By Harry Novak the Bear
These past years, there has been an alarming increase of people suffering from AIDS. This disease can be prevented if you are aware of the causes and the different AIDS symptoms.
Learn about this important information as well as the things that you should do if you already are afflicted with this disease.
What is HIV and AIDS?
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a condition that is caused by human immunodeficiency virus or HIV.
The disease affects the body’s immune system making the affected person susceptible to infections which are difficult to treat.
According to CDC statistics, there are about 33.4 million people who are suffering from AIDS worldwide with about 2.7 million new cases each year.
This was first identified in 1981 by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States.
It is said to have originated during the 19th to 20th century in West Central Africa. Because there is no cure yet for this disease, prevention is advocated by health professionals.
There are several ways on how AIDS is transmitted from one person to another. Sexual transmission is the most common one whether it is anal, oral or vaginal.
When you come in contact with the seminal fluid, semen, vaginal fluids and the mucous membranes of a person who has this condition, then there is a high chance that you can get it too.
AIDS can also be transmitted through blood products during blood transfusion, sharing used syringes, getting tattoos and piercings and needle pricks from syringes used on an infected person.
When a mother is infected with this disease, there is a high chance of her baby to be affected when delivered normally. Babies can also be infected through breastfeeding.
What are the Symptoms of AIDS?
When a person becomes infected with HIV, AIDS symptoms do not show immediately.
There are some who will manifest flu-like symptoms such as a headache, fever, tiredness and body pains that can last for a few days to a few weeks.
These will disappear on their own and you may not show other AIDS symptoms for several years.
During this asymptomatic stage that can last for up to ten years, the HIV virus will continue to multiply in the body attacking your immune system.
Afterwards, you will then begin to show the various AIDS symptoms which include frequent infections like pneumonia and brain infections, weight loss, coughing, shortness of breath, seizures, difficulty in swallowing, nausea and vomiting, severe diarrhea, confusion and other mental symptoms, loss of vision, fatigue, headaches and eventually, coma.
As what was mentioned, there is no cure for AIDS and the treatment is focused on relieving the different AIDS symptoms as well as preventing new infections.
There will be medication therapy, proper diet and nutrition and rehabilitation if needed. For the prevention, you have to remember the methods of transmission.
Always practice safe sex by checking if your partner is clean from HIV and by using latex condoms if you are not too sure. Having multiple partners is also not recommended for this increases your chances of having HIV.
Do not share needles and do not use prohibited drugs. For health care professionals, always follow the protocols for handling needles and contaminated fluids so as to keep you safe.
How Does AIDS Enter the Picture?
AIDS is the result of having contracted HIV.
HIV is the virus that destroys the human immune system which ultimately makes us fall ill with different kinds of diseases.
Prevention is always better than cure and the thing about AIDs and HIV is that there is no cure yet. Preventing the disease is the key. Here is what you can do.
Maintain a healthy sexual relationship.
This means that to stop the spread of the disease maintain a sexual relationship with one person. Always be careful in choosing a partner to have sex with. Monogamy is the key to preventing this disease from spreading.
Learn having protected sex.
Use condoms and other methods that protect you from the unwanted disease. It is also been known that male circumcision reduces the risk of HIV in men.
AIDS and HIV is transferred by means of blood and other fluids inside the body.
This means, blood, sperm, and mucous membranes are the main sources of the disease. Extra precaution is needed in handling them.
Be aware of the risks involved with HIV and AIDS.
Join programs that spread awareness to young people who are especially at risk of getting HIV and AIDS.
There are several government programs that cater to health education regarding the disease.
For HIV positive parents, learn the ways of preventing your child from acquiring the disease by having regular check up with the doctor.
They might give you a prescription medication to stop the transfer of the virus from you to your child.
Clean up after yourself.
If you have just cut yourself and resulted to an open wound. Make sure that it is not exposed to these circumstances.
You may not be able to notice it but your wound can easily be infected with the virus. Do regular hand washing.
Have yourself screened yearly.
You might not know it until the first sign and symptom appear. In order to prevent the spread of the disease, make sure you are clean.