HIV – Symptoms, Cure, Causes, Test, Treatment, Contagious, Home Remedies

By | December 1, 2015

What are HIV/AIDS?

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is a retrovirus which infects the cells of the person’s immune system, thus damaging the functions of each part. Meanwhile, the most advanced stage of this infection is known as the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

Causes :

The HIV is a type of viral infection that can easily transmit the infection through sexual activities, blood exchange during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Listed below are some of the causes of acquiring the deadly HIV/AIDS:

  • Having Sexual Contact – When you have a sexual contact with a partner infected with his virus, you are absolutely transmitted with the virus through the blood or semen and vaginal secretions which enters the body.
  • From Medical Blood Transfusions – In some instances, unscreened blood used to transfer or transfuse blood supply from one person to another with active HIV antibodies can directly spread into the patient being transfused.
  • Sharing of needles & Syringes – The virus can also be quickly transmitted by using the same needles and syringes which are contaminated from a person with the virus.
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth – Infected mothers with this virus can have a chance of transmitting it to their child. However, if proper medication and treatment is followed the risks of transmitting the virus to the baby are lowered.


Signs and Symptoms :

The signs and symptoms of this fatal virus will depend on the severity of the infection.

  • Acute HIV :

For most people infected with this virus, one can have a flu-like feeling for about one to two months. Some of the known symptoms of acute HIV are:

  1. Fever
  2. Headache
  3. Muscle and joint pain
  4. Rashes
  5. Sore throat
  6. Swollen lymph glands, mainly on the neck
  • Chronic HIV :

For chronic patients, they may suffer from persistent swelling of the lymph nodes. Other than the mentioned signs and symptoms above, there is no particular symptom of this disease.
One should know that the HIV will remain in the body even if treated.


Diagnosis :

The HIV/AIDS infection is commonly diagnosed through blood or saliva sample testing for antibodies. But, even if you have some possible signs of HIV/AIDS, it takes a lot of time before your body generates the antibodies which can lead up to three to four months.

There is a new version of checking the HIV antigen which can have a faster diagnosis compared to conventional way of testing. If you are diagnosed as early as possible, you are prompted to take the necessary preventive actions in order to stop the spreading of the virus.

Tests :

Today, there is already an approved home test available for home testing. For this home testing, one will collect fluids from the upper and lower gums using a cotton swab. When the test is positive, you need to immediately seek medical attention. But, if it is negative you have to take the test again for about three months to make sure the results are true.

If you are diagnosed with the HIV/AIDS infection, you can opt for several tests which include:

  • CD4 Count – This type of test will use your white blood cells called the CD4 cells. The amount of CD4 cells will determine the progression of the HIV infection.
  • Viral load – This type of tests allows doctors to quantify the amount of virus traversing in your blood stream.
  • Drug Resistance – This type of test will help doctors know whether the strain of HIV inside your body will be resistant to various medical drugs and anti-HIV medicines.


Prognosis :

HIV/AIDS prognosis has improved immensely over the years which depend primarily on important factors. Among the factors which are important to the recovery is the patient’s access to HIV/AIDS medical experts and appropriate medical treatments.

As of the time, there is still no known cure for this fatal disease. The advancement of medical technology can only slow down the progression of the virus but cannot kill it totally. There are various anti-retroviral medications that are prescribed to HIV/AIDS patients to enhance their overall health and improve their years of living and make it longer.

Prevention :

The only way to prevent having to acquire HIV/AIDS is by reducing your risk to HIV/AIDS exposure including sex without the use of condoms or sharing personal hygiene such as razor, needles and syringes.

  • Sexual Activities – The virus can easily be transmitted with sexual intercourse without any condoms. Whether it is vaginal, anal or oral sex there is still a huge possibility of acquiring the virus. Further, sharing sex toys is also believed to spread the virus if someone who used it is infected with the virus.
  • Condoms – Whether you are a man or a woman, always use condoms. Nowadays, there are available male and female condoms in the market. This material is one of the most effective aids in preventing contacting any sexually transmitted infection.
  • Lubricant – This is used to enhance the sexual pleasure by adding a moisturizing agent into the vagina or the penis during sexual activities. Using lubricants can have a safe sex because it reduces the chance of causing vaginal tears or anal tears due to constant friction.


Is HIV/AIDS Contagious?

Yes, HIV is very contagious. When HIV is transmitted it can lead to a more serious infection called the AIDS. This can be acquired by blood, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk and other body fluids during sex.

Types :

The following are the stages of the HIV:

  • Acute Retroviral Syndrome – This occurs like a mononucleosis illness which dramatically develops just several days after the acquisition of the HIV.
  • Stage 1 (HIV Infection) – The CD4 cell count is at least 500 cells per microliter of the lymphocytes.
  • Stage 2 (HIV infection) – The CD4 cell count is at around 200 to 499 cells per microliter of the lymphocytes.
  • Stage 3 (AIDS) – The CD4 cell count is below 200 cells per microliter of the lymphocytes. Further, AIDS related condition is now being diagnosed.

Complications :

A person diagnosed with HIV/AIDS is prone to a weak immune system which makes you more at risks to various infections and complications.

  • Tuberculosis (TB)
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Candidiasis
  • Cryptococcal Meningitis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Kaposi’s Sarcoma
  • Lymphomas
  • Wasting syndrome
  • Neurological complications
  • Kidney disease

Home Remedies :

Aside from the ongoing medical treatment, you can also add some to your daily routine simple home remedies to keep you healthier.

  • Eating Healthy and Nutritious Foods – Make your immune system stronger and healthier by eating fruits and vegetables.
  • Get Immunized – Let yourself be immunized from other illnesses and diseases to prevent infections such as Pneumonia and Flu.
  • Avoid Playing or Having Pet Animals – Some animals may be carriers of certain parasites which may cause serious infections to your body. If this can’t be avoided, always wash your hands thoroughly when handling pets and always keep their area clean.

Treatment :

The treatment of HIV/AIDS has long been studied by numerous medical experts. Today, there are at least 31 anti-retroviral medical drugs to treat a person with HIV infection. However, these treatments do not cure the infected persons of HIV/AIDS they only make the health improve so as to keep them living for a longer period of time.

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