AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a secondary immunodeficiency syndrome that develops as a result of HIV infection. HIV infection is an infection caused by a retrovirus. It reproduces very quickly and is incredibly volatile. It can be found in all liquid media of the body: sperm, saliva, vaginal discharge, blood, urine. The disease affects the human immune system. AIDS is not a common infectious disease, which is characterized by its specific specific symptoms. Here there is a complex of symptoms that can worsen and disappear. From the moment of HIV infection to AIDS, it can take more than 10 years.
- Fast fatiguability.
- Loss in weight.
- Repeated infectious diseases.
- Enlargement of lymph nodes.
- Heavy sweating at night.
AIDS develops as a result of HIV infection. It is transmitted during sexual intercourse, transfusion of contaminated blood and the use of non-sterile needles, as well as from an infected mother to her child. HIV is not transmitted by household contacts.
There is no vaccine against AIDS, the disease is considered incurable. A method of treatment that inhibits the development of HIV is used. Supportive therapy is aimed at reducing the risk of infection, treating existing infections and cancer, as well as providing psychological support to the patient.
It is necessary to avoid casual sexual relations, to use a condom. In addition, you must follow the rules of personal hygiene.
If you have any doubts, do a blood test for AIDS. Especially this applies to those who belong to the risk group: homosexuals, drug addicts, prostitutes and their clients.
This test is a blood test, which is sent to the laboratory for research. If the result of the test is positive, and there are antibodies of the HIV virus in the blood, then the person has become infected. After receiving a positive result, the AIDS test is repeated. Once again having received a positive response, other studies (with the patient's consent) are carried out to confirm the diagnosis. The HIV test using modern laboratory equipment is performed within 1-4 hours, but due to the internal regulations in different laboratories, the answer is usually reported in a few days.
Course of the disease
Many people with AIDS have no symptoms until they become ill with an infectious disease, such as influenza. The most common symptoms are fatigue, fever, weight loss, diarrhea, cough. The patient is feverish, his throat hurts, he feels tired, cervical lymph nodes increase.
Because of the weakening of the immune system, a person suffering from this ailment is very thin, quickly weakens, etc. He increasingly suffers from protracted infectious diseases. The course of the disease is intermittent: it aggravates, after that the patient's condition improves for a while and then deteriorates again. At the last stage, in addition to infectious diseases, various malignant tumors appear in the body, of which Kaposi's sarcoma is the most characteristic of AIDS. Those who suffer from AIDS most often die.
Daily communication with HIV-infected is not dangerous. The virus does not spread by airborne droplets.
HIV is transmitted through sexual contact, so when using sexual intercourse, condoms should be used. Infection occurs with the use of one syringe by several addicts. It is impossible to catch a virus when kissing, using a shared toilet, a bathroom, a sauna, a swimming pool.
How can you become infected with HIV?
The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, discovered in 1981, was at first regarded as a problem exclusively rejected by society: prostitutes, homosexuals, so-called intravenous drug addicts. However, it soon became clear that any person could get this disease. Still, the fear that has arisen in society is not entirely justified - in fact the probability of HIV infection is rather low. In addition, today the methods of transmission of the virus - the causative agent of AIDS are known for certain. So, HIV can be infected in the following ways:
- At sexual intercourse without the use of protective means with people who are carriers of the disease or AIDS patients (with frequent changes in sexual partners, there is always a possibility of infection).
- Through the blood (when injecting drugs using non-sterile syringes and needles).
- When blood transfusions of virus carriers or drugs obtained from such blood (especially if the transfusion was a long time, until 1981). Only much later all the donor blood was checked for the presence of HIV pathogens in it.
- Transfer of the pathogen from the infected mother to her child during pregnancy, childbirth or through breast milk.
The fear that a person could become infected with HIV is justified only if the above circumstances have occurred. So far, cases of the onset of the disease, for example, from a bite of a domestic animal or an insect, have not been recorded. In view of the fact that from the moment of infection to the manifestation of the disease it can take a very long time (the longest recorded period is 15 years), HIV-infected patients may also have specific symptoms, such as persistent fever, lymph gland enlargement, joint and muscle pain, Weight loss, cough, severe diarrhea, increased night sweats, and very rarely observed skin tumors of certain types (eg, Kaposi's sarcoma). Due to the fact that these symptoms can occur in other diseases, only a doctor, after making certain tests, can diagnose the patient with HIV.
If he is suspicious
If a person is suspected of this disease, they need to take an HIV test (check for antibodies against the pathogens) because HIV infection does not have any symptoms specific to it, and the presence of a large number of forms of the disease. Such a test is performed in the laboratory of the AIDS center (if desired, it is done anonymously).
If the result of the HIV test and repeated (control) testing is positive, this does not mean that a person will necessarily fall ill with AIDS. According to modern medicine, some people infected with AIDS may be carriers of this virus and not know that they suffer from this disease.
If, after accidental sexual intercourse, you suspect that you have contracted HIV, do not hide it from your partner or spouse. Do not enter into sexual relations without protective means until you learn the results of a special test. A person infected with this infection can remain a carrier of the virus for life!