HIV and Aids Part 1

A virus which is transmitted sexually and attacks the immune system in the body is HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The main function of the immune system is to protect the body against infection and diseases. CD4 are special cells that are infected by HIV. These CD4 cells are present in blood and fights infection and diseases. HIV destroys CD4 completely even though the body continuously tries to produce CD4 cells, eventually their quantity reduces and immune system shall stop working completely. This results a person with high chances of developing any serious disease or infection like cancer. HIV has no cure and no medication or vaccine can prevent you from getting infected. Since early 1990s efforts to improvise treatments are being developed which enables people infected with HIV to live quite normally.

What is a retrovirus

Retrovirus is a HIV virus of special kind. By breaking the DNA in cells and later rearranging it to replicate itself, this retrovirus spreads. They can constantly alter or mutate in new virus strains.

What is AIDS

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is used for describing latter HIV stages by then immune system stops working completely and life threatening situation arises like pneumonia. AIDS as a term was initially used when the precise cause of HIV was not known. It is no longer used as it describes various conditions of HIV very briefly. Later stage or Advanced stage HIV infection are most preferred term used by specialist.

How common is HIV

Global Pandemic meaning it is wide spread around the world and HIV is also a global pandemic. According to WHO (word health organization) about 33 million people across the world are presently HIV infected. About 25 million have died due to HIV since 1981. This is particularly spread in the African countries like Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa. About 73000 people in UK are living with the HIV infection and it is believed that about 30% of HIV infected people are not aware of their condition. The numbers of HIV infected people are rising since the beginning of 21st century. It is often misunderstood that HIV infection no longer is a threat to public health.

How is HIV spread

HIV virus is mostly spread through exchange of fluids in body like vaginal fluids, semen and blood. Sexual intercourse inclusive of anal and oral sex is one of the most common methods of spreading of HIV infection. Sharing of needles can also spread this virus and also an unborn baby can be infected in case the mother has the infection during pregnancy. Due to modern and advanced treatment, prevention of the virus to pass to the child from the mother is possible. HIV cannot be passed by mosquitoes or insects, animals or using the toilet seat or swimming in the same pool of an HIV infected person also by sharing cutlery, towels or bathrooms or being kissed by an HIV infected person.

Who is affected by HIV

Gay men are mostly affected by HIV. This certainly doesn’t mean that it concerns only the community of gays. Approximately about 1 in 10 cases are passed by heterosexual sex in UK.

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