Aids stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It means that it is infectious and can cause a weakened immune system and cause a group of health trouble. Aids is the final process in an infection called HIV. There is no cure for Aids at this time. It can be spread from person to person through the exchange of bodily fluid. There are ways to prevent it from spreading and things to know to keep you safe.
HIV is passed on to someone by an infected person. It can be contacted through sex, sharing needles with an infected person, being born to an infected mother or drinking breast milk from an infected person. And in very rare circumstances can HIV be transmitted through oral sex and kissing when there are deep cuts in the mouth. In the past HIV was transmitted through blood transfusions but now tests screen for it before the blood is given out to someone who needs it.
HIV can show no symptoms and not be able to be found in blood for months after being infected. That is why when a person comes to get tested for HIV they are told to come back in six months for another test just to be sure. Symptoms may first appear like a cold with things like fever, headaches, body aches, swollen glands sore tummy and joints that may last for a few weeks. This usually passes and the person goes on with their life and they may not know that this was actually the onset of HIV setting in.
A person can have HIV for up to ten years and not show any signs of it. However, the disease is still at work as it deteriorates the body over time creating a weak immune system. When HIV is first transmitted to a person, their body will make anti-bodies to fight it off. When a blood test is taken it is the anti-bodies that are shown and that tell the lab technician that HIV is present.
HIV works by destroying CD4 cells that help your immune system work. A healthy person has anywhere from 500 to 1500 of these CD4 cells. Aids is present when these cells go down to under 200 of the CD4 cells. A person can receive treatment that can slow down the process of HIV, the Antiretroviral medicine works by trying to keep some of these cells alive as long as possible.
In the 1990's Aids was the leading cause of death. Currently there is 1 to 1.2 million people infected with the virus in the USA alone. And studies show that a quarter of these people do not even know that they have it. Statistics have also revealed that 75% of people infected are men while the remaining 25% are women.
To prevent HIV and Aids it is advisable to not share needles with anyone for any reason. Keeping yourself safe might mean that you have to keep needles stocked up and to always have them with you if you feel you might be using them during the day. Another way to prevent HIV is to have you and your partner tested before becoming active. It is also healthier to have few sexual partners and use protection when you are engaging in sex or oral sex. Even one time of unprotected sex or shared needles can result in a lifetime of HIV.
HIV will eventually lead to Aids of which there is no cure for. Medicine can help to slow the process but the time span of a person infected with HIV is unknown most peak around ten years where AIDs sets in and the immune system begins to shut down. Which makes common illnesses deadly for someone with the disease.
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