AIDS is the disease of the immune system which, in most cases, results in death. This disease is caused by the virus HIV that weakens immune system resulting in a wide array of serious conditions since the organism is not able to fight against viruses. It is very important to make the difference between HIV which is virus and AIDS which is a disease caused by that virus. If a person is infected by HIV, it doesn’t mean that the person has AIDS.
How HIV can be spread
This virus is spread primarily by bodily fluids such as blood, breast milk, and semen. It can happen during the unprotected sex, the use of needles, contaminated blood and from mother to child during pregnancy.
There are many misconceptions regarding the transmission of this virus that can lead to an unfair social isolation of the people infected with this virus. HIV can not be transmitted by the touch or kissing, by sharing clothes, cutlery, linen, by shaking hands, bites of insects or by any other way that does not include the exchange of bodily fluids.
Most common HIV symptoms
As in many other diseases at an early stage, there are no symptoms at all. Once the virus progresses (usually two months after infection), the infected person can feel fever, pain in muscles and joints, rash, headaches, sore throat and other symptoms that may be associated with the flu.
The hidden phase of the infection can last for ten years, and although present, the virus is less active in that phase, but it will cause the irreparable damage to the organism. In the end, there are the symptoms of AIDS such as frequent infections caused by the decreased immune system, weight loss, and serious diseases.
How to prevent HIV infection
The best way to keep this infection under control is by educating and informing people about this serious and often deadly infection. People should know how to protect themselves and their partners.
People should also be aware of the importance of using contraception and avoid the promiscuous behavior.
People who use drugs should not use needles which are not sterile or share their needles and equipment with others.
Every infected person should inform his or her potential partner about the infection and the risks.
People infected with HIV should not donate blood, semen or body organs.
The use of medication
HIV infection is not curable despite the great efforts of scientists to discover a cure for HIV. There are medications that are used to treat HIV to relieve symptoms. The infected person should use the prescribed medicines on a daily basis and as directed.
By using these medications, people can prolong their health and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV viruses to other people.
Also, pregnant women who are infected with HIV should use prescribed medications to reduce the chance of transmitting the virus to their children.
As a measure of prevention, the babies get medicines for six weeks after birth.