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STD Awareness

Quick Facts about AIDS

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One of the world’s most significant health problems today is HIV and AIDS. The epidemic is worse in low and middle-income countries, however, it is a problem all over the world. In 2017, there were an estimated 20.9 million people in the United States who were receiving treatment for the HIV virus. Over the last decade or so, progress has been made in preventing AIDS. People who are diagnosed with the HIV virus can start taking anti-retroviral medications that can slow down the progress of the AIDS virus. There are plenty of facts and data about this disease that everyone should know to prevent it and treat it.

#1 The Virus Was Not Always Called AIDS

In the late 70’s and early 80’s, doctors didn’t know what the AIDS virus was or what caused it. It was originally thought that only homosexual men could contract the virus. Because of this, it was called Gay Related Immune Deficiency (GRID). It wasn’t until heterosexual people were coming down with the disease that they realized that everyone was susceptible to the virus.

#2 HIV Infects The Immune System

The disease causes the immune system to deteriorate. This can make it difficult for the body to fend off infections and diseases. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV and there are over 20 infections and cancers that can occur during this stage.

#3 It Can Be Transmitted in a Variety of Ways

There are a few ways that this disease can be transmitted.

  • Unprotected sex with an infected partner (oral, anal, or vaginal)
  • Sharing needles with an infected person
  • Transfusion of contaminated blood
  • Between mother and baby during pregnancy
  • Use of contaminated surgical equipment

#4 HIV/AIDS Can Be Prevented

There are several ways that you can keep from contracting the HIV virus. These methods include:

  • Have protected sex by always using a condom. This includes when having oral sex.
  • IV drug users should only use clean, fresh needles and they should never share with others.
  • When getting a tattoo or a piercing, make sure the artist is always using fresh needles.
  • Ensure that any blood products you are given have been tested.

#5 Early Detection Can Save Your Life

It is important that people are tested for the HIV/AIDS virus regularly. If the virus is caught in the early stages, anti-retroviral drugs can be taken to prevent the HIV virus from progressing to AIDS. When the virus progresses this far, the prognosis is much worse. Expectant mothers should also be tested. If they do have HIV, they can take medication to keep from spreading it to their unborn child during delivery.

#6 There Is a Link Between HIV/AIDS and TB

According to a study performed by the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a link between HIV/AIDS and TB. In 2015, 10.4 million people developed TB. Of that number, 1.2 million or 11 percent of them were also HIV positive. That same year, 390,000 of the people who died of TB were also living with HIV. Of these deaths, 75 percent of them were people living in the African region.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is very serious. Knowledge and education are two of the best defenses that people have against contracting this virus. The more people understand about how the disease is transmitted and the more they know about how to avoid contracting it, the safer they will be. While there is currently no vaccination against the virus, scientists and researchers are working every day to develop one so that one day, HIV/AIDS will no longer exist.

 

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When to Get Tested for STDs

Image result for std test

Necessary Measures

Nobody likes getting tested for STDs. But it’s something that everybody has to do–even if sexual contact has yet to be initiated. That will be covered in a moment. First, you need to understand some of the risks which come from not getting tested:

  • Some STDs Remain Dormant For Months
  • STDs Can Affect Mental Health
  • You Can Spread Disease Unaware
  • You May Die

Dormant STDs

Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia: they’re hard to spell, they’re definitely bad for you, and they can lie dormant in your body for weeks or months after a sexual encounter. It depends on your physical constitution and age. Additionally, these are some of the most common STDs out there. Thankfully, all three are treatable–provided, of course, you don’t contract some super-gonorrhea strain resistant to modern antibiotics. And such strains don’t just exist, but they’re getting more prevalent. Getting tested quickly can help you take appropriate preventative measures, which may help you avoid being beyond treatment.

STDs Can Affect Mental Health

It’s well-known that syphilis can drive a person to insanity. Chlamydia additionally has certain qualities about it which likewise lead to negative mental health effects. But any STD is generally going to be bad for your mental health just for issues of self-esteem. Physical illness always has an impact on the mind. If you go untested, you could have something influencing how you think and act without realizing it.

You Can Spread Disease Unaware

Because certain STDs lie dormant, when you go unchecked after a “casual” sexual encounter, you could very well spread what you’ve contracted to others. This contributes to pandemic STDs which increase in strength.

You May Die

Certain STDs can lead to complications which ultimately result in fatality. HIV is manageable via medication for years, but once it hits the AIDS stage, life expectancy severely diminishes. Personal constitution can help defray the final moments, but those with fully active AIDS have been known to die very quickly. The BBC puts average life expectancy after contracting HIV at ten years.

Additional Considerations

Earlier it was mentioned that you should likely get tested even if you haven’t had a sexual encounter. This is true for several reasons. One, certain STDs can be passed on at birth, and you may not know about it. Two, on a legal basis, if you’re in a marriage with a prenuptial agreement, then contraction of an STD constitutes a demonstrable violation of the terms, and you could be protected in a legal sense.

When To Get Tested

With these things in mind, recommendations on when you should get tested include before engaging in intimate activity with a significant other, after engaging in intimate activity that you expect may be questionable, and as a general measure to establish your own clean bill of health. The latter can help you avoid difficult legal situations, while the other two have aspects of courtesy and caution defining them. It’s courteous in today’s day and age for you and your intimate partner to be open with one another, and know what your sexual health is like. It’s cautionary to get tested after the fact.

Good Advice

If you really want to avoid the risks, your best bet is to enter into a mutually committed and monogamous relationship. If neither of you have had sexual encounters before, it’s likely you won’t need testing at all–though this is still advisable just to ensure your sexual health is where you think it is. While having multiple partners is certainly something often pursued today, the fallout can be mind-altering, physically debilitating, and ultimately deadly. So get tested.

 

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Everything You Need to Know about AIDS

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AIDS is caused by a virus called human immunodeficiency virus, also known as HIV. When a person contracts HIV through unprotected sex with an infected partner or by sharing needles with an infected person, it weakens their ability to fight off infections. Although HIV is the virus that initially attacks the body’s immune system (the T cells in particular), it eventually destroys so many cells that the body is no longer able to protect itself. HIV eventually progresses to AIDS within a short span of only a few years. Fortunately, there are medications available today that can suppress the effect of HIV on the body and help to delay the onset of AIDS.

Symptoms of HIV

Many people who have HIV don’t know it. This is why it is so important that you are tested regularly, especially if you have unprotected sex or share needles. No two people will have the same symptoms if they contract HIV. This is because everyone’s body is different. Within the first month of being infected, some people will suffer symptoms as a result of their body reacting to the disease and their body is working hard to fight it off. The symptoms are often flu-like symptoms and include:

  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat
  • Upset stomach
  • Body rash

When most people experience these symptoms, they just assume that they have the flu. The symptoms last usually for a week or two and then the person will start to feel better. This does not mean that the virus is gone. It can take years for the symptoms of AIDS to show up. During this time, the virus (HIV) is active and it is attacking all of the new cells created by the body.

Symptoms of AIDS

After 10 years or so, the HIV virus can cause AIDS. This occurs when the body is no longer able to fight off infections that are caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. There are certain symptoms that a person will experience that is a sign that their infection has gone from HIV to AIDS.

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Frequent Diarrhea
  • High Fever
  • A persistent cough
  • Night sweats
  • Skin issues such as rashes and boils
  • Lesions in the mouth
  • Frequent infections
  • Development of serious illnesses and diseases
  • Development of pneumocystis pneumonia

Most people won’t experience all of the symptoms at once. These can also be signs of another disease or illness. Before a person assumes that they have AIDS, they should see a doctor to be tested.

Prognosis

Thanks to medical advances, the prognosis for someone living with HIV is very good. There are anti-retroviral drugs that can be taken that can greatly slow the process of the HIV virus. Most people can live a long, full life. Also, it is possible for women with HIV to have children without passing the disease on to them. This is not something that was possible 20 or 30 years ago. Back then, HIV/AIDS was considered a death sentence. When the virus develops into AIDS, the prognosis is worse. When the HIV virus causes AIDS, the person’s immune system is greatly weakened. This makes it impossible for the body to fight off illnesses and diseases that will eventually be fatal.

Preventing HIV/AIDS

Your best defense against HIV/AIDS is to know how to keep from getting it. There are a few ways to ensure your health.

  • Use a condom every time you have sex.
  • If you are an IV drug user, don’t share needles.
  • If you work in the medical field, follow proper protocol regarding needle disposal and working with infected patients.
  • Get tested every year for the HIV/AIDS virus.

Today, it is possible to live with the HIV virus. If you develop the virus and you catch it early, the medications available can keep you from developing AIDS for decades. Prevention and early diagnosis are the keys to good health.

 

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Difference in each Hepatitis types & significance

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Hepatitis Types

Hepatitis in the inflammation of the liver and can be caused by many different conditions and illnesses. Hepatitis is caused by viruses that target the liver. There are different types of hepatitis viruses, and they can all cause acute hepatitis. There are several types of hepatitis viruses, and infections including A, B, C, D, E and G. Hepatitis A to E are the main types that have been discovered. Hepatitis G is a recent discovery and research is still being conducted to find out if there are other hepatitis viruses out there. Hepatitis viruses multiply in the liver and prevent it from carrying out its functions. Here is an overview of the hepatitis viruses.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A causes an acute illness that rarely becomes chronic. It can easily be spread among people just like other viral infections. The virus can be spread through ingestion of water or food from places where the conditions are unsanitary. It occurs in places where the water or food is contaminated with human waste that contains the virus. It can also be spread through sharing bodily fluids and spreads fast among people who do not observe good hygiene.

There are vaccines for preventing hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B was initially thought it only be spread through infected blood. However, it can also be spread through sexual intercourse. Hepatitis B can be spread through sharing piecing or cutting objects and also from infected mothers to their newborn babies.

Although it starts as an acute infection, hepatitis B can turn chronic and cause liver cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer.

There is a vaccine used for the prevention of hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C initially did not have a specific cause since it was different from A and B. it is spread through sharing needles and other piercing objects, blood transfusions, needle sticks and hemodialysis. Transmission through sexual intercourse is rare. The majority of people having an acute HCV infection develop a chronic infection and can continue infecting others as long as they have the virus.

Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D is also referred to as agent or delta virus. The reason is that the virus requires the presence of hepatitis B for it to survive and thrive. The mode of spreading is through direct contact with infected blood and also through sexual intercourse just like hepatitis B.

The virus requires the presence of hepatitis B since there is a protein HBV makes that makes HDV have the ability to multiply in the liver cells.

A combination of HBV and HDV is difficult to treat and causes rapid liver cirrhosis. Those who have both develop a chronic infection rapidly.

You can acquire the two at the same time or acquire HDV when you already have HDV.

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is similar to HAV regarding symptoms and disease. However, HEV occurs mainly in Asia where it thrives in places where there is contaminated water.

Hepatitis G

Hepatitis G is similar to hepatitis C in many ways. It is abbreviated as HGV or GBV-C. It was recently discovered, and test are still being carried out for the virus. The role of the virus in causing an infection is still unclear although those who have the virus develop symptoms of Hepatitis C.

Non-infectious Hepatitis

Noninfectious hepatitis is not caused by viruses. However, this form of hepatitis can be caused by the following:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption that causes alcoholic hepatitis.
  • Bodily response to drugs or drug misuse/abuse
  • Auto immune response where the body’s immune system attacks the liver cells thinking it is a harmful object.

 

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Hepatitis Awareness Month

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Hepatitis is a medical condition caused by a virus that majorly affects the liver. Hepatitis can be grouped into two separate types, autonomic and secondary, depending on the causative agent. Secondary (noninfectious) hepatitis is when the body manufactures antibodies which act against the liver tissues. This occurs as a result of either toxins, drugs, alcohol or medication circulating in the blood stream. There is also virus-caused (infectious) hepatitis which can be classified into Hepatitis A, B, C, D or E.

Hepatitis is a very deadly disease because it affects the liver, which is one of the human body’s vital organs. The liver is paramount for performing critical tasks in the body including storage of nutrients and filtering toxins.

Signs and Symptoms of Hepatitis

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Dark urine and pale stool (frequent and unusual)
  • Abdominal pains
  • Weight loss
  • Signs of jaundice
  • Poor or loss of appetite

Hepatitis is a viral disease that develops slowly. Symptoms may be subtle and difficult to detect in early stages.

Diagnosis of Hepatitis

  • Check up on the risk factors depending on your history and physical examination
  • Blood tests can be done to detect the source of the disease
  • Abdominal ultrasounds to ascertain the type of hepatitis you have
  • Liver functionality tests to determine the efficiency and performance of your liver
  • Liver biopsy
    • This is a medical procedure where a portion of the liver tissue is extracted to see the extent of your liver that is affected

What Hepatitis Awareness Month Entails

Hepatitis awareness month is mainly a campaign by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to create awareness of the epidemic. The CDC in collaboration with its health partners designated May as Hepatitis awareness month. They named May 19th in particular as the national day for Hepatitis testing and encourage people to do so on this day.

Hepatitis Risk Assessment Promotion

The CDC also advocates for using health assessment tools for testing. These tools include online assessment, testing, vaccination, one-time blood tests, hepatitis B screening, and others developed by CDC. It also provides reports and recommendations after these assessments are completed.

Publicity

The CDC encourages organizations that provide hepatitis-related services (testing and vaccination) to advertise themselves and be registered to offer such services. This helps people suffering from hepatitis to know where they can get help in their zip code areas.  This also goes a long way in helping to accurately capture the number of people suffering from the disease.

Utilization of Available Tools

During hepatitis awareness month, the CDC (along with other partners) donates free tools and equipment that are used to help people get vaccinated and tested for free.

If you have an organization offering similar services, you are able to get an array of tools (banners, posters, buttons, badges, etc.) free of charge which are provided in support of hepatitis testing and to help spread the word in your community.

Campaign Resources

During awareness month you are able to get multiple different hepatitis-related resources such as information from support fact sheets, info-graphics, templates, and many others. These resources will help you and those in your community understand the importance of hepatitis testing and vaccination.

 

 

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Different types of Hepatitis

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The definition of hepatitis is injury to the liver with inflammation of liver cells. There are six kinds of this disease, types A, B, C, D, E, and G, and which one you have is determined by a blood test. All six types are caused by a virus, but each is contracted differently.

Some fast facts on hepatitis include:

  • Hepatitis A (HAV) is caused by ingesting contaminated water or food.
  • Hepatitis B (HBV) is an STD (sexually transmitted disease)
  • Approximately 300 million people worldwide have hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis C (HCV) is spread by direct contact with the blood of an infected person.
  • Approximately 250 million people in the world have hepatitis C.
  • A person must already be infected with hepatitis B in order to contract hepatitis D (HDV).
  • Hepatitis E (HEV) is caused by drinking contaminated water.
  • Hepatitis G (HGV) is also caused by a specific virus.
  • There is also a hepatitis X, which is diagnosed when a case of hepatitis is contracted by a virus other than those that cause the others.
  • The initial symptoms of all of the forms of hepatitis can be confused with flu symptoms.

HAV

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 1,781 new cases are diagnosed each year. It is caused by an acute viral illness; it never becomes chronic. Like other viruses, it is easily spread, especially when there are unsanitary conditions. It is spread by oral secretions (kissing) and fecal (poor or no hand washing). If proper hand washing does not occur, customers in restaurants and children in daycares are particularly susceptible.

HBV

The CDC reports that more than 1,800 people die from chronic HBV each year. It is contracted in many ways:

  • The transfer of blood or serum via shared needles
  • Transfer of contaminated blood via an accidental needle stick
  • Blood transfusions
  • Hemodialysis
  • To newborns by infected mothers
  • Sharing toothbrushes or razors
  • Body piercing or tattooing with an infected needle

About 6% to 10% of patients develop chronic HBV. It can last anywhere from six months to decades, and an infected person is contagious as long as they have the disease. Chronic sufferers are also more susceptible to liver cirrhosis, cancer, or failure. It is estimated that there are about two billion people in the world who have this form of hepatitis.

HCV

According to the CDC, there are 16,500 new cases of HCV reported each year. It is caused by shared needles, accidental needle sticks, blood transfusions, or hemodialysis. It is also contracted by sexual contact, but those incidents are rare. Over half of patients diagnosed with acute HCV develop chronic infections from which they continue to be contagious. In the United States, alone, 3.2 million people are infected with this common form of hepatitis.

HDV, HEV, and HGV

HDV is the most important one of the three, because patients can contract this virus concurrently with HBV. It requires a protein from HBV in order to survive. It is contracted by some of the same ways HBV is spread, by sexual contact, shared needles, and contaminated blood. The combination of these two viruses are very difficult to treat, and severe cirrhosis (liver scarring) occurs rapidly.

While HDV is similar to HBV, HEV is similar to HAV in terms of disease. It occurs most often in Asia and is contracted by drinking contaminated water.

HGV is a recent discovery. While it resembles HCV, there is still much to be learned about it. Caused by the flavivirus, it is currently under investigation.

Reduce Your Risk

Follow the these guidelines to protect yourself from contracting the disease:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom.
  • Only eat food that has just been cooked.
  • Only drink bottled or boiled water.
  • Do not eat fruits or vegetables until they have been disinfected.
  • Get a HAV vaccine if traveling to countries where the disease is prevalent.
  • Practice safe sex.
  • Do not share needles, toothbrushes, razors, or manicure tools.
  • Get the HBV vaccine series if you are at risk.
  • Make sure piercing/tattoo equipment is sterilized.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.

Not all forms of hepatitis are viral, however. You can contract the disease from ingesting alcohol, medicines, or other chemicals. You can also develop hepatitis from certain medical conditions, such as a metabolic disorder, an immune-related injury, or a genetic problem.

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When to Get Tested for STDs

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Image is from STDcheck.com

Necessary Measures
Nobody likes getting tested for STDs. But it’s something that everybody has to do–even if sexual contact has yet to be initiated. That will be covered in a moment. First, you need to understand some of the risks which come from not getting tested:

  • Some STDs Remain Dormant For Months
  • STDs Can Affect Mental Health
  • You Can Spread Disease Unaware
  • You May Die

Dormant STDs
Syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia: they’re hard to spell, they’re definitely bad for you, and they can lie dormant in your body for weeks or months after a sexual encounter. It depends on your physical constitution and age. Additionally, these are some of the most common STDs out there. Thankfully, all three are treatable–provided, of course, you don’t contract some super-gonorrhea strain resistant to modern antibiotics. And such strains don’t just exist, but they’re getting more prevalent. Getting tested quickly can help you take appropriate preventative measures, which may help you avoid being beyond treatment.

STDs Can Affect Mental Health
It’s well-known that syphilis can drive a person to insanity. Chlamydia additionally has certain qualities about it which likewise lead to negative mental health effects. But any STD is generally going to be bad for your mental health just for issues of self-esteem. Physical illness always has an impact on the mind. If you go untested, you could have something influencing how you think and act without realizing it.

You Can Spread Disease Unaware
Because certain STDs lie dormant, when you go unchecked after a “casual” sexual encounter, you could very well spread what you’ve contracted to others. This contributes to pandemic STDs which increase in strength.

You May Die
Certain STDs can lead to complications which ultimately result in fatality. HIV is manageable via medication for years, but once it hits the AIDS stage, life expectancy severely diminishes. Personal constitution can help defray the final moments, but those with fully active AIDS have been known to die very quickly. The BBC puts average life expectancy after contracting HIV at ten years.

Additional Considerations
Earlier it was mentioned that you should likely get tested even if you haven’t had a sexual encounter. This is true for several reasons. One, certain STDs can be passed on at birth, and you may not know about it. Two, on a legal basis, if you’re in a marriage with a prenuptial agreement, then contraction of an STD constitutes a demonstrable violation of the terms, and you could be protected in a legal sense.

When To Get Tested
With these things in mind, recommendations on when you should get tested include before engaging in intimate activity with a significant other, after engaging in intimate activity that you expect may be questionable, and as a general measure to establish your own clean bill of health. The latter can help you avoid difficult legal situations, while the other two have aspects of courtesy and caution defining them. It’s courteous in today’s day and age for you and your intimate partner to be open with one another, and know what your sexual health is like. It’s cautionary to get tested after the fact.

Good Advice
If you really want to avoid the risks, your best bet is to enter into a mutually committed and monogamous relationship. If neither of you have had sexual encounters before, it’s likely you won’t need testing at all–though this is still advisable just to ensure your sexual health is where you think it is. While having multiple partners is certainly something often pursued today, the fallout can be mind-altering, physically debilitating, and ultimately deadly. So get tested.

 

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Understanding HIV

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Image is from scienceblog.com

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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Hepatitis Causes and Prevention

hepatitis

Image is from National Hemophilia Foundation

Hepatitis means inflammation of a person’s liver cells due to an injury to the liver. There are different types of hepatitis you can get that can be determined through a laboratory test. Hepatitis can heal on its own without the need of treatment, but in some cases, treatment is necessary since the virus causes a chronic infection. The main types of hepatitis are A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A, B, and C cause the most liver damage.

Hepatitis can be a symptom of another disease, and it is mainly a symptom of autoimmune diseases. The hepatitis is a disease that is mainly caused by a viral infection. Hepatitis often starts as an acute disease but can progress and become chronic if not detected early. The disease can cause liver cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer to the patient.

Causes of Hepatitis

Hepatitis can be caused by toxins from drugs, alcohol or other sources of toxins. It can also be caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites or an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the liver. However, the most known common cause of hepatitis is a virus.

Hepatitis A and E are short term viral infections that are mainly transmitted through water or food that is contaminated by human or animal waste. Other sources of these forms of hepatitis include under cooked food or raw food that has not been handled in a hygienic way.

Hepatitis B can be spread through having direct contact with infected blood. It can also be sexually transmitted or spread to a child during childbirth.

Hepatitis C can be spread through direct contact with infected blood. It is rare for the disease to be spread from mother to child during childbirth or during sexual intercourse.

Hepatitis D can also be spread through infected blood. However, you can only get hepatitis D if you were infected with hepatitis B. Those who are at the greatest risk of getting the infection include drug users since most share needles. Other at-risk groups include those who have unprotected sex with multiple partners.

Prevention

New cases of hepatitis have been significantly reduced through vaccinations. There are vaccines available for prevention of hepatitis A and B. the vaccinations are effective in reducing the number of infections in children as well as adults.

Currently, there is no vaccine for hepatitis D. however; the disease can be prevented once you get immunized for hepatitis B.

Babies who are delivered to mothers suffering from hepatitis B should get the vaccine within 12 hours of birth to prevent them from getting infections.

Other things that can be done to prevent infection include the following:

  • Washing your hands and encouraging other people to do the same with water and soap after changing a diaper, after coming from using the bathroom and before handling any food.
  • Avoid eating raw foods from unknown places and always drink bottled, boiled or chemically treated water.
  • Practice safe sex. Using condoms goes a long way in preventing the spread of the infection.
  • Do not share sharp objects or toothbrushes.
  • When performing first aid, always wear gloves.
  • Disinfect all blood spills and wear gloves when cleaning up any body fluids.
  • Seek regular prenatal care when you are pregnant.

To reduce the risk of getting a non-viral type of hepatitis, avoid taking excessive alcohol. Also, consult a physician before starting a new prescription and on taking supplements. Hepatitis is a disease that needs to be taken seriously as it can cause severe damage to your liver.

 

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Hepatitis Types & Significance

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Hepatitis Types

Hepatitis in the inflammation of the liver and can be caused by many different conditions and illnesses. Hepatitis is caused by viruses that target the liver. There are different types of hepatitis viruses, and they can all cause acute hepatitis. There are several types of hepatitis viruses, and infections including A, B, C, D, E and G. Hepatitis A to E are the main types that have been discovered. Hepatitis G is a recent discovery and research is still being conducted to find out if there are other hepatitis viruses out there. Hepatitis viruses multiply in the liver and prevent it from carrying out its functions. Here is an overview of the hepatitis viruses.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A causes an acute illness that rarely becomes chronic. It can easily be spread among people just like other viral infections. The virus can be spread through ingestion of water or food from places where the conditions are unsanitary. It occurs in places where the water or food is contaminated with human waste that contains the virus. It can also be spread through sharing bodily fluids and spreads fast among people who do not observe good hygiene.

There are vaccines for preventing hepatitis A.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B was initially thought it only be spread through infected blood. However, it can also be spread through sexual intercourse. Hepatitis B can be spread through sharing piecing or cutting objects and also from infected mothers to their newborn babies.

Although it starts as an acute infection, hepatitis B can turn chronic and cause liver cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer.

There is a vaccine used for the prevention of hepatitis B.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C initially did not have a specific cause since it was different from A and B. it is spread through sharing needles and other piercing objects, blood transfusions, needle sticks and hemodialysis. Transmission through sexual intercourse is rare. The majority of people having an acute HCV infection develop a chronic infection and can continue infecting others as long as they have the virus.

Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D is also referred to as agent or delta virus. The reason is that the virus requires the presence of hepatitis B for it to survive and thrive. The mode of spreading is through direct contact with infected blood and also through sexual intercourse just like hepatitis B.

The virus requires the presence of hepatitis B since there is a protein HBV makes that makes HDV have the ability to multiply in the liver cells.

A combination of HBV and HDV is difficult to treat and causes rapid liver cirrhosis. Those who have both develop a chronic infection rapidly.

You can acquire the two at the same time or acquire HDV when you already have HDV.

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is similar to HAV regarding symptoms and disease. However, HEV occurs mainly in Asia where it thrives in places where there is contaminated water.

Hepatitis G

Hepatitis G is similar to hepatitis C in many ways. It is abbreviated as HGV or GBV-C. It was recently discovered, and test are still being carried out for the virus. The role of the virus in causing an infection is still unclear although those who have the virus develop symptoms of Hepatitis C.

Non-infectious Hepatitis

Noninfectious hepatitis is not caused by viruses. However, this form of hepatitis can be caused by the following:

  • Excessive alcohol consumption that causes alcoholic hepatitis.
  • Bodily response to drugs or drug misuse/abuse
  • Auto immune response where the body’s immune system attacks the liver cells thinking it is a harmful object.

 

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