Our immune system is the defense mechanism of our body it helps in fighting various infections and diseases and helps our body to recover from those diseases.
HIV Definition: The HIV virus attacks the immune system of our body thus reducing our body’s efficiency to fight and protect itself from various diseases and infection.
HIV Full Form
What does HIV stands for? HIV stands for Human immunodeficiency virus(HIV). This virus is responsible for causing AIDS which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Most people experience symptoms within 1 or 2 months of being affected by the virus. There are different strains of HIV which are clubbed together into 2 categories
- HIV-1- it is the most common type of virus worldwide
- HIV-2-it is generally predominant in West Africa, Asia, and Europe
Symptoms of HIV in Men
The symptoms of HIV in women and men are quite similar, the symptoms which prevail during early part of the diseases are as follows-
- Swollen lymph glands
- General aches and pains
During first few months the HIV test may produce a false or negative result because it takes our immune system to develop enough amount of antibodies to be detected in the HIV test but the virus is active and highly contagious during this period.
Some other symptoms of HIV which shows up during later part of the disease are as follows-
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Recurrent fevers
- Aches and pains
- Weight loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Skin rashes
- Yeast infections or other types of infection
When HIV is left untreated in can potentially convert to AIDS sooner. Some of the symptoms of HIV AIDS which prevail during this time are as follows-
- Anxiety and depression
- Night sweats
- Problems in concentrating, memory loss, and confusion
- Recurrent or chronic diarrhoea
- Rapid weight loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Bumps or rashes on the skin
- Sores or spots on mouth, tongue, genitals etc
As your immune system is weakened so there are various other complications which you might experience
- Cytomegalovirus, ( herpes virus)
- Kidney disease
- Cryptococcal meningitis
- Toxoplasmosis,(caused by a parasite)
The HIV spreads through body fluids such as
- Vaginal and rectal fluids
- Breast milk
Causes of HIV
HIV is caused by human immunodeficiency virus. The HIV generally spreads through body fluids such as blood, semen etc. different causes of HIV are as follows
- The most common way in which HIV spreads is through unprotected sex with people who are suffering from HIV
- Another common way of spreading HIV is by sharing drug needles who have been used by people who are infected by HIV
- The other method by which HIV spreads is during pregnancy from the mother to child or while breastfeeding
Some of the methods by which you can prevent HIV are as follows-
- Practice safer sex- it means that you must use a condom every time you have sex (including oral sex) until you are absolutely sure that you and your partner is not infected by HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.
- Don’t have more than 1 sex partner- try to have sex with only one partner it means that you must have sex with a partner who is physically active with you only it reduces the chances of getting affected by HIV or any other sexually transmitted disease
- Talk to your partner- talk to your partner before having sex for the first time and find out if he or she is at the risk of getting affected by HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, get tested together meanwhile use condoms as a protective measure
- Avoid consumption of alcohol or drugs before sex as it reduces your thinking capabilities and might break your vow of using condoms
- Do not share personal items such as toothbrushes, razors etc.
- Try not to share needles or syringes with anyone as it increases the risk of getting affected by HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.
Some of the ways in which HIV does not spread are as follows-
- Skin contact
- Air/ water
- Mosquitos or other insects
- Saliva, tears or sweat (until they are not mixed with the infected person’s blood)
- Eating or drinking items
- Sharing toilet
Difference between HIV and AIDS there is a very big difference between HIV and AIDS which is explained below
You don’t get infected by AIDS as soon as you are infected by HIV. A person can live with (HIV+) for many years without showing any potential signs or symptoms of the disease. According to researchers people infected with HIV and taking or consuming HIV drugs have a very low risk of getting affected by AIDS, but if HIV is left untreated then slowly and gradually it will progress into AIDS however this process can take 5 to 10 years i.e. people affected with HIV if not treated can get affected by aids within 5 or 10 years eventually breaking and weakening there immune system adversely
Us center for disease control and prevention has identified people who are having AIDS with one or both of the conditions given below
- There should be at least one AIDS-defining condition present
- CD4 cell count less than 200
Signs of HIV
There are 3 stages of HIV infection
Acute stage- it is the preliminary stages. It occurs generally within 1 or 2 months of the person being infected by HIV.
Chronic stage- it is a more advance stage of the HIV infection.
AIDS- it is the last stage of HIV infection.
There is no cure for HIV but it is controllable and people infected with HIV can lead a normal life by taking help of various HIV drugs. There is no cure for aids but individual diseases and infections are treatable.
Some of the tips which might help people in coping with HIV are as follows-
According to researchers there are about 1 million people living with HIV in the united states and it is different for different people to cope with HIV as it does not only affects your body physically but it also breaks your body on a emotional level therefore it is very important to follow the various tips below to cope up with HIV
The first thing you should do is start antiretroviral treatment as soon as possible and keep in touch with your doctor regularly and take the required medications as prescribed by your doctor. This will help you in maintaining a strong check on your health and consult your doctor immediately if any new symptom arises
Eat a well-balanced diet and exercise daily and take plenty of rest so that your body remains relaxed as HIV major symptom is fatigue, weakness thus to overcome these symptoms above mentioned step is required.
Consider your health as top priority that does not only mean physical health but you should be emotionally healthy as well. Talk to your sexual partner about it and get tested for other sexually transmitted diseases and use condom every time you have sex. According to researchers there are about 36.7 million people living with HIV in 2015 and only 46% of these people have access to antiretroviral therapy.
Out of the newly infected 2.1 million people 150000 were below the age of 15 years. Since the discovery of HIV approximately 78 million people have contracted HIV and approximately 35 million lives have been taken by AIDS. In 2015 on an average 1.1 million people died due to AIDs. According to researchers east and southern parts of Africa are the areas which have majority of people suffering from HIV or AIDS. In 2015 there were 19 million people living with HIV in Africa and 960000 more people became infected.
According to doctors a person is infected with HIV every 9.5 minutes in the united states that accounts to about 56000 new cases every year and 1 in every 5 people infected is unaware of the infection. There are about 180000 women living with HIV in united states 97% of the people who are infected by HIV represent Detectable antibodies within 21 to 84 days of catching the infection. If the women suffering from HIV does not gets treated then there is a chance of about 25% of transmitting the virus to the baby during pregnancy or breastfeeding but if proper treatment is available and breast feeding is avoided then this chance reduces to about 2%.
The life expectancy or survival rate of patient suffering from HIV during 1990s was if a person of age 19 is suffering from HIV then he have a life expectancy of about 19 years but by 2011 the life expectancy has improved to 53 years. When HIV advances to AIDS then the life expectancy without treatment is 3 years.
Some of the facts which affect the life expectancy are as follows
- CD4 cell count
- Access or availability of treatment
- Viral load
- Injection drug dose
- Serious HIV illness
Symptoms of STD
If a person is having sex weather oral, anal or vaginal intercourse he/she is at a huge risk of getting affected by sexually transmitted disease thus it is very important to have safe sex std are also referred as sti(sexually transmitted infection)
The symptoms of sexually transmitted infection are not always persistent. Sometimes a person infected with sexually transmitted diseases might not show any symptoms of the infection at all but still this infection could be transmitted from one partner to other
There is a condition in sexually transmitted infection known as chlamydia it is the infection of the genital tract. It is difficult to detect because it shows very little or no symptoms at the early stages of the infection but the symptoms or signs generally prevail at the later part of the infection. Some of the symptoms which prevail are as follows
- Testicular pain in men
- Pain while urinating
- Lower abdominal pain
- Bleeding between periods in women
- Pain during sexual intercourse in women
- Vaginal discharge in women
- Discharge from penis in men
other symptoms which persist due to other diseases transmitted through sti are as follows-
symptoms caused due to gonorrhea are as follows-
- Anal itching
- Pain or feeling of burning sensation while urinating
- Thick, cloudy or bloody discharge from vagina or penis
- There is heavy menstrual bleeding
- Painful bowel movements
Trichomoniasis is a condition which is caused by sexually transmitted infection by a single celled parasite Trichomonas vaginalis this organism spreads through sexual intercourse this organism usually affect urinary tract in men and vagina in women. The symptoms might prevail within 28 days of infection, some of the symptoms which persist are as follows-
- Strong vaginal odor
- Vaginal itching or discomfort in vagina
- Painful urination
- Irritation or itching inside penis
- Clear, white, greenish or yellowish discharge from the vagina
Test of HIV
HIV testing is done in order to identify whether a person is infected with HIV so that you and another person can be safe. The HIV test can help you to identify from how long the person is infected from HIV or whether the person is suffering from AIDs.
There are majorly three types of HIV tests which are as follows-
- Antibody tests – these tests are the types of tests which check the amount of antibodies in blood or fluids from the mouth. HIV antibodies are the disease fighting proteins which is released by the body in order to fight the HIV infection. According to doctors it takes about 3 to 12 weeks for our body to make enough antibodies so that it can be detected in the antibody tests
- Combinations tests– these tests are the tests which can detect both antibodies and antigens released by the body as a result to fight the HIV virus. The combination can detect the presence of HIV infection even before the antibody tests. According to doctors it takes about 2 to 6 weeks for our body to make enough antibodies and antigens to be detected in a combination test.
- Nat’s– these tests are the test which detect HIV in blood. According to doctors the NATs can detect the presence of an HIV infection within first 7 to 28 days of getting infected. NATs are very expensive that’s why they are not primarily considered for the testing of HIV until and unless the person is at a high exposure of with symptoms of HIV prevailing early.
HIV Symptoms of Rash
A rash is a very common symptom of HIV. What does HIV rash feel like? A HIV rash generally occurs after 2 to 3 weeks of getting infected by human immune deficiency virus thus it is very important to keep a strong check on the skin changes. Characteristics of HIV rash and its symptoms are as follows-
- A person might develop flu-like symptoms like muscle aches, feeling of illness
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Fever specially if the rash is skin related
How long does HIV rash last
HIV related rashes vary greatly specially depending upon what type of rash it is other factors responsible for this are overall health of the individual, use of HIV drugs, access to medical care etc.
The Rash which is associated with seroconversion which develops shortly after the infection disappear own its own. Rashes which occur due to chronic conditions such as herpes and psoriasis tend to come and go. Rashes which are caused by infections tend to go after treatment but as we know that HIV constantly weakens our immune system so there is possibility that the infectious rash might return. HIV negative means that the person is negative for the HIV AIDS test thus he Is not infected by HIV virus
HIV Symptoms Pictures
Below are some of the picture which are related to the symptoms of Human immunodeficiency virus. These are some HIV pictures on body.
In the end I would like to conclude that the information which I have provided will help lots of people in identifying the symptoms of HIV so that lots of precious lives could be saved and as discussed earlier a person infected from HIV can live a normal life if he takes the prescribed drugs by the doctor on time and live a healthy life which is to exercise daily, eat a balanced diet and take plenty of rest. Person suffering from HIV needs a lot of emotional support also as HIV not only breaks a person’s body physically but it also damages it mentally and emotionally so it is very important to take care of these factors and get ample amount of support from friends and family so that a person can lead a normal life.