid contracting human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.