30 July 2011

Symptoms of HIV

HIV is one of the most widespread diseases of our times and is slowly taking the form of an epidemic. It therefore becomes important for us, that we become increasingly aware of this great threat to entire mankind. Sadly we are not left with too many options, mainly because HIV is still an incurable disease.

One of the major reasons of the widespread advance of HIV is that in most of the cases it is not actually accompanied by any visible symptoms in the initial stages. However signs begin to show, once the immune system breaks down, and the person is on the verge of developing AIDS.

A person infected with HIV may show some or all of the following symptoms:

Fever - Fever or Pyrexia refers to a condition where a person suffers from increased body temperature i.e. a body temperature higher than 98.6 degree F. It is accompanied by an increased heart rate, muscle tone, as well as shivering.

Night sweats - Night sweats can be referred to as severe hot flashes which occur during the night, resulting in severe perspiration. At times patient gets totally drenched in sweat. Such a stage may last between 30 seconds to several minutes as well.

Chronic yeast infection or thrush - A person infected with HIV may develop chronic yeast infection and thrush, which is an infection of the mucous membrane of the mouth, caused by Candida (a fungal genus).

Bouts of extreme exhaustion - A person infected with HIV may suffer from extreme bouts of exhaustion, which are often unexplained. Such unnatural occurrences may happen any time and are warning signs for the patient.

Body rashes - A patient may develop rashes on the skin which may be localized to one area, or may be spread on a wider area. Such a condition is quite normal, and is often ignored, resulting in severe consequences.

Easy bruising - A person suffering from HIV may develop easy bruising on the body. This may happen any time and are often unexplained. As the immune system is already damaged, the bruises do not heal easily and may result in open wounds.

Lesions - Appearance of purplish lesions on the skin or the mouth is another common symptom in such case. These lesions may be localized, as well as spread over a wide area.

Sudden weight loss - This is another symptom which should not be taken lightly. An infected person may lose weight drastically, often within a few weeks time.

Chronic Diarrhea - An infected person would in all probability suffer from chronic diarrhea, which may last for a month or more. Such a condition is extremely critical and needs immediate action.

Although HIV is incurable, yet proper care as well as medication can help in delaying the development of AIDS.

Aids : Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
HIV : Human Immunodeficiency Virus

29 July 2011

Hiv Aids Myths and Misconceptions

HIV/AIDS is one of the most feared diseases of our times. As it is, it has claimed millions of lives in the past few decades and continues to do so till date. Ignorance and unawareness are two major reasons for the growth of this dreaded disease.

Now, as if ignorance was not enough, some scrupulous people tend to add to the problem by way of spreading myths and rumors, about this issue. For quite some time, now, a number of myths and misconceptions have being doing the rounds. Some of the most common myths are as follows:

1. Myth : Only gays get infected with HIV. Straight guys are secure.
Reality : On the contrary, a majority of people infected with HIV all across the world are actually heterosexual. So, being heterosexual does in no way guarantee that you can never get infected. Nor does it increase the risk of getting infected with HIV.

2. Myth : HIV spreads through sweat, tears, mosquitoes, kissing or casual contact.         
Reality : No, HIV can spread only through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids and from a mother to her baby, during pregnancy, or through breast milk. So, you usually get infected by way of unprotected sex, sharing needles, as well as through transfusion with infected blood. In fact a majority of cases take place due to unprotected sex.

3. Myth : You can test negative, once you have tested positive.
Reality : This is not true; although, a number of retroviral drug therapies have become very popular in recent times. Many of these drugs are very much effective and have even reduced the HIV count in the blood to undetectable limits. However, it needs to be mentioned here, that, HIV is not just present in the blood; it is present in almost each and every part of the body. Therefore, once you have tested HIV positive, you have no chance of testing negative.

4. Myth : HIV does not cause AIDS.
Reality : In the last few years a new theory is doing the rounds, which says that, AIDS is not actually caused by HIV. This theory is absolutely absurd, especially when you do not have any valid scientific proof to justify this theory. In fact, recent studies have reconfirmed the involvement of HIV in AIDS. It is therefore; better to save yourself from HIV infection.

5. Myth : Having sex with a virgin can cure HIV/AIDS.
Reality : This one of the most dangerous myths, which has led to further spread of this dreaded disease. As it is, this misconception has led to the rape of many young girls and children and has been a strong cause for further spread of this deadly virus.

HIV is an incurable disease till date and as it is, the only way to fight it, is to save yourself from getting infected. By spreading awareness we can actually curtail the spread of this menace. It is therefore, our responsibility to spread the message across to as many people as we can.

Aids : Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
HIV : Human Immunodeficiency Virus

28 July 2011

Hiv Aids Information

As we all know, that HIV / AIDS is one of the most serious problems that we face in current times. The situation is in fact getting worse, everyday, as we see a continuous rise in the number of cases of HIV / AIDS infection. HIV is spreading its tentacles at a great speed. It is due to this reason that makes it a grave danger to the entire mankind. You must always remember that it is you and me, who can actually change the situation. The best way to reduce the impact of HIV, as well as to degrade its spread further, is to spread awareness about HIV / AIDS.

The following are a few vital pieces of information, in regard to this problem:

1. Transmission
There are many theories floated around the world, in regard to the modes of transmission of HIV from one person to another. However most of these theories are mere myths, with absolutely no scientific justifications of any kind. Till date, there are mainly three conclusive modes of transmission which is known to us; transmission through seminal/vaginal fluids, transmission through blood and transmission from a mother to her child, which also includes transmission through breast milk as well.

2. Prevention
Since HIV is still an incurable disease, therefore, prevention from HIV / AIDS is the only solution that we have, as far as curing the disease is concerned. For prevention from HIV, you need to do a lot many things. One of the best ways of prevention is to go for total abstinence from sexual activity, till you are married to a person who is tested free of HIV. You should never indulge in unprotected sex. Always use condoms, to avoid HIV.

Apart from that, it is also advisable to refrain from open cuts and wounds. Also, you should always use sterilized needles and disposable syringes. In case of blood transfusion, you should always get the screening details of the blood. Similarly in case of organ transplantation screening would save you from getting infected with HIV. If you are pregnant, it is better to get an HIV test done.

3. Treatment
Although HIV is an incurable disease till date, various medications facilities are available which can help conditions from getting worse and delay the arrival of AIDS. With the help of theses medications an HIV infected person can lead a fairly normal life for a considerably longer period of time. HIV medication helps in preventing the virus from spreading further for a considerably long time. It tries to stop the virus from growing further, as well as stopping it from infecting the unaffected cells.

As it is, by way of spreading awareness, about HIV / AIDS, we can considerably lower the chances of it spreading further. Also, it is necessary to deal with the stigma and misconceptions associated with HIV / AIDS.

Aids : Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
HIV : Human Immunodeficiency Virus

27 July 2011

AIDS - Where did AIDS born?

You must be aware of the fact that HIV/AIDS is one of the most serious problems that we face in current times. The situation is in fact getting worse, everyday, as we see a continuous rise in the number of cases of HIV/AIDS infection. HIV is spreading its tentacles at a great speed. It is due to this reason that makes it a grave danger to the entire mankind.

Out of a number of questions related o HIV, the most common question that arises in the mind is, as how the virus was evolved. As it is, a number of theories have been floated all across the globe, as to how the virus was first evolved. Some of the most popular theories are as follows:

1. Theory one: HIV infection began as a result of sex with monkey.
The most popular theory in regard to HIV is that it started from chimps in Africa. Legend says that one fine day a man in Africa had sex with a chimp and as a result, he was infected with SIV or Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, which is commonly found in chimps. As it is, this virus mutated itself to form a new virus, which we know as HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

Although this theory was quite popular in the initial years, it soon began to fade and new theories evolved further in relation to the evolution of HIV.

2. Theory two: HIV entered the human arena via monkey meat
In many cultures all across the world, monkey meat is a common food. This gave way to another theory that perhaps SIV affected humans by way of consumption of monkey meat; or by way of the SIV infected blood which could have entered the body of humans by way of open wounds. Thereafter, SIV mutated into HIV and today we have a very serious problem, which is extremely destructive.

This theory however, was further contradicted on the basis of the fact that, SIV has been there for a very long time and so has been the practice of consuming monkey meat. So, how come HIV did not affect us earlier?

3. Theory three: HIV is a man made disaster
Another theory which has become very popular in recent times, is that SIV entered the human body when a polio vaccine was developed in Congo. It is said that the particular vaccine was developed by way of experiments conducted on Chimpanzee kidney cells. There after this SIV contaminated serum was administered to thousands of people, which resulted in SIV entering the human body. In gradual course of time, SIV mutated itself and developed into HIV.

Supporters of this theory suggest that although SIV is quite similar to HIV, as far as the genetic composition is concerned; it is less likely to mutate itself into a virus that could affect humans in such a disastrous way, unless and until some external forces are involved, which could help in the mutation process.

Apart from the above theories, a number of other theories have also been floated, such as the blood transfusion theory, which stated that in the early 1970s; due to lack of human blood, blood supplies were contaminated with blood from monkeys. All this and many more theories have come and will come in future. However, the need of the hour is not to ponder over as to where it actually came from, but to figure out a way to stop it.

Aids : Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
HIV : Human Immunodeficiency Virus

26 July 2011

HIV and AIDS Facts

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the most dreaded disease of our times. Although the very first recordings of HIV have not been very long ago, yet it has been able to spread its tentacles at a very alarming rate, infecting millions of people all across the globe. A major cause of HIV spreading at such a high rate is unawareness. Various myths and misconceptions add to the problem.

The most dangerous aspect of HIV is the fact that it affects the immune system of the body, leaving you exposed to a number of diseases, with virtually no protection of any kind. With the immune system itself being damaged, an HIV+ patient is left with absolutely no hope, for recovery. This is because HIV is still an incurable disease till date; and though we have many scientists claiming to find a cure, we still lack conclusive evidence on their part.

As it is, latest studies have come up with some disturbing facts. Some of them are as follows:

1. Nearly twenty five million deaths due to AIDS have been recorded in the past twenty five years. This means that on an average, around one million people die due to AIDS each year. Although there has been significant improvement in retroviral medication techniques in the past few years, yet complacency should be the last thing in our mind when dealing with HIV/AIDS.

2. In the year 2007 itself, it has been estimated that as many as two million people have died due to AIDS. This is a significant number and gives us a brief idea of what is in store for us in future, if we do not take timely action.

3. It is also estimated, that as many as thirty three million people are living with HIV infection, along with two and a half million new cases in the year 2007 itself. This is a great setback for us in our efforts to stop HIV/AIDS from strengthening its roots.

4. It has also been estimated that more than ninety percent of HIV infected people live in the developing nations. This is another matter of great concern. This is because; these nations do not have adequate facilities to deal with the problem of HIV/AIDS infection. As it is lack of proper education as well as proper medical facilities, make the situation much worse.

5. The number of children living with HIV infection is also relatively high and is estimated to be more than two million. With more than four hundred and twenty thousand HIV related deaths among children in the year 2007, the situation is truly nerve wracking.

The above estimates however, are only the tip of the iceberg. In fact, actual number of HIV infected cases, may be far more than this. It therefore calls for swift action from our side, in order to tackle this nuisance called HIV.

Aids : Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
HIV : Human Immunodeficiency Virus