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In HIV-infected individuals, there is a gradual loss of immune cells (called CD4+ T-lymphocytes) and immune function.
The mechanisms by which HIV causes this immune deficiency are still not completely understood, although direct infection of CD4+ T-lymphocytes by HIV certainly plays a role.
HIV-1 attacking the CD4-lymphocytes
World’s AIDS map Observations- Most affected regions- USA, South Africa ,Eastern Africa, India Severely affected regions- China , Russia, Brazil, Vietnam Less affected regions –Australia, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan
People with AIDS often have systemic symptoms of infection like fevers, sweats(particularly at night), swollen glands, chills, weakness, and weight loss.
The symptoms of AIDS are primarily the result of conditions that do not normally develop in individuals with healthy immune systems.
Most of these conditions are infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.
Other symptom’s People with AIDS also have an increased risk of developing various cancers such as Kaposi’s sarcoma- High-grade B cell lymphomas such as Burkitt’s lymphoma pictured left-
HIV tests (Diagnosis) HIV antibody test-
HIV antibody tests are the most appropriate test for routine diagnosis of HIV among adults. Antibody tests are inexpensive and very accurate
When a person is infected with HIV, their body responds by producing special proteins that fight infection, called antibodies.
An HIV antibody test looks for these antibodies in blood, saliva or urine. If antibodies are detected, it means a person has been infected with HIV.
PCR (Polymerase chain reaction ) Test-
A PCR test (Polymerase Chain Reaction test) can detect the genetic material of HIV rather than the antibodies to the virus, and so can identify HIV in the blood within two or three weeks of infection.
But, they are very expensive and more complicated to administer and interpret than a standard antibody test.
A Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) virus. In the middle of the virus is its viral genetic material.
Drugs are not a cure, but they can stop people from becoming ill for many years.
The treatment consists of drugs that have to be taken every day for the rest of a person’s life.
These drugs are often known as –
Anti-HIV drugs or Anti-AIDS drugs
HIV antiviral drugs
Taking two or more antiretroviral drugs at a time is called combination therapy.
If only one drug was taken, HIV would quickly become resistant to it.
Taking two or more antiretrovirals at the same time vastly reduces the rate at which resistance would develop, making treatment more effective in the long term.
Antiretrovirals kept together in a box.
Globally, the most common route of HIV transmission is through sexual contact.
The use of condoms is vital in helping to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Condoms also help to prevent infection by STDs, such as gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, and hepatitis B.
“ AIDS: Your Problem, Control With Condoms”. A road sign in Botswana.
Condom A condom awareness programme in Argentina. A condom prevents the transmission of AIDS through the sexual contact
Such groups have helped raise public awareness about acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), which affects millions of people worldwide. These are some of the birth control devices which prevent the contact of the egg and the sperm.
Many cases of HIV transmission occurred through contaminated blood and transfusions which is prevented by screening and heat procedures. HIV-infected mothers should avoid breast-feeding their infant if replacement feeding is acceptable, feasible, affordable, sustainable and safe
In 1990, HIV-infected individuals were included in the Americans with Disabilities Act so that it became illegal to discriminate against such individuals for jobs, housing, and other social benefits.
Sex education is now started in some schools to promote Sexual awareness.
The AIDS quilt travels on display to promote public awareness of AIDS Each panel is individually designed and is dedicated to the memory of someone who has died of AIDS.
Famous celebrities engaged in AIDS Awareness “Magic” Johnson Princess Diana Bill Clinton “I'm going to beat it and I'm going to have fun.” - "Magic" Johnson - referring to his HIV-positive status.