HIV/AIDS- Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention

HIV/AIDS- Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention

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By Dr Ajay Kumar Pujala , General Physician

The human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is a virus that affects the immune system of your body eventually leading to an advanced state of the disease known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. The HIV virus is divided into two types, viz. HIV-1 and HIV-2. The most dangerous form of infection is HIV-1, which is seen as a dominant threat worldwide. The HIV infection is a fatal disease, which makes it difficult for your body to combat infections.

Symptoms-

People infected with HIV virus may not show any signs at the initial stages; however they may experience a flu-like sickness within a couple of months after having been exposed to the deadly virus. Other common symptoms are:

a) Diarrhea

b) Inflamed Lymph glands

c) Sore throat

d) Sores in mouth, including yeast infection (thrush)

e) Aching or stiffness in muscles

f) Fever

g) Heavy night sweats

h) Weight loss

Treatment:

There is no actual cure to fight AIDS, but treatments are offered in order to control the symptoms. The treatment can improve the duration and quality of life for those who have succumbed to the infectious virus.

Antiretroviral therapy is known to repress the multiplication of the HIV virus in your body. A blend of antiretroviral drugs, known as antiretroviral therapy (ART), also called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), is considered as an effective way to diminish the HIV growth rate in your bloodstream.

But when these drugs are used persistently; you may be put at an increased risk of heart attack, owing to the increased levels of glucose (sugar) and cholesterol in your blood.

Prevention:

a) Never share syringes/needles and never consume illegal drugs

b) If you are HIV positive, then you may transmit the virus to other people. So donating blood, sperm or other body organs is strictly prohibited.

c) Do not come in contact with the blood of other people with this infection

d) Breastfeeding is another way to transmit the virus to your infant; hence, it should be strictly decided against.