AIDS is the acronym for the incurable disease acquired immunodeficiency virus (HIV). AIDS is caused by an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Over time, HIV infection destroys the helper T cells of the body's immune system, resulting in a critical deterioration of the immune system and the ability of the body to fight infection. Advanced HIV infection is called AIDS.
AIDS is frequently a sexually transmitted disease. HIV which causes ADIS is most often passed from one person another during sexual contact that involves vaginal, oral, or anal sex. HIV can also be passed to another person through other means, such as through contact with blood or body fluids. This can occur through such processes as blood transfusions or sharing needles contaminated with HIV. HIV can also be passed from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
Early infection with HIV often produces no symptoms. When there are symptoms, they can include flu - like symtoms that occur about four to eight weeks after infection. These symptoms generally go away within several weeks. There then may be no symptoms for months to years. Eventually a person with HIV infection develops serious, life-threatening complications. This is generally when a diagnosis of AIDS is made. For more details on complications and symptoms, refer to symptoms of AIDS.
Any person that engages in sexual activity can contract and pass on the HIV infection, which causes AIDS. This includes heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual men and women. The more sexual partners a person has, the greater the risk of catching and passing on an HIV infection. Having another type of sexually transmitted disease, such as shlamydia, genetial herpes, HPV or gonorrhea, also puts a person at greater risk for contracting an HIV infection and eventually developing AIDS.
The diagnostic test for HIV is a blood test that can reveal the presence of the specific antibodies (infection-fighting substances) that the body makes in response to an HIV infection. However, HIV may not be detectable in the first one to three months after infection. A diagnosis of AIDS is generally made when HIV infection has resulted in serious complications and opportunistic infections are occurring. These can include pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, kaposi's sarcoma and tuberculosis .
During or after a diagnosis of AIDS, a physician or licensed health care provider will take a medical and sexual history to determine general health and immune system status. A complete physical and pelvic examination for women and physical and examination of the penis and testicles for men is also done. Additional tests are done to test for the presence of other potential disorders and diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases.
Because there are often no symptoms in the early stages, some people with AIDS may be unaware of an HIV infection, and a diagnosis can be missed or delayed. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagonosis of HIV.
AIDS is a highly preventable disease. Prevention of AIDS is best accomplished by abstaining from sexual activity or having sex only within a mutually monogamous relationship in which neither partner is infected with HIV. Latex condoms also provide some protection from HIV and AIDS when used properly.
There currently is no cure for HIV infection and AIDS. However, prompt diagnosis and treatment of HIV infection can help to delay the onset of AIDS and serious complications, such as opportunistic infections, improve the quality of life, and minimize the spread of the disease to others. Treatment generally includes medications. Hospitalization may be necessary if a person has serious complications, such as meningitis or an opportunistic infection. For more information on treatment, refer to treament of AIDS . ..
AIDS: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is the result of an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This virus attacks selected cells of the ...
AIDS: A term given to HIV patients who have a low CD4 count (below 200) which means that they have low levels of a type of immune cell called T-cells. AIDS patients tend to develop opportunistic infections symptoms, causes, and treatment of AIDS is available below. and cancers. Opportunistic infections are infections that would not normally affect a person with a healthy immune system. The HIV virus is a virus that attacks the body's immune system. More detailed information about the
Any symptoms from becoming infected typically resolve in one to four weeks.
As you can see, the signs and symptoms of HIV infection are similar to those for many different viral infections. The only way to know for sure if you are infected with HIV is to be tested. Many people infected with HIV do not have any signs and symptoms at all for many years.
HIV destroys the white blood cells that are required to fight infection. As the white cell count falls to dangerous levels, numerous infections and diseases emerge. It is at this point that a person is said to have AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
According to the CDC, as with an initial HIV infection, you cannot rely on these signs and symptoms to establish a diagnosis of AIDS. The symptoms of AIDS are similar to the symptoms of many other illnesses. AIDS is a medical diagnosis made by a healthcare professional based on specific criteria established by the CDC.
condition of the mouth and tongue of the patients with HIV/AIDS
the patients with HIV/AIDS
the penis of the male patients with HIV/AIDS
This is the main type of treatment for HIV or AIDS. It is not a cure, but it can stop people from becoming ill for many years. The treatment consists of drugs that have to be taken every day for the rest of a person’s life.
The aim of antiretroviral treatment is to keep the amount of HIV in the body at a low level. This stops any weakening of the immune system and allows it to recover from any damage that HIV might have caused already.
The drugs are often referred to as:
Taking two or more antiretroviral drugs at a time is called combination therapy. Taking a combination of three or more anti-HIV drugs is sometimes referred to as Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART).
If only one drug was taken, HIV would quickly become resistant to it and the drug would stop working. Taking two or more antiretrovirals at the same time vastly reduces the rate at which resistance would develop, making treatment more effective in the long term.
Our continuing antiretroviral treatment page has more about drug resistance.
There are more than 20 approved antiretroviral drugs but not all are licensed or available in every country. See our drugs table for a comprehensive list of antiretroviral drugs approved by the American Food and Drug Administration.
There are five groups of antiretroviral drugs. Each of these groups attacks HIV in a different way.
|Antiretroviral drug class||Abbreviations||First approved to treat HIV||How they attack HIV|
|Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors||NRTIs, |
|1987||NRTIs interfere with the action of an HIV protein called reverse transcriptase, which the virus needs to make new copies of itself.|
|Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors||NNRTIs, |
|1997||NNRTIs also stop HIV from replicating within cells by inhibiting the reverse transcriptase protein.|
|Protease Inhibitors||PIs ||1995||PIs inhibit protease, which is another protein involved in the HIV replication process.|
|Fusion or Entry Inhibitors||2003||Fusion or entry inhibitors prevent HIV from binding to or entering human immune cells.|
|Integrase Inhibitors||2007||Integrase inhibitors interfere with the integrase enzyme, which HIV needs to insert its genetic material into human cells.|
NRTIs and NNRTIs are available in most countries. Fusion/entry inhibitors and integrase inhibitors are usually only available in resource-rich countries.
Protease inhibitors are generally less suitable for starting treatment in resource-limited settings due to the cost, number of pills which need to be taken, and the particular side effects caused by protease drugs.
Allergies are caused by an over-reaction of the immune system to a particular substance or allergen. Allergies, also called allergic reactions, are common, and there are a variety of types of allergies. They include food allergies, respiratory allergies and skin allergies, which can result in such conditions as eczema and contact dermatitis.
The immune system is made up of special cells that circulate throughout the body to defend the body against foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria. For people with allergies, the immune system is overzealous and reacts when they inhale, swallow or touch normally harmless substances, such as pollen or dust. This results in the release of the chemical histamine, which causes the swelling, inflammation, and itching of tissues that is characteristic of allergies.
Almost any substance can cause allergies in a person who is sensitive to that particular substance. People with allergies are often allergic to more than one substance. Common allergies include those to dust, pollen, mold spores, animal dander, bee stings, and cockroach or dust mite droppings. Some people may also have allergies to certain plants, some medications, such aspirin or penicillin, certain foods, such as eggs or milk, or chemicals and other substances, such as latex.
When a person has allergies, exposure to an allergen can cause a wide variety of symptoms, depending on the specific allergies, the type of exposure and the severity of the allergies. Symptoms can affect the respiratory system, the skin and/or the gastrointestinal system. A very severe allergic reaction is called an anaphylactic reaction, which can be fatal. For more information on symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of allergies.
Making a diagnosis of allergies includes performing a complete evaluation that includes a medical history, including symptoms, and physical examination.
Diagnostic testing may include skin patch testing. In a patch test, small amounts of common allergens are applied methodically to the skin to determine what substances are triggering an allergic response. A blood test called a radioallergosorbent test (RAST) may also be done to help identify the substances that are causing certain allergies. For suspected food allergies, a patient may also be asked to keep a log to record the types of foods that trigger an allergic reaction.
It is very possible that a diagnosis of allergies can be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to other conditions. For more information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of allergies.
Patient compliance with a good treatment plan can control symptoms of allergies to a degree that allows a person to live a normal active life. Treatment may include a combination of lifestyle changes, medications, and other measures. For more information on treatment, refer to treatmen of allergies.
Allergies: A respiratory allergy or allergic reaction is an over-reaction by the immune system to a particular substance, or allergen. The immune system is made up of special cells that circulate throughout the body to defend the body against foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria. This is a normal protective response, but for people with allergies, the immune system gets overzealous in its job and reacts when they inhale, swallow or touch harmless substances, such as pollen or dust. Almost any substance can become an allergen and cause an allergic reaction in a person who is sensitive to that particular substance. People with allergies are often allergic to more than one substance.
Alternative treatments, complementary therapeutic options, or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly helpful for allergies may include: