28 May 2012

HIV AIDS Symptoms and Diseases

HIV/AIDS is often referred to as a silent epidemic because of its long incubation period. It means the disease may have infected a person for years already without any concrete symptoms. A person who is positive for HIV/AIDS may even infect other persons with this illness if he/she is unaware of his/her own condition.

The infection of HIV can be divided into various phases. However, in most cases, these phases are hard to discern from one another. The health of the infected person is actually dependent on the immune system of the individual which may also dictate the complications that might take place.

These days, HIV/AIDS is considered a chronic disease since an infected person may live for several more years due to the benefits of antiretroviral therapy. While the symptoms of HIV/AIDS are really hard to determine, below are some of the common things that happen to those who are infected by HIV/AIDS:

  • Oral thrush
  • Recurrent herpes infections
  • Fever of unknown origin
  • Persistent cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss. Those with HIV/AIDS can be observed to lose weight along the way since their immune system has been affected
  • Fatigue. Most HIV/AIDS patients experience fatigue also because of the effects on their immune system
  • Bacterial skin infections
  • Night sweats
  • Patients who are more advanced in the disease experience major problems due to opportunistic infections or cancers, such as:
  • Cerebral toxoplasmosis
  • Pneumocystis pneumonia
  • Cytomegalovirus infection of retina or gut
  • Tuberculosis
  • Disseminated Mycobacterium avium infection
  • Lymphoma
  • Kaposi's sarcoma which is a rare form of skin cancer
  • Dementia

HIV/AIDS can be a very deceiving illness since a patient may remain very healthy for a long time with no symptoms at all although the virus is progressively destroying his immune defenses. This is what makes it hard to diagnose early. There are cases when the patients would be diagnosed when they are almost at the terminal phase making it really difficult to reconstitute, even partially, the immune system. With this, there is an apparent need to raise the awareness of the public about this disease. This disease is such a traitor and may infect other without them knowing it. The information of this disease must be widely spread especially among poor countries where the disease is rampant.

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15 May 2012

What Are Signs and Symptoms of HIV/AIDS

HIV is a truculent, unnerving virus that weakens and destroys your immune system, leaving a person vulnerable to becoming infected by more deadly diseases such as AIDS. More specifically, it destroys the cells that help one get better when sick and prevent them from getting sick when infact healthy.

What is HIV exactly? HIV is actually an acronym that stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The first part, "Human" indicates that only us, humans, are susceptible to HIV. The second part, "Immunodeficiency" means that it attacks your immune system, "-Immuno" referring to your immunity system and "-deficiency" meaning lack of, so Immunodeficiency means, "Lack of immunity." The third part "virus" indicates that HIV is a virus, a disease that reproduces by taking over host cells and making them their own.

Knowing what this means, one might think that this virus leads to a quick and painful death, this however, is not the case and HIV is not as presumptuous as it may seem. "HIV can hide for long periods of time in the cells of your body and that it attacks a key part of your immune system - your T-cells or CD4 cells. Your body has to have these cells to fight infections and disease, but HIV invades them, uses them to make more copies of itself, and then destroys them." (http://aids.gov)

HIV itself does not have any symptoms, although, after being infected for about a month or two, one may experience a flu like sickness that can include the following symptoms: Fever, Headache, Tiredness and Enlarged lymph nodes. The early symptoms of HIV can provoke digestive symptoms that also develop nausea and regurgitation, diarrhea, lack of appetite, and obvious weight loss, more severe symptoms are inflammation of the liver and pancreas. But for the most part, after being exposed with HIV one will experience an asymptomatic period, where one will not experience any symptoms.

This period will usually last ten years for adults or about two years for new born babies that had HIV passed down to them. Eventually as the immune system begins to wither one will begin to develop other symptoms, such as "swollen glands(typically the first symptom), followed by lack of energy, weight loss, frequent fevers and sweats, frequent yeast infections, rashes, pelvic inflammatory disease, in women, and short term memory loss".

In conclusion, HIV is a serious virus that leaves one susceptible to other viruses and diseases. It slowly and deceitfully kills off cells that protect the body from harm. It typically has no early symptoms, except for maybe a fever a month or two after being exposed. Then in about ten years you start to develop the first symptoms.

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