There are many severe and mild diseases that are caused by viruses and one of the known diseases is AIDS. The most dreadful fact about virus-borne diseases is that there is no cure or treatment for them.
Thus the best alternative to coming in contact with harmful viruses is to protect yourself from them by following preventive techniques.
One such viral disease is AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). It has been a dominating Sexually transmitted disease (STD) for the past many years.
It is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Even after thorough researches and ongoing studies, no possible treatment or vaccination has been devised for AIDS. That means, once you encounter it, you cannot escape its paws.
How is AIDS transmitted?
HIV virus can be transmitted via:
- Unprotected sexual intercourse: during intercourse, the virus can enter the body of the uninfected person via blood or semen.
- Mother to her fetus: an infected mother can transmit the virus to her developing fetus
- Mother to a child via breastfeeding or during birth: if the mother gets infected during or after pregnancy, then the virus can be transmitted via breastfeeding or while giving birth.
- Transfusion of infected blood intravenously: if the patient uses an infected IV during a hospital visit or admission, then he can easily contact the virus via blood.
- Infected needles: the blood donation camps might have infected blood. Infected blood can be transmitted via syringes to an uninfected patient.
Symptoms of AIDS:
The symptoms of AIDS vary according to its stage. Signs of HIV are visible differently during every stage. Thus it is difficult to confirm the presence of the HIV virus in the blood.
During the initial weeks, the symptoms are mild and might go unnoticed. the symptoms during this stage are:
- Sore throat
- painful mouth sores
- Swollen lymph glands
- Weight loss
- Muscle aches and joint pain
- Night sweats
Clinical latent infection-
During this stage, the virus is present in the white blood cells. It is undetectable sometimes as it doesn’t show any symptoms. The virus multiplies and grows inside the body. It makes the immune system weaker and makes the body more prone to infections and diseases.
Symptomatic HIV infection:
In this stage, the immune system is weak, and even mild infections have long-lasting effects on our bodies. Some of the symptoms visible during this stage are:
- Oral yeast infection (thrush)
- Shingles (herpes zoster)
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Weight loss
Infection to syndrome-
If it is left untreated, then the HIV virus can develop from infection to AIDS, a syndrome. It takes HIV 8-10 years to manifest itself in the cruelest as AIDS. The immune system is almost destroyed and is prone to opportunist infections and cancer. The symptoms manifested during this stage are:
- Skin rashes or bumps
- Recurring fever
- Persistent white spots
- unusual lesions on the tongue or inside the mouth
- unexplained fatigue
- Chronic diarrhea
- Swollen lymph glands
- Weight loss
The preventive techniques that can be used to stop HIV from spreading at very initial stages are:
- Treatment as prevention:
If a person is infected with HIV, then taking regular HIV medications can keep their partner safe. If the virus in the blood stays undetected, then the blood tests don’t show any virus and thus it can’t be transferred to anyone. But, you will have to be strict with your medical schedule and regular check-ups are necessary.
- Post-exposure prophylaxis:
In this situation in which the patient is exposed to HIV via any means (sexual, transfusion, or needles) then you can consult the doctor at the earliest for taking PEP within 72 hours of infection. If the medicine is taken for 28 days continuously then it might stop the development of HIV.
- Having safe and protected intercourse:
Always use protective devices when you indulge in sexual intercourse. The safest option is a latex condom. Don’t reuse the condom. Use a water-based lubricated one instead of oil lubricated.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis:
A combination of drug emtricitabine with tenofovir (Truvada) and emtricitabine plus tenofovir alafenamide (Descovy) reduces the risk of sexual transmission of HIV by 20%, reveals a study.
- Using fresh needles:
Make sure that the medical staff doesn’t reuse an injection. Whenever you go for an injection, ask them to produce a fresh injection from a packed box.
- Inform your partner:
Your partner has the right to know about your health status to make a sound decision. Don’t keep them in dark if you have HIV.
- Take precautions during pregnancy:
Make sure you get your tests done for all the diseases that can be a threat to your child. During pregnancy, avoid unprotected sexual intercourse and blood transfusion of any kind without the supervision of a certified doctor.
You can search for ‘HIV treatment near me’ to locate a center that can help you with your problem. Taking appropriate precautions and prevention can keep this monstrous infection at bay.