08 Jun

Alex Simring Discusses HIV Basics

Alex Simring discusses HIV Basics

Alex Simring has written this brief overview which outlines some basic features of HIV infection. Remember that is article is not meant to provide medical advice, and that a physician should always be consulted if there is any concern about possible HIV infection. More information about the author can be found at Alex Simring’s Journey…Discover.

The symptoms of AIDS and HIV vary based on the stage of clinical illness. Below there is a list of the main stages of HIV.

Primary disease

“Most individuals develop a flu-like illness within a month or two after the virus enters the body.”, states Alex. This sickness, known as acute or primary HIV infection, may continue for several weeks. As you can see, many of these symptoms are relatively non specific and are typical of the flu. Alex Simring has pointed out that as such, it will often go unnoticed or just dismissed as a common cold or flu at the time.

Temperature and Fevers
Head Ache
Muscle pains and Myalgia
Chills and Sweats
Swollen lymph glands, mostly on the neck (cervical lymphadenopathy)
Diarrhoea

Although the symptoms of primary HIV infection may be so mild as to go undetected, the quantity of virus in the bloodstream (viral load) is not especially low at this time. Alex Simring has pointed out that consequently, HIV is particularly infectious during this time. Since people may not know they are infected with HIV during the early stages of disease, this can be a particular problem with disease transmission. This is one of the main reasons to practise so called “Universal Precautions” with sexual contact. Most people with early disease will have minimal symptoms and appear otherwise healthy.
Clinical latent disease

Alex Simring has also written that during clinical latent HIV, constant swelling of lymph nodes happens in some individuals. Otherwise, there aren’t any certain indications and symptoms. HIV remains in the human body yet, and in white blood cells that are contaminated. This is also a time when individuals appear otherwise healthy, and although not quite as infectious as during the primary phase, HIV transmission still occurs readily.

Clinical latent illness usually lasts eight to ten years. Alex has also written that a number of folks remain in this period longer, but many people will progress to later stages earlier.
Early symptomatic HIV infection

As the virus continues to multiply and destroy the cells making up the immune system, you may begin to develop symptoms and illnesses or persistent signs. Alex Simring has listed the following for example:

Temperature
Exhaustion and Fatigue
Swollen lymph nodes — frequently one of the first indications of HIV infection
Diarrhoea
Cough
Shortness of breath

Progression to AIDS

The disease usually progresses to AIDS in about a decade, if you receive no treatment for your HIV infection. By the time AIDS develops, your immune system has been badly damaged, making you susceptible to opportunistic infections — disorders that would not trouble an individual with a healthy immune system.

A number of these infections’ signs and symptom and Alex Simring has listed  the following:

Cough
Persistent diarrhea
Constant white spots or unusual lesions in your mouth or on your own tongue
Head aches
Constant, unexplained fatigue
Blurred and twisted eyesight
Skin rashes or lumps

When to see a physician

Alex Simring has given the following advice: if you believe you may have been infected with HIV or are in danger of getting the virus, see a doctor immediately. In particular, if you have had unprotected sexual contact or shared needles with someone it might be worthwhile seeing your physician to order testing for HIV. Simring has also pointed out the there is a latent period after initial exposure to HIV, and so it is possible that you may need to be retested in 3-6 months if an initial test is negative. Most important is to make sure you always follow universal precautions and avoid having unprotected sex or sharing needles.

12 Nov

Disclosure

Do you have to tell?

 

After being diagnosed with HIV or AIDS, the next thing that would probably play in mind is whether to tell or not about the disease. Having diagnosed with HIV or AIDS is difficult to accept and thinking about what comes next makes the battle even harder. Having the diseases means facing a tough battle ahead thus it is important that support groups are there to guide and provide encouragement to anyone who is faced with this tremendous stress in life.

 

Having diagnosed with HIV, the first tough thing to do is probably acceptance. Just like in the stages of grief, acceptance is the first but very difficult stage to get through. Once a person accepted the condition, everything else will just follow. After going through these stages, which is basically a battle inside one’s self, disclosure comes next. Disclosure in this case is very difficult. One might be scared of telling because of the stigma the community and whether or not the people around him or her would accept the condition or would simply cast the person away. This social battle can influence how an HIV infected person sees his or herself throughout the course of the disease.

 

Disclosure is very important especially in cases of HIV or AIDS. The tough battle ahead is just too vast for someone to go through it alone. It is important to be able to talk to someone or to a group of people especially those who can help in getting the proper treatment. Family, friends, support groups become very vital in the life of an infected individual. These people should serve as sources of strength and motivation in fighting the disease. For anyone diagnosed with AIDS or HIV, it is also important to talk to previous sexual partners about the current HIV status, this will help them seek consult for themselves as well so as to put a halt in the spread of the disease and aside from this detection of cases will be faster.

 

Disclosure especially in this case can be tough but this will definitely help in battling the condition. Being able to talk to family and friends, expressing feelings and sharing thoughts can give a tremendous relief for someone having this terminal condition. A simple conversation could mean a lot for someone who’s going through this sad reality. Facing the future with hope and faith is quite difficult especially when HIV or AIDS go along with the journey. At times, people with this disease tend to question their faith and start to go away from the right path making the condition a lot worse. This is where family, friends, and support groups can really play a big part. The stigma brought by the community is unavoidable, but making these individuals feel loved, appreciated, and giving them the courage to fight can really make a difference.

 

For HIV or AIDS patients, disclosure might be tough at first but later on this will help in giving ease to the pain one is experiencing and being able to express feelings, hurts, happiness, and most especially being able to help others become aware of the existence of this condition, all these things are worth the fight.

22 Jun

First Steps to Treatment

Treatment Options

 

HIV is a viral disease that has to be managed with a series of step by step therapy. When someone is a suspected to be HIV infected, there are several laboratory exams that have to be done to confirm the diagnosis. This work up involves testing your blood for the presence of antibodies. When a positive result is yielded this is where another step has to be taken into consideration.

 

During the first clinic visit of an HIV positive individual, further lab work ups have to be made in order to set a baseline data which can help the physician and everyone involved in the treatment in the whole course of management. Some of the lab work ups are CD 4 count and viral over load. The results that will be gathered through these tests can help the physician for future decisions and course of treatment that may be available for the patient. Aside from the CD4 count and viral load test, a drug sensitivity test also has to be made. This will help the physician know which antiviral drugs will be effective for the treatment of the disease.

 

Other relevant laboratory tests that can serve well in the course of management are:

  • CBC (Complete blood count) which can help determine the hemodynamic status of the patient.
  • Kidney and Liver function tests which can give a picture of the status of the patient’s kidneys and liver which are major organs for metabolism and excretion of drugs. Any damage in these organs will greatly affect which drug regimen will be appropriate for the patient.
  • Tests for Sexually Transmitted Diseases. This can present co-morbidities with the HIV as well as other drugs that has to be given in order to address conditions such as STIs
  • Tests for other infections. Aside from sexually transmitted diseases, other infections such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, etc are also important to know because this will help give a whole picture of the current health status of the individual and what therapy is appropriate. Presence of other illnesses has to be considered so as not to mismanage the condition. There are drugs that can treat one condition but further worsen another. This is why it is important to lay down all the cards before making any further therapy.

 

Medical exams are important to give a baseline data in order to monitor the progress or deceleration of the course of treatment. Also, this can give important information whether the patient is responding or not on the chosen method of treatment.

 

During clinic visits, especially the initial visits, it is important to know the important things about the disease. It is during this time that options are given as well as further history and physical examination has to be done. It is also during this time that the physician would most probably ask about support groups, housing, activity groups, assistance and the like. These things are vital in the course of therapy. A simple support group can help a lot in the management of an HIV patient. Having someone or a group of people understand what you are going through means a lot.

16 May

Living with HIV – how to stay healthy

How to stay healthy?

 

A lot of incidences of diseases occurring in different parts of the world are being added to the health statistics. These diseases may range from a very subtle one to the most virulent ones. The government and some private organizations are working hand in hand to prevent diseases and promote health, but still it all depends on how the individual sees his or herself in terms of health and what measures are done t prevent illness and promote a healthy living.

 

Having a disease means there is break in the continuity of health. Somewhere in the chain has been broken thus the entry of disease becomes possible. It is said that the point of entry of illnesses is what individuals can control because other phases of the disease process such invasion, incubation, re-infection are all beyond human control. This is the reason why promotion of health and prevention of diseases are advocated through information dissemination. Knowing about the disease is the best weapon in controlling its spread and preventing its occurrence.

 

Keeping one’s self healthy does not only have to be done in cases of outbreak or if there are virulent diseases spreading in a particular community. Keeping one’s self healthy should be an individual responsibility. There are a lot of ways of taking care of yourself. You can start of by eating right and exercising. These methods will greatly help boost the immune system and have the defenses on guard in cases of infection.

 

It is not new that diseases which are very low in incidence before are now starting to increase its occurrences. For instance HIV or AIDS, this condition is terminal but still the incidence of these diseases is increasing. If you come to think of it, how come some people take this condition very lightly when in fact the risks and outcomes are very serious.

 

In preventing AIDS or HIV, knowledge about the disease is vital. Knowing about it and the possible outcomes if ever the virus is acquired will tell anyone how dangerous the condition is. Making all means possible to avoid the disease is important. But, before one can do this, first how to get it and who are at risk are the things that must be known first. In HIV or AIDS, having a healthy and strong immune system is not enough to fight the disease. The key in overcoming this condition is prevention. Know the means how it can be transmitted which are basically through sexual contact with an infected individual, needle pricks or sharing needles, blood transfusions, and giving birth of an infected mother. These are just some of the ways on how one can acquire the disease. For those people at risk of this incidence, greater caution is expected for instance for medical professionals. And, if ever the disease is already present proper management is advised thus a consult with a physician is greatly encouraged. Starting with a visit in a physician will make things more in order and lying down of possible outcomes will be much clearer.

02 Feb

How do you get AIDS?

Ways of acquiring AIDS

 

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) are blood borne diseases. These conditions exist in the whole system, no particular area, not localized to a certain system, but may and can involve all systems of the body. One definite way of acquiring HIV and AIDS is through contact to body fluids from infected individuals.

 

Infected body fluids

 

There are certain body fluids excreted or secreted by the human body that can carry the virus of HIV or AIDS. These include the blood, semen, breast milk, vaginal fluids, and rectal mucus. Other fluids that contain high infectivity of HIV virus are those not commonly exposed to the environment but rather most commonly encountered and handled in hospitals such as the cerebrospinal fluid or the fluid present in the vertebra and the brain, the amniotic fluid which cushions the baby inside the womb, and synovial fluid or the fluid in synovial joints.

 

The body fluids have different levels of infectivity. The blood definitely has the highest infectivity among others. Urine, feces, sweat, saliva, and other excretions from the body, according to studies, do not contain the virus, unless they have blood in it. For instance, in the case of hematuria or the presence of blood in the urine caused by infection in the urinary tract, this makes the urine infected with the virus if it comes from an infected individual.

 

How is the virus transmitted through the fluids?

 

  • Sexual contact: this is a major way of acquiring the disease. Sexual activities such as oral sex, vaginal, or even rectal or anal sex are means of infecting an individual. During this activity semen and vaginal fluid are introduced to the system of an uninfected individual. During such act, if cuts or wounds are obtained this will increase the chance of getting the disease because the infected body fluids have a direct way of entering the system through the open wound and with this it gets into the system through the circulation of blood.
  • Pregnancy: the virus is highly present in the amniotic fluid and the blood. During pregnancy, the amniotic fluid basically composed the whole environment of the fetus inside the womb. With this, it puts the baby at high risk. If an infected mother eventually gives birth there is a chance of mixing of blood of the mother to her baby and this will definitely infect the baby with the virus.
  • Needle pricks: accidental needle pricks for healthcare providers put them at risk of HIV or AIDS and even other diseases that are transmitted through blood and body fluids such as Hepatitis that is why it is very important to handle equipments carefully during procedures and a regular check up once or twice a year for medical professionals. For prohibited drug users on the other hand, who share the same needles when introducing drugs into their system, this puts them at high risk of acquiring the disease especially if they do not really know who their companions are. There is blood to blood contact when this happens and the virus gets inside the systems.
  • Blood transfusions: there is what we call an incubation period and during this time the virus may not be detected immediately in the blood. Blood donated in the blood banks, though they are screened properly, may still have the chance of having the disease and this is not exclusive for HIV or AIDS alone, this is also possible for other diseases which are transmitted via blood or body fluids. Through blood transfusions, the blood is directly given out to the system and this way you can acquire the disease.

 

These ways are basically how you get the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, after several years when the damage is uncontrolled and the immune system has been dramatically compromised, AIDS eventually develops.

13 Dec

Stages of HIV

What are the Stages of HIV?

 

Like any other diseases, HIV has stages that it undergoes and the symptoms manifested by the person infected with the virus depend on which stage the virus is currently on. Acquiring the disease does not mean the person will become ill instantly. It has to get into the system first and starts its growth process. Those people whose immune system are low during infection or maybe their immune system is just low because of a current other infection, the process of incubation will be hastened because their body’s defenses are already weak thus invasion will be a lot easier for the virus. For the health ones, on the other hand, it may take some time to develop symptoms. It can take weeks for someone to feel different. In some cases, if the immune system is really good, the symptoms might not even be noticed at all.

 

It is important to know the stages of HIV because this can basically give a picture on what to expect during these periods of illnesses. The stages of HIV are classified as the acute phase, latency, and AIDS which is the terminal phase. In each of this period, manifestations vary and for some the symptoms might be worse than other. How the body reacts to the virus generally depends on the virulence of the microorganism and most especially the current health status of the person during the infection.

 

  • Acute phase: During the acute phase this is the time an infected person first experience symptoms which are described as flu like but a lot worse than the common flu. Some might even describe it as the worst flu ever. This time the virus is already starting to develop and thus the body’s immune system is reacting to as a natural mechanism of eliminating antigen. The symptoms the person experiences in this period are basically due to the body’s response to the virus. It is also during this time that when a CD4 count is measured it will reveal high levels because there is current infection going on in the system. This period usually happens at an average of two to four weeks after the infection and may last at about 3 months or so but this may vary from one person to another. Nevertheless this is just a rough estimate.
  • Latency phase: The latency phase is basically when symptoms start to regress. The flu like symptoms will disappear thus giving a false impression that sickness is resolved. The reason for this event is that the virus is just reproducing at low levels but still active making presence of infection not easily detected through simple laboratory exams. This period may last for quite some time. For some it may last for about 8 years but it can go even longer. This is during this time that an infected person becomes asymptomatic and can perform his or her usual activities again without knowing that the virus is slowly growing.
  • AIDS: This is the terminal phase in the disease process. During this time the body’s immune system is severely damaged and when a CD4 count is tested, it will reveal a great drop in number. This is a very serious stage in the disease process because the person becomes too vulnerable to opportunistic infections because the defenses are already down. For those people infected with AIDS and no treatment is given, the person might survive for an average of 3 years but once a very virulent opportunistic organism sets in, the life expectancy falls down to about a year.

 

Getting the right treatment and management for HIV is vital in managing the disease. Medications, support, physical and mental condition are all important in battling a serious illness such as HIV or AIDS.

16 Jul

Taking Care of yourself with HIV

How can you take care of yourself?

 

Prevention from acquiring Human Immunodeficiency Virus basically revolves around knowledge about the disease. Knowing things about it for instance what it is, how it is acquired, who are at risk, how it is prevented, and where you can get it are some of the “must knows” in preventing yourself from having the disease. Once you know the things that you need to know about HIV then you are equipped to prevent yourself and maybe other people you know from having it by haring the information to them.

 

One of the major things that you need to know by heart with regards to HIV is that, the people who are at high risk of acquiring the disease. By knowing this, you can categorize yourself if you are in these groups of people or if you are directly in contact with them. When you are among those at high risk of getting the diseases, for instance, if you are in the medical field, you have to make all means to protect yourself, especially at work, in getting HIV. In the hospitals or other medical facility, the usual mode of transmission of the disease is through needle pricks. This accident is very common for medical professionals especially nurses and medical technologists. With the risk posed among health professionals, there are certain hospital protocols observed by the institution and to be followed by the employees in order to protect their contractors and clients as well. The protocols are all based from a national law and implemented in the hospitals or any medical facility for the betterment of service and observation of health safety. One of the rules usually implemented is the filing of incidental report when a needle prick accident occurred. This will help the administration detect the incident and manage it accordingly. Inclusive of this rule is vaccination and wearing of personal protective gears whenever having contact with a patient with an infectious condition. One way for medical professionals to protect themselves is also through following these rules and immediately report if an untoward incident occurred.

 

Another way of protecting yourself from acquiring the disease is avoiding circumstances that can put you at risk of having HIV. For instance, use of prohibited drugs. More than having HIV, prohibited drugs are illegal and will not do any good for you and your health. Aside from HIV, prohibited drugs such as cocaine and heroin can affect all other systems as well. In all aspects, prohibited drugs are bad for the health. Another way is having multiple sexual partners. Promiscuity can actually put your health in bad shape especially because HIV or AIDS can be transmitted through sexual contact. Having multiple sexual partners means you are not sure with the current health status of your partner and you will never know if that present partner only has you for a sexual partner as well. Observing monogamy can be beneficial as well.

 

Knowing the things about HIV and AIDS can actually save you from getting it. The government as well is making all means necessary to protect its citizens from having HIV. Through programs and information dissemination, the society is now more aware of the disease and all it takes is the effort to observe and know by heart the things that has to be done.

04 Mar

What does being HIV positive mean?

What does it mean?

 

There are several laboratory tests that can be done to detect the presence of HIV in the blood. Being HIV positive means that antibodies were detected in your system after series of laboratory work ups and this also means that you were exposed to the virus and thus you can spread this to other individuals as well. Once a person is found to be HIV positive he or she can pass this to other people particularly sexual partners or if the person happens to be a woman, to her unborn child.

 

The laboratory tests to confirm antibodies for HIV are most often definitive of diagnosing the disease. These tests are done by getting a sample of the blood of a possible infected person and have this tested in the laboratory for antibodies. The formation of the body’s antibodies is part of its reaction when exposed to foreign microorganisms. When an antigen gets into the system, the body will react and acknowledge the presence of this microorganism and with its innate defenses, will try to form antibodies so as to destroy the presence of the antigen and free the individual from sickness. That is why whenever antibodies for a particular disease is detected in the blood, this means that the person was exposed to this certain illness thus the body formed its antibodies to protect the system. One laboratory test that is known to detect HIV in the blood is the Western Blot Test. Usually when a suspected HIV patient has to have his or her blood tested; this is commonly performed to confirm the diagnosis.

 

Being HIV positive, more than being labeled as an HIV infected person, means that this person has to face a tremendous challenge of his or her life. Everyone might be aware that HIV s a very terminal and serious illness and if we based it on history and statistics, there have been no survivors yet of patients infected with HIV or AIDS because still medications for these diseases are not yet discovered, hence, the treatment for these individuals infected with the virus are just palliative, meaning, whatever symptoms they experience will be treated as is but not really destroying the virus causing HIV. But more than anything else, more than having the illness and battling the struggle of being sick, HIV positive means that the person has to face the stigma caused by the community and perhaps living the rest of his or her life questioning the things that he or she has done. Having this condition means a lot of things. For most people this could mean the end, but with the evolving society we have, this should not be the case. The government all over the world together with non government organizations and private groups that aim for change and social support for infected HIV patients, they all fight together with the patients in defeating the disease. This might not ascertain definitive treatment, but more than anything else, they uplift the morale of these individuals and encourage them to live a life full of hope and happiness. These groups may not defeat HIV and AIDS by destroying the virus, but rather they can defeat the virus through its emotional and social effects to the individual which is for now, the best remedy for these conditions.

13 Jan

What is HIV?

Discovering What is HIV?

 

What do we know about HIV? HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This is one disease condition that until now no one fully understands. The common virus that humans acquire is those that cause the common flu and with this viral infection, our body with its defense system gets rid of this infection and because it is viral it resolves over time even without treatment. This is simply not the case with HIV. This is not the common viral infection that humans acquire which is self limiting. This viral infection usually develops into a terminal disease known as AIDS. With HIV, the body’s immune system cannot seem to fight this virus and over time even the cells that protect our system gets destroyed by the virus hence the progression of the diseases.

 

HIV is a type of condition that is infectious and it can be transmitted to other individuals through different modes. Knowing about this viral infection is important because it affects the community as a whole and even in a much bigger scale. Incidence of HIV must be reported to the health sector for proper intervention. Increasing incidence of this viral infection reflects the health status of the society and the awareness people get with regards with the condition. HIV is a serious condition that prompts immediate action.

 

What is AIDS?

 

AIDS stands for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. As the name implicates, it is a condition that is obtained from another infected individual, it can be from a sexual partner or maybe from a mother who is infected by AIDS and gave birth. Immuno means it involves the body’s innate immune system which is responsible for the protection against infections or diseases. Deficiency means there is something wrong with it that makes it deficient or malfunction. Lastly it is a syndrome because it involves a range of symptoms that makes it an intricate disease. Also, this puts the individual at risk for different infections that can cause death.

 

AIDS is the end point of HIV. A full blown HIV is known as Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. A lot of systems become affected, lots of infections have been acquired, thus deterioration of the individual’s defenses.

 

Until now, studies are continually being made to fully understand about Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. There have been many hypotheses as to how these diseases develop and the continuous search for a definitive treatment and prevention pursues. Today, there have been means on how to detect these conditions once an individual is infected and the pattern of symptoms has been more precisely identified. With this progress in terms of these conditions, medical professionals are optimistic about the development happening in the different researches concerning HIV and ADIS. The positive results of the studies motivate for more factual search as to everything that has something to do with HIV and AIDS. Hopefully in the near future, the puzzle left by these conditions will be figured out and a definite solution can be formulated and eventually these diseases will be managed effectively and successfully.

 

23 Nov

What to Watch out for with HIV

What to watch out for?

 

It is important to keep in mind that not all people infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus experienced symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms only get manifested when the virus has already progressed and much damaged has been made, in other words, there is a possibility that a person infected with the virus only feels sick when it is already progressing to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS.

 

For those people who feel the symptoms early on the onset of the disease, the manifestations usually do not solely suggest infection of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus because the symptoms the person will be experiencing are those of the opportunistic infections acquired because of the vulnerable immune system. The manifestations on the other hand are not exclusively for HIV alone and with this; it could lead to low saliency in the promptness of consultation and the severity of the disease.

 

Early Signs and Symptoms

 

Since HIV and AIDS are usually manifested by opportunistic infections, the usual symptoms experienced by the infected individual are the same as to that of a common viral infection. Some people tend to describe it as “the worst flu”. Usually the symptoms range from fever, to rashes, sore throat, chills, night sweats, muscle aches, stomatitis or sores in the mouth, swollen or enlarged lymph nodes. Basically, these signs and symptoms will mislead individuals that what they are having is just a simple flu that they experience once or twice in a year.

 

The occurrence of these signs and symptoms is due to the body’s reaction to opportunistic microorganisms. The body’s defenses, on the early onset of the disease, are trying to fight the invasion of infection that is why there are manifestations such as fever or sore throat that highly suggest that there is an existing inflammation and infection in the body.

 

It is important that people become vigilant in terms of health and most especially those who are at high risk of acquiring HIV or AIDS. One will never know whether what he or she is experiencing is just a simple illness or it can be as worst as HIV or AIDS.

 

Chronic Signs and Symptoms

 

As the body’s defenses try to protect the system against opportunistic invasion of microorganism, the symptoms will become latent and the infected individual will be free of the fever, chills, night sweats, etc. The infected person may even be free of symptoms for years and may even continue living his or her usual activities. But as the virus continually invades the system and progress to a much more destructive phase, after several years of being dormant, symptoms will be manifested again and this time it will be more severe than before. After a long period of dormancy, symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, fever will recur with increased severity. During this time, most probably, the HIV has already evolved into AIDS and the symptoms can be unbearable at times. The cause of death of a person with AIDS is not the virus itself, but rather it is because of the opportunistic infections that invaded the system because of the lowered immunity. When an infection happens anywhere in the body, the body’s defenses are no longer capable for protection thus allowing the invaders to take over which eventually causes the death of the individual.

 

04 Nov

How is HIV transmitted?

Which body fluids can transmit HIV/AIDS?

Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a microorganism transmitted through contact with an infected person’s body fluids. The body fluids infected by the virus and that when exposed to a healthy individual can actually spread the virus to that person are blood, semen, breast milk, cerebrospinal fluid, amniotic fluid, and synovial fluids. These are potential body fluids of an HIV infected person which can actually transmit the virus to a healthy individual.

 

Human Immunodeficiency Virus can only infect a person by getting into the body’s circulation. There are several means how the virus can get into the system. Some of the ways are as follows:

 

  • Break in the skin’s integrity: a healthy skin is actually a good barrier against HIV because the virus cannot penetrate the skin if it is intact. But, if an HIV infected fluid such as blood gets in contact with an injured skin the virus can get in because there is direct access to the body’s systemic circulation. This is one way HIV or AIDS is spread from one person to another. For high risk individuals such as medical professionals, it is important to know this for safety promotion and careful interactions with potential HIV infected clients.
  • Sexual contact: semen and vaginal fluids are highly infective of the HIV. Through sexual contact a person can transmit the virus to his or her partner and this is one major method of spreading the virus. For those people who are sexually active most especially to those who do not have a monogamous relationship, it is always best to protect yourself. Using barrier methods such as condoms when indulging in sexual activities is one way of preventing the virus from getting into the circulation.
  • Sharing needles or injections: this is particularly true for prohibited drug users and this is why they are among the high risk individuals who can most likely acquire the disease. Through sharing needles or injections an HIV infected blood can get direct access through the circulation of another person through needle pricks on the skin and directly to the systemic circulation via blood.
  • Giving birth: an HIV infected mother can actually transmit the virus to her child. First, the amniotic fluid which serves as the primary environment of the fetus during intrauterine life is highly infective of HIV. Second, the fetal circulation can be exposed to the mother’s especially during labor and delivery where mixing of the mother and baby’s blood is possible. Through this the baby can have the virus.

 

These are just some of the possible means on how infected body fluids can get into a healthy person’s system. Knowing which body fluids can transmit the virus and how it can be transmitted are important to know because having knowledge on these things will actually help in prevention and avoidance of getting into this delicate situation. HIV or AIDS are diseases that need to be handled with much caution putting importance on the gravity of the situation. Getting these diseases can make a 360 degree turn to someone’s life and this is why knowledge about the disease is very significant.

17 Apr

Uk Doctor: ‘i’d Rather Have Hiv Than Diabetes’ – Abc News

PHOTO: A UK doctor has stirred controversy after writing an op-ed in the UK paper, The Spectator, where he wrote "Id rather have HIV than diabetes."

Born with HIV, Life at 29 However, not every expert completely disagreed with Pembertons article. Dr. Joel Gallant, chair of the HIV Medical Association and medical director of specialty services at Southwest Care Center in Santa Fe, N.M., said the statement is not preposterous if you look at how effective HIV/AIDS medications are today in comparison to the treatment options for diabetic patients. I wouldnt want anyone to interpret my words as wanting to have HIV. …
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/uk-doctor-id-hiv-diabetes/story?id=23349162

14 Apr

Hiv: How The Body Fights Off Hiv – Hiv: Health And Medical Information About Hiv And Aids On Medicinenet.com

Symptom Checker: Your Guide to Symptoms & Signs: Pinpoint Your Pain

There’s definite room for improvement in that area, Moody said. “One of the fundamental problems that research in HIV has faced is that when people become infected, they don’t typically mount an antibody response that’s very effective at controlling a response early on,” Moody said. “The response to the virus is much slower, and it’s delayed and comes in stages. The kinds of antibodies that are produced do appear to have an effect, but the virus always seems to stay one step ahead.” By contrast, the body has a more effective antibody response to viruses such as influenza, he said.
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=115044

12 Apr

Hiv Less Deadly Than Viral Hepatitis In Europe | Medindia

HIV Less Deadly Than Viral Hepatitis in Europe

GBD 2010 is the most recent version of a large epidemiological study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and coordinated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. In the EU, in 2010, there were more than 10 times as many deaths due to viral hepatitis as there were HIV-attributable deaths. Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) are estimated to have caused nearly 90,000 deaths that year in the EU (HCV nearly 57,000 deaths, HBV nearly 31,000 deaths), while there were just over 8,000 deaths from HIV/AIDS. Presenting these thought-provoking figures, EASL’s Vice-Secretary Dr. Laurent Castera from the department of Hepatology, Hpital Beaujon in Paris said: “GBD 2010 is making a critical contribution to our understanding of present and future health priorities for countries and the global community. Although HIV/AIDS undeniably remains a key global health priority, the higher mortality from viral hepatitis than from HIV/AIDS in the EU means that hepatitis B and C must clearly now be counted among the top global and local priorities for health.” “Additional resources are needed to prevent, detect and treat hepatitis B and C in order to address these imbalances in major preventable causes of human death,” Dr Castera added.
HIV Less Deadly Than Viral Hepatitis in Europe | Medindia