There are many types of viruses. Those viruses, which have their genetic material in RNA, are called retro viruses. These retro viruses are responsible for most of the diseases in all plants and animals. The HIV or Human- Immunodeficiency Virus is also a kind of retro virus. The HIV virus leads to AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which is a deadly pandemic, affecting every nook and corner of the globe. It is an acquired disease from external means. 31.3 million adults and 2.1million children in the world are HIV positive with several HIV symptoms, and 2 millions deaths are witnessed every year due to the same reason. This has made this HIV AIDS a serious subject of concern.
Causes of HIV
- Multiple sexual partners: The more the number of sexual partners, the more is the probability of coming across someone infected with AIDS.
- Other infections: It is also found that HIV may also get activated from other sexually transmitted disease virus like Cyto-Megalo Virus and Epstein - Barr virus. Infections like Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Genital herpes also support HIV.
- Vulnerable Immune System: All the groups with a depressed immune system, like homosexuals, infants, drug addicts, are more prone to HIV.
- Transmission of the virus is possible from HIV positive expecting mother to her fetus.
- HIV can also get transmitted from a victim, to a healthy person’s body, by means of contaminated syringe, needles, and tattoo needles.
General HIV symptoms:
There are three stages of AIDS and each stage is marked with a typical HIV symptom.
- Early, acute viral stage – At this stage, the HIV symptoms are very similar to that of flu, like sore throat, headache, mild fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, mild rash. The lymph glands get enlarged as it is seeded with the virus
- Quiescent stage- This stage is marked by HIV symptoms like persistent Lymphadenopathy, with anaemia (decrease in the number of red blood cells), Neutro-Paenia(decrease in the number of white blood cells), and thrombocytopaenia (decrease in the number of platelets). Globulin increases, while albumin and cholesterol decreases in the blood serum. As the first phase passes with the mere symptoms of flu, for quite a long time, the patient cannot perceive any susceptible symptoms, even though his immune system slowly gets degenerated in this dormant period.
- Full blown or advanced stage- The earlier part of this stage, called the early symptomatic stage, witnesses the most frequent symptoms of lost immunity, marked with frequent fever, general weakness, night sweats, frequent diarrhea, white spots in the mouth, fatigue and shringles ( a painful viral disease in nerves).
In the latter stage, called the advanced late symptomatic stage, the patient is affected by Pneumocystis Carini, with normal pneumonia symptoms like dry cough, pain chest fever and shortness of breathe. Candida infection is another common problem at this stage of AIDS. Oral Candidiasis, Vaginal Candidiasis, oesophagus Candidiasis, wind pipe Candidiasis and lungs Candidiasis are common at this stage. Infections in gastro intestinal tracts are also common in this final stage. The mucous membrane of the gastro intestinal tract becomes very weak and gets vulnerable to diseases like Giardia Lambiba, Somonella, Candida Altercans, and CMV etc.
There are a number of psychological HIV Symptoms like, anxiety, confusion, acute depression, coupled with insomnia and loss of appetite. Occasional burning of hands face and feet may also be prominent. The patient may become very hostile or too timid. He may experience occasional nightmare and hallucinations. The social stigma and castration associated with AIDS, brings the patient’s psychology under complete turmoil.
HIV Symptoms in women
- Vaginal infection in frequent span
- Abnormal pap smear
- incurable pelvis infection
- pelvic inflammatory disease
- Genital Ulcer
- Genital Wart
Hiv Symptoms in Children
- Failed immunity
- minimal weight gain
- The child regresses in his development.
- Irregular fever
- Children suffer more from bacterial infections like staphylococcus, streptococcus and meningococcus.
- Affected by nervous disorders like downs syndrome
- Lymphadenopathy or swelling of lymph glands all over the body
- White spots and patches on tongue and mouth
HIV affected children are very weak and insufficiently developed. They unfortunately do not survive for more than two years. So proper precautions have to be taken to save the child from HIV transmission from the mother, at early stage of pregnancy.
HIV Symptoms TESTING:
In order to diagnose HIV, one may resort to HIV antibody test, like the ELISA (Enzyme linked immuno absorbent) antibody test or the EIA (Enzyme Immunoassay) antibody test.Antibodies are special proteins that are created, in the HIV positive patient’s blood, urine and saliva. The tests are conducted to detect the presence of these antibodies in the patient. If the blood, urine and saliva contain these antibodies, then the patient may be termed as HIV positive. These antibodies are detected after 6 to 12 weeks of falling prey to the virus. Antibody tests are recommended in a frequent span of three to four months, to avoid the possibility of false negative results.
Preventions – The following things should be kept in mind to reduce the scope of transmission of HIV.
Transmission of HIV from mother to child
- Antiretroviral drugs may be used to treat HIV positive mothers.
- Pregnancy should be avoided if the mother is found to be HIV positive.
- Breast feeding should be avoided, if the mother is HIV positive
Transmission of HIV through blood
- Promotion of needle exchange programs
- A syringe or tattoo needles should not be administered on more than one person
Transmission of HIV through Sex
- Sex education should be encouraged in schools
- One should not have more than one sexual partners
- Condoms should be used, to avoid transmission of the virus from one partner to another
- Vasectomy and tubectomy may avoid AIDS, unwanted pregnancy, and other STDs.
- Use of female condoms should be encouraged for those females who have more than one sexual partner.
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