Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). What is it? What causes it and why? Can I get it? How can I prevent myself from getting it? All of these questions can be answered. The main problem besides having AIDS, is not being educated enough to know how and why people are dying all over the world.
Aids is caused by a virus called the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. A virus is one of the smallest germs that cause diseases. If you have unprotected sex or share needles or syringes with an infected person, you may become infected with HIV. Specific blood tests can show evidence or HIV infection. You can be infected with HIV and have no symptoms at all. You might feel perfectly healthy, but if you are infected, you can pass the virus to anyone you may have unprotected sex or share needles or syringes with.
AIDS and HIV are two different viruses, but HIV well eventually turn into AIDS.About half the people with HIV develop AIDS within 10 years, but between infection with HIV, the onset for AIDS can vary greatly. The severity of the HIV related illness or illnesses will differ from person to person, according many factors but mostly to the overall health of the individual. The new advances in technology are helping postpone the advancement of the disease.
Lets start at the beginning. First, lets learn what AIDS is. AIDS is an acquired defect in your immune system. The passing of any bodily fluids could technically be used as a passage way for the virus. Once infected with HIV it will begin to attack your CD4+cells, commonly known as your t-cells or t-helpers and they will begin to drop in numbers. You measure the damage to your immune system by HIV and your ability to fight infection. This virus then spreads and damages your t-cells where you are left vulnerable for attack from any other diseases. A weakened immune system is very vulnerable to colds and flues. A common cold or flu that would only make me sick could be fatal to someone with a low immune system.
The first cases of AIDS were reported and recorded in 1981, by the end of 1992 more than 250,000 Americans have developed AIDS and more than 170,000 had died from it. The majority of the first case of victims that died were gay men, but now is just as prominent in heterosexual men and women. The largest number of victims have been the black and Hispanic races.
Most people do not have any symptoms when they are first infected with HIV.
Because the look and feel healthy, most people with the HIV infection do not know they are infected with HIV until they find out on a accidently. Most Americans that unknowingly had HIV found out from giving blood. Although those people may not feel any different now that they have HIV and they may not have any affects anywhere from a few weeks to many years. Symptoms of AIDS and HIV can take many forms, but the symptoms usually include fever, diarrhea, weight loss, tiredness, and enlarged lymph glands. Since HIV destroys the immune system, and a person with AIDS often gets many types of infections, and those infections happen more often and are worse. Some infections that may occur include yeast infections in the mouth or throat and serious infections caused by the herpes viruses. Other common problems that occur when the person develops with AIDS is pneumonia, tuberculosis and a cancer that causes purple blotches under the skin. When you get these colds or diseases you may never get any better or it may keep coming back. HIV can also affect the brain and the nervous system causing loss of memory.
The virus known as AIDS does not care what race, age or religion that you are, anyone that you meet could at one time put you in a threat of coming in contact with HIV, or AIDS. HIV is in the blood stream, semen, saliva, and vaginal secretions of an infected person.The two main ways of becoming infected with AIDS is through sex with an infected person or the use of needles that have been used by an infected person. The safest way of not getting HIV or AIDS is through abstinence but if you are sexually active, using a condom, and not using used needles will keep partially protected from the devistating disease .