Acquired immune deficiency sydrome (AIDS) is one of the disease in the world that has no cure and it is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This disease affects the immune system of the body and makes individual to be exposed to infections and tumors. According to AVERT, a report in 2009 shows an estimate of 33.3 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS with about 2.6 million people gets infected with HIV every year while 1.8 million deaths are been recorded yearly as a result of AIDS.
HIV is spread in the body through direct contact of a mucous membrane or blood stream with a bodily fluid containing HIV. Examples of bodily fluid that may be infected with HIV includes blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluid. HIV is transmitted when people have anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion and using needles that is been infected with HIV. Babies tends to have HIV from their mother during pregnancy, childbirth and breast feeding. HIV have also been detected in saliva, tears, nervous system tissue and spinal fluid but only blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk is the major way HIV is been transmitted to others. HIV infections is not spread by mosquitoes, casual contact such as hugging, touching a person infected with HIV or participating in sports or any activities.
The symptoms of AIDS are as a result of HIV infections caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites, which affects nearly every system of the organ. Symptoms common with AIDS includes fever, sweats (most especially at night), weight loss, chills, weakness and swollen glands. The risk of developing various cancers such as cervical cancer and Kaposi’s sarcoma are high in people that has AIDS. One major infection that is associated with HIV is tuberculosis (TB). Tuberculosis is transmissible to people and is not easily treatable once some has the infection. According to World Health Organization (WHO), in 2007, records shows that 456,000 deaths as a result of tuberculosis were HIV positive.
Chronic diarrhea is associated with people that are HIV positive and this is due to many possible causes such as bacteria and parasitic infections. Diarrhea is believed to be a result of changes in the way the intestinal tract captures nutrient. On the other hand diarrhea may be a side effect of drugs that is been used to treat HIV. It can also be the side effect of taking antibiotics which is been used to treat diarrhea.
The major ways HIV is been transmitted to people are sexual contact, during childbearing and exposure to infected body fluids. Knowing the major ways HIV is been transmitted will help in the prevention of the spread of HIV. The use of male or female condoms can reduce the risk of infection with HIV and other sexual transmitted diseases. The risk of contracting HIV through sexual contacts can be reduced to about 80% if condoms is been used during sexual intercourse. The risk can be reduced further if the condom is used the right way every time. Research carried on couples where one partner is infected with HIV and there is constant use of condom shows rate of HIV was below 1% per year for the uninfected partner.
Mothers who are infected with HIV should avoid breast-feeding their infant as this will help in preventing the transmission of HIV to the infant. People working in clinics, hospitals or other health related works should always use barriers which can expose them to body fluids. Such barriers includes gloves, protective eye wares or shields, masks, and gowns or aprons which will prevent the exposure of the skin to blood borne pathogens. Sharp objects such as needles, glass and scalpels should be disposed off carefully.
Lastly the best way to prevent the spread of AIDS is educating the people on the causes and prevention of HIV/AIDS. Ways of educating people starts from schools , because the youths are more prone to the disease and the media to inform the general public.
There is no vaccine or cure for HIV or AIDS so extra precaution needs to be made so that you don’t get infected with the disease but if you do then you have to able to manage it. The best way of managing AIDS after someone is being exposed to the virus is with the use of antiretroviral drugs. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is the current treatment of HIV infections.
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