HIV and AIDS

HIV and AIDS

What is it?

HIV infection— A slowly progressing disease of the immune system viral leading to weakening of the immune defense against tumors and infections. Stage HIV infectionwherebybecause ofimmunosuppression in humans appear secondary infectious or neoplastic diseases, said acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

The first reports ofHIV and AIDS appeared in the early 80th of the twentieth century. Now these names are known even to a child. Such a global information campaign was a result of the fact that the disease is spreading at an exponential rate, the cure for it is still not found, and the only way to contain its spread — to teach people how to avoid contracting a deadly virus.

It is now known that this virus originally from West Africa, is determined by its nature and structure, transmission and investigated the viability of the virus, but so far all this has not led to the creation truly effective medicines. Distribution statistics HIV appalled — at this point in the world for over 50 million man infected with HIV or AIDS.

Symptoms of the disease was first reported in 1978 in several patients in the U.S. and Sweden (ygay men), as well as in Tanzania and Haiti (in heterosexuals of both sexes). In 1983 Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute (France) discovered the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which the reason HIV infection.

Why did this happen?

There are several ways of infection HIV:

  • unprotected (without a condom) sexual intercourse (70-80 percent);
  • Sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment (5-10 percent);
  • transfusion of infected blood (5-10 percent);
  • transmission of the virus fromHIV-positive, mother to child — during pregnancy, childbirth and breast-feeding (5-10 percent);
  • the use of non-sterile tattooing and body piercing;
  • use of another's shaving supplies, toothbrushes with visible remnants of blood (extremely rare).

HIV is transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk, thus there is no risk of infection through other biological materials (such as saliva, sweat, tears, urine, and feces). This is because it is necessary to infect certain minimum concentration of the virus. So necessary for the infection of the virus is contained in a drop of blood, which fits on the end of the sewing needle and the volume of saliva which would provide the same amount of virus is 4 liters.

What's going on?

It is known that viruses can not reproduce on their own. To play them you want live cell, in which they are inserted into their genetic information. After that, the cell begins to operate as a "factory" for the production of viruses. Finally, exhausted, she dies. So, for its HIV replication uses certain cells of our immune system (a kindT-lymphocytes called helper cells). This is what explains the high risk of HIV — it affects our defense system, making it work for their reproduction.

Immune system is weakened gradually. A person living with HIV may look and feel good for many years and did not even know that they are infected. However, the virus destroys more cells of the immune system. When the number of cells is reduced below a critical level, the person becomes vulnerable to diseases, including those to which people with normal immunity is immune.

AIDS diagnosis is usually made after several years of HIV infection, when a person develops one or more serious illnesses. For example, the early signs of progression HIV infection that is worsening immunodeficiency include:

  • candidiasis (thrush) of the mouth and gastrointestinal tract
  • prolonged fever
  • night sweats
  • diarrhea
  • loss of flesh
  • frequent acute respiratory infections
  • Shingles (herpes), etc.

Diagnosis

The period after infection, before the appearance of antibodies to HIV in the blood is called the "window period." It lasts 253 days months after infection. Then using immunofluorescence bloodHIV,can detect antibodies to the virus. Blood of HIV can be done in any hospital, including anonymous.

Upon detection of antibodies to HIV screening result is regarded as positive. However, this is not the final answer, because the result is necessarily cross-checked another confirmatory test. Only after receiving repeated positive doctor informs the person if they have a HIV infection. In this case, the result of a survey reported the doctor ask the man himself, and this information is strictly confidential. According to the analysis may be consultedImmunologist venereologist or, if needed, prescribe treatment.

Treatment

Medicines used to treat HIV do not kill the virus, but only block it, disrupting the process of HIV replication and inhibiting its activity. Reduced activity of HIV increases the number of immune cells. Simultaneous reception of three or four drugs called highly active antiretroviral therapy, because as a result of such treatments can reduce the viral load in the blood to below detectable levels. However, this does not mean that the person is completely rid of the virus, since HIV can be not only in blood, but in the lymph nodes and other organs. Knowledge about their positive HIV status (Ie, the presence of virus in the blood) can help a person in time to get the health care that can prevent serious and life-threatening complications.

In the presence of some HIV infection, such as syphilis should be treated differently. Also, being HIV positive is very important to monitor the immune status and other indicators that allows time to appoint the necessary antiviral treatment, and prevent the development of AIDS. It should be remembered that a person infected with HIV can live a long life. And that this life was not for him curse, now in every city there are psychological help centers HIV-infected people hotlines and anonymous clinic.

Prophylaxis

Many people are afraid of contracting HIV through casual contact. In fact, these fears are unfounded, and regular contact with people living with HIV / AIDS, it is absolutely safe. However, there are several factors that increase the risk of infection through sexual contact:

  • Related sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) — they are also rightly called the "gateway to the virus," because they cause ulcers or inflammation of the genital organs;
  • Erosion of the cervix in women — is dangerous for men and for women. For a woman — as the erosion is the "entrance gate" for the virus. For men — becauseHIV-infected female erosion can lead to delamination cervical cells containing virus;
  • Anal sex significantly increase the risk of infection, likely because microtrauma of the mucous membrane of the rectum and anus.

To avoid HIV infection must observe the rules of personal safety in the intimate sphere.

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