What is HIV AIDS? HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that attacks the immune system of the body. If not treated, HIV can progress to AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It damages your immune system by destroying a type of white blood cell that helps your body fight infections. This puts you at risk for other infections and diseases.
What is AIDS?
AIDS, as mentioned earlier, stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. It is the final stage of HIV infection. It occurs when the virus severely damages the body’s immune system. Not everyone with HIV develops AIDS.
How is it transmitted?
According to the NIH, the virus spreads only through certain bodily fluids of an HIV-positive person. These fluids include:
- Pre-seminal fluid
- Vaginal secretions
- Rectal secretions
- Breast milk. HIV transmission is only possible through contact with HIV-infected body fluids.
firstly, Having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Secondly, sharing drug injection equipment (such as needles) with a person who has HIV. Thirdly, Through contact with the blood of a person who has HIV. fourthly, from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. If needed, we recommend referring to the NIH HIVinfo fact sheet titled “Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV.” You cannot get HIV by shaking hands or hugging an HIV-positive person. “Objects like dishes, toilet seats, or doorknobs that an HIV-positive person has used or touched also cannot transmit the virus.” “The air or water doesn’t spread HIV, and mosquitoes, ticks, or other insects that feed on blood don’t transmit it either.”
What is HIV AIDS? Some Questions and Answers from WHO about HIV
How can people get tested for HIV?
To know if you are infected with HIV or not, the only way is to get tested. You can also receive a diagnosis through rapid diagnostic tests that provide results in a matter of minutes.
Knowing one’s serostatus has two important benefits:
Those who test positive can initiate treatment before symptoms appear, which can prolong their life and prevent health complications. Those who know their serostatus, receive and consistently follow ART, and have suppressed viral loads cannot transmit HIV to their partners. WHO recommends that HIV testing be available in all health centers and through various community settings. People can also use self-testing kits to find out if they are infected. If they test positive, they should always confirm the result at a health center.
Who is at higher risk of contracting HIV?
The main routes of HIV transmission are unprotected sex, blood transfusion, and the use of blood products contaminated with the virus. Sharing needles, syringes, and other injection equipment. Exposure to the virus through surgical instruments. Other contaminated skin-piercing instruments. Finally, vertical transmission from HIV-positive mothers to their children. Another sexually transmitted infection (STI) can also increase the risk of contracting HIV (and vice versa). “Evidence-based interventions exist to prevent the transmission of both HIV and various other STIs.”
However, many people do not have access to the necessary information and knowledge to prevent HIV. In some cases, significant legal and social barriers prevent them from accessing effective prevention and treatment services. Some populations are more at risk of infection, such as men who have sex with men, injectable drug users, people incarcerated in prisons and other closed settings, sex workers and their clients, and transgender people. Marginalized populations in their communities often face criminalization and significant barriers to accessing HIV prevention, treatment, and other health services. In some settings, other populations may be particularly vulnerable to HIV infection, such as adolescents in southern Africa.
How can vertical transmission of HIV be prevented?
A mother can transmit HIV to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. However, effective interventions, such as maternal ART and short-term antiretroviral treatment for the child, can prevent vertical transmission.
. Other effective interventions include measures to prevent pregnant women from acquiring HIV, preventing unwanted pregnancies in women with HIV, and appropriate breastfeeding practices. Maternal and child health services, including family planning, should integrate HIV testing services to ensure that women at risk can conveniently access testing. Furthermore, ART services should integrate family planning services. Pregnant and diagnosed HIV-infected mothers should receive ART as soon as possible so that their children are born without the virus.
Is there a cure for HIV infection?
No, there is currently no cure for this infection. Science is advancing rapidly. Three individuals have achieved a “functional cure” through bone marrow transplants for cancer, which renewed CD4 lymphocytes that cannot be infected by HIV. However, a definitive treatment or vaccine that can treat and protect all people with this infection or at risk of contracting it is not yet available. “In any case, taking ART correctly and consistently can control and treat the infection like other chronic diseases. “People infected with HIV around the world are surviving into old age.
Text source for questions: https://www.who.int/news-room/questions-and-answers/item/hiv-aids
Feel free to explore our article on Stem Cells and HIV AIDS.