A compact guide to HIV and AIDS
HIV is a virus which is responsible for destroying the immune system of the body of human beings. This destruction of the immune system makes the body vulnerable to various infections, which might turn extremely severe in some cases. In the first stage of HIV infection, all the symptoms match with the symptoms of viral fever or the flu, but a proper identification with clinical tests and HIV medication might prevent further infection.
What is AIDS?
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the most advanced stage of HIV infection where the immune system of the body completely loses its battle with HIV. The worst part of the disease is that no specific HIV medication can cure AIDS altogether. The most vital component of the immune system of human beings is the CD4 cells, which are infected and killed by HIV. The affected individual should immediately go for HIV medication so that they can lead a better life since there is no cure for HIV.
How do you get HIV?
HIV is transmitted through blood, semen or pre-seminal fluid, vaginal secretions or breast milk. So getting AIDS or getting infected with HIV can occur only through these sources. The ways one can get HIV are as follows:
- Having unprotected sex
- Sharing needles or syringes
- Blood transfusions
- Organ transplant
- From mother to child during childbirth
- From mother to child during breastfeeding
- Tattooing and body piercing
Once a person is found to be HIV positive, they should avail HIV medication to manage the condition.
Some misconceptions about AIDS
There are some misconceptions about HIV and AIDS. People need to know that AIDS is not transmitted by the following:
- Saliva, tears, sweat, urine, and feces
- Hugging and kissing
- Shaking hands
- Insect bites
- Sharing towels or toilets
Thus it becomes imperative to know the details about HIV and AIDS to prevent it and in case infected, to avail the right treatment.