It seems safe to say that in today's world, there left not a single person who wouldn`t have heard of HIV. All around the globe 40 million people nowadays are contaminated with this virus. Only the final stage of the ailment is known as AIDS — Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. For AIDS there is no limits, it equally affects men, females and kids. AIDS destroys a human`s immunity so much, that it becomes incapable to fight back any kinds of contagion. Any, even the most insignificant infections, can lead to a severe illness and even lead to death.
The virus can be transmitted by three clearly specified ways:
- During a negligent intercourse if one of the lovers has HIV. Therefore, necessary to defend yourself and properly use condoms
- By the blood. Transfusion of infected blood, use of dirty needles during drug use, piercings, tattoos, exploitation of a blade covered with infected blood. So it is crucial to use disposable needles and blades
- Through a HIV-positive mother to her baby during pregnancy, accouchement or breastfeeding
Also, to dispel some famous myths associated with HIV should be mentioned the next:
- Mosquitoes do not pass on HIV
- You can touch, cuddle up, kiss a HIV-positive person and wear their clothing
- You can use household items, lavatory, bathtub, linen with a HIV positive person
- It is unreal to breathe in HIV; the virus is not contained in tears, sweat and saliva
Development of HIV infection proceeds in several phases. After approximately 3-6weeks after infection the acute febrile phase begins. It does not appear in all HIV-positive, only in 50-70% of them. In the rest of the patients incubation period changes into the asymptomatic stage. Signs of HIV during the acute febrile phase are non-specific such as: fever, in most cases, to 37.5°C, sore throat, lymph nodes under the armpits and groin are enlarged, swollen, headache and pain in the eyes, pain in joints and muscles, queasiness, drowsiness, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, may develop meningitis. The duration of the acute phase is up to several weeks. After this period in the majority of HIV-infected the asymptomatic stage starts. Nevertheless in about 10% of HIV diseased the condition deteriorates. Asymptomatic stage lasts for a long time. Approximately in 50% of HIV-infected asymptomatic phase may lasts up to 10 years. The rate of the flow of this phase depends on the speed with which the virus multiplies. In this phase decreases the number of lymphocytes CD 4. When their level falls below the mark of 200 microl, doctors can assert the presence of AIDS in a patient. AIDS is the deployed stage of HIV. Most AIDS diseased die of curable ailments, as AIDS makes the immunity virtually defenseless. In some cases the virus ruins the brain, causing dementia that gets worse over time.
Unfortunately, for now there is no efficient remedy against HIV, notwithstanding the fact that scientists from different countries are conducting investigations in which put high expectations. At the present time HIV prevention is based on general activities:
- To avoid contamination use a condom during sex. But using this method of prevention cannot give 100% guarantees, even when used properly. To make sure that there is no hazard of contamination, both lovers must undergo a special examination
- Avoid the use of drugs. If you cannot give up the addiction, you must use only disposable needles, not syringes and needles that have been used by someone else
- If a mother is HIV positive, breast-feeding is contraindicated
Tests are the only way to detect whether you are HIV positive or not. The test (a simple blood test) helps to detect HIV a few years before the disease will develop. Worldwide, there are facilities for testing and counseling the patients. These establishments, besides providing support and knowledge, also ensure the anonymity of the sick people. Awareness of the presence of the ailment makes it possible to promptly begin appropriate treatment and prevent its progress and aggravation. The effectiveness of treatment consists reducing a quantity of the virus in the blood. Thus, the diseased can lead a normal life. Nevertheless, it is important not to forget the security measures which have already been discussed.