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Understanding HIV


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What is HIV?

HIV is an ellipsis for human immunodeficiency virus. It is a virus that provender in the human body fluids such as blood, breast milk, saliva and the sexual fluids. The virus prompts Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDs). The virus targets your immune system, therefore, weakening it and weakens the way your body would fight other common viruses, fungi, germs and other assailants causing diseases.

How HIV is spread

HIV is often spread by having unprotected sex with the folk who is infected with HIV. It is also spread through unsupervised childbirth, blood transfusion, and deep kissing. The researchers have identified that a person who is HIV-positive can pass the virus within the first week of infection throughout their lifetime. Once you contact the virus, it will multiply in your blood leading to what is referred to as ‘the viral load.’ This Viral load will reduce CD4 counts in your white blood cell hence weakening the strength of these cells in fighting the HIV together with other diseases which manifest into your body. If the Virus is not properly managed and no prior treatments are accorded, it will eventually lead to AIDS.

What Are the Stages of HIV Infection?

As indicated earlier, if you don’t treat the HIV, it will advance in various stages, taking control of your immune system and develops into AIDS. These stages are; acute HIV infection, clinical latency, and finally AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

Acute HIV Infection Stage

The first stage of HIV infection is the Acute HIV. This is the period of two to four weeks of infection. During this period, many folks develop symptoms which are flu-like symptoms. Other Symptoms may include swollen glands, sore throat, fever, rashes, and pain in the joints and muscles, and most likely severe headache. This stage is sometimes referred to as acute retro-viral syndrome (ARS) or primary HIV infection. In this stage, the body is going under natural reaction to the virus. Medics advise that people who see these symptoms should seek medical attention right away since they can get the much-needed cure.

It is at this stage that a large amount of virus is produced. This virus load destroys the CD4 cells in the body. The white blood cell will respond by producing more CD4 cells, but it will not go back to the prior counts. Further, throughout this period, you are exposed to the risk of transmitting this infection to other people. Thus, you are advised to take appropriate medical steps to reduce this risk.

Clinical Latency Stage

Immediately after the acute retro-viral syndrome, the virus leads to the clinical latency stage. During this period, the virus will continue to reproduce in your body without necessarily showing any symptom. The virus may not be detected at this juncture even with the standard laboratory tests. People at this stage are still able to transmit the virus: however, the risk is significantly abridged.

AID is the last stage of HIV which severely destroys the immune system. If you are taking ART, you can live for many years without advancing into the AIDs. Those who are not on ART can still live to a maximum of 10 years. However, research shows that others may advance into AIDs faster. During the virus evolution, the viral load continues to increase leading to an ensuing diminution in the CD4 counts.

How do we prevent HIV transmission?

The perfect channel for Preventing and Controlling the transmission of HIV is by getting tested and revealing your status to the uninfected person. Using condoms for protected sex or simply abstaining is also recommended.



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