According to worldwide statistics, a large number of people are affected by AIDS. By the end of 2016, 36.7million people were living with aids in this world. This severe medical condition leads to various complications in physical health, and the later stages are life-threatening.
Having a complete knowledge about AIDS is the only way to prevent this condition from affecting an individual. So, going through this article will help you learn about it in details.
What is AIDS?
AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This virus attacks CD-4 which are immune cells. The CD-4 are T-cells’ subset. It depends whether the syndrome will appear or not in HIV infection’s advanced stage. It means an individual can suffer or contract the infection without developing the syndrome. However, without adequate treatment HIV progresses to later stages and AIDS develop eventually in most cases.
Causes for this deadly virus
The retrovirus HIV infects vital cells and organs of human beings’ immune system. Hence, without ART (antiretroviral therapy), this virus spreads all over a person’s body. ART is a drug therapy which prevents or slows down the virus’ development.
Also, depending on factors and person; this virus progresses. The factors include a person’s age, body’s immunity against HIV, other infectious presence, genetic inheritance, availability of adequate healthcare, resistance against particular HIV strains, etc.
How does this virus transmission happen?
In three different ways, a person can transmit this virus:
- Sexual transmission
It can occur when an uninfected individual comes in contact with sexual fluids (genital, oral mucous or rectal membrane) which are infected. This can take place if people have sex which includes oral, anal or vaginal sex with an HIV positive person without using condoms. Also, sharing sex toys with such an individual can lead to acquiring HIV.
- Blood transmission
The risk of getting through this method is quite low in any developed country due to meticulous precautions and screening of blood. However, people might get this if they reuse a syringe contaminated with HIV to inject drugs or otherwise in their body.
- Perinatal transfer
A mother suffering from HIV positive infection can transmit it to her children during pregnancy, childbirth, or through breastfeeding.
Early HIV symptoms
The occurrence of symptoms varies from person to person. For some, it takes a few months while some others face the symptoms years after contracting the virus. However, more than 80% of people develop symptoms within 2 to 6 weeks after they expose themselves to the HIV. People know this as an acute retroviral syndrome. Some signs are:
- Joint pains
- A sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Enlarged glands
- Red rash
- Loss of weight unintentionally
It is essential to be mindful of these symptoms, as this throws light on the fact that the body is fighting against several viruses and not only HIV. Having several symptoms and if there is a chance you may have this virus, a quick check-up is a must.
So, tread carefully and always be careful!