Patient Awareness

HIV and AIDS facts -How You Get It, Stages & Tests

HIV and AIDS facts
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HIV is Human Immunodeficiency Virus that attacks body and causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). This disease affects the immune system of the body thereby inhibiting its capacities to fight off diseases caused by bacteria and viruses. HIV is not a disease by itself but it causes AIDS. Know the basic HIV and AIDS facts 

What causes AIDS?

AIDS is caused by multiple factors involving exposure to infected semen, blood and vaginal fluids. The major HIV and AIDS facts revolve around various determinants include:

  1. Unprotected sex with an infected partner
  2. Sharing needles, razors, towels etc that may be infected with the HIV  virus
  3. From mother to the child
  4. Carrying Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as Chlamydia, gonorrhoea etc. which can weaken your immunity.

What are the stages of HIV?

  1. Acute: This is the earlier stages of HIV that develops within 2-4 weeks of infection. Acute HIV comes with fever, rashes on the body and nausea. This is the stage where possibility of transmission of the disease is at its peak.
  2. Chronic:  also called as asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency, is the second stage of HIV where the virus grows in the body at a comparatively lower speed than Acute HIV. The symptoms of this stage are negligible however if a person is infected. She/he is very much capable of transmitting it.
  3. AIDS: The final stage is AIDS which generally develops 10-12 years after acquiring HIV. In this stage, the body cannot sustain any disease and has no immunity since it’s destroyed by HIV. The average lifespan of a person tested with AIDS is 3-5 years at the maximum, without treatment. Knowing the basic HIV and AIDS facts will help know the stages of HIV in time. 

Types

  1. Standard tests: In a standard HIV test, blood is taken from your vein and tested. The results may take over 2 weeks to come which are shared with the patient confidentially.
  2. Rapid HIV test: As the name suggests is a screening test done by a tiny prick on the finger which is tested and the results are out within a matter of few minutes. The results of these tests, again, are shared confidentially with the concerned person.

The results, if positive mean that the person has acquired HIV and vice versa for negative. It is recommended to read more HIV and AIDS facts to stay informed and healthy. 

Treatment

As of now there are no treatments, cure or vaccine for HIV. However, a few medicines if taken regularly with active care of the body can reduce the rate of progression of the disease in the patient’s body.

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