ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME & TREATMENT
Definition: What is "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome"?
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome also termed as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a compilation infections & symptoms that result from a specific damage to an individual's immune system. This is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (or HIV) & other similar viruses such as SIV or FIV. The late phase of HIV & AIDS exist to slow down the viral progression. Currently, there is still no cure for this illness. AIDS can be transmitted through direct contacts of the bloodstream or of a mucous membrane with any of the body fluids such as semen, blood, vaginal fluid, breast milk, or preseminal fluid. The modes of transmission could be sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, oral sex, anal sex, or a contact with hypodermic needles that are contaminated with the virus. Another unfortunate means of getting the virus is the exchange of fluids between the baby & its mother during pregnancy.
Treatment: How to Treat "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome"?
Antiretroviral treatments reduce the morbidity & the mortality of the HIV virus. The sad thing is, not all countries have access to antiretroviral medications.
As of the month of January in 2006, the estimated records of AIDS victims who have died have reached an alarming 25 million individuals. This is only since its recognition in June 1981. It is one of the most deadly epidemics ever recorded in history. The year 2005 alone records an estimate of 2.4 to 3.3 million deaths of which 570,000 are children. One-third of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa which continuously affects the growth of their economy.
HIV Stages of Infection
In the year 2005, WHO or the World Health Organization has grouped the conditions & infections by the introduction of a staging scheme for affected individuals. The stages are: Stage 1 is an asymptomatic HIV infection & it is still not classified as AIDS; Stage 2 is inclusive of slight mucocutaneous signs & upper respiratory tract infections that are recurring; Stage 3 often has chronic diarrhea (which lasts longer than a month), acute pulmonary tuberculosis & bacterial infections; Stage 4 is inclusive of esophageal candidiasis, toxoplasmosis of the brain, Kaposi's sarcoma, or bronchitis.
Misconceptions on HIV & AIDS
There are a few misconceptions that surround HIV & AIDS. The most common are casual contact can spread the virus; having sexual contact with a virgin would heal AIDS; & the idea that HIV can only infect drug users or gay men.