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What is HIV: Get the Facts

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. If it is untreated it can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV virus mainly attacks on the immune system of body and badly affects CD4 cells. When the numbers of CD4 cells are reduced in the body the person gets more prone to infection related cancers. HIV slowly and slowly destroys CD4 cells and the body gets less responsive to fight off infections and disease. Due to weak immune system the body gets opportunistic infections that may cause cancers and it signifies that the person is in last stage of HIV infection.

Currently there is no effective treatment that can cure HIV, however it can be controlled through medication. Antiretroviral therapy is the common treatment that is used in controlling HIV and can increase the lives of many people who are suffering from HIV. If you find any symptom related to HIV, you must get it tested. The test is very simple and can be performed in any medical clinics under medical provision.

HIV virus can be found in the body fluids of an infected person. The virus can be passed from one person to another through blood to blood and sexual contact. Additionally, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to her baby during pregnancy and through breast feeding.

Some facts about HIV

In 1981 first five cases of HIV were found in Los Angeles. In US around 1.2 million people are infected with HIV virus and about 14% are unaware about this infection. Most people in US are Gay, bisexual and other men who are more prone to this disease.

Women are also getting attributed to this virus through heterosexual contact or drug use.

In comparison to other countries African and Americans are most severe to HIV virus. Around 13,712 people are diagnosed with HIV in US per year.

Till now there is no cure for HIV. The treatment for this disease can lead to huge financial toll. It is estimated that average cost for the treatment of HIV over the course of lifetime is $379,668.

To prevent from HIV it is advisable to have limited sexual partners, don’t use shared needles and make use of condoms consistently.

Symptoms of HIV infection

 

For many years people with HIV observe no symptoms. However, some people may develop symptoms like flu for two to six weeks after catching the virus. Some common symptoms related to HIV are:

Fever

Chills

Joint pain

Muscle ache

Sore throat

Sweats at night

Enlarged glands

A red rash

Tiredness

Weakness

Weight loss

If a person is in his last stage of HIV, he is more prone to life threatening illness. The person may develop Esophagitis, which is basically development of swelling in the lower lining end of the esophagus. Also, the person is at high risk of infection to the nervous system and also gets affected with pneumonia. Untreated HIV may also lead to certain type of cancers that include cervical cancer, lung cancer, rectal carcinomas, hepatocellular carcinomas, head and neck cancers, cancers of the immune system known as lymphomas.

According to some studies the origins of HIV was developed in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century in west-central Africa. However, it was first identified and recognized in the early 1980s. Scientists have identified the cause of HIV is due to a type of chimpanzee in Central Africa. They consider that the through chimpanzee the virus was spread and it transmitted to humans into HIV when humans hunted chimpanzee for meat and came into contact with their infected blood.

HIV cannot be cured, but if it is diagnosed early stage and treatment is started sooner it can improve the chances of controlling the condition.

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