Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic disease of the human immune system, and potentially a life-threatening condition caused by infection of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) – a commonly transmitted infected blood that’s acquired during illicit intravenous drug use or bodily secretions (such as semen) during sexual intercourse.
When your immune system is damaged, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight infection or disease, and destroy helping cells that keeps your body system in normal function. Aside from HIV being noted as sexually transmitted infection (STI), it can also be spread unfortunately from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding.
There’s no cure for HIV/AIDS, but proper medications can dramatically slow the progression of the disease. It may take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS.
How Hiv Spreads And Develops To Aids
HIV destroys the numbers of CD4-bearing helper T cells — white blood cells that play a large role in helping your body fight disease. The fewer CD4 T cells you have, the weaker and vulnerable your immune system becomes.
You can have an HIV infection, with few or no symptoms, for years before it turns into AIDS. AIDS is diagnosed when the CD4 T cell count falls below 200 or you have an AIDS-defining complication, such as a serious infection or cancer. You can definitely see below how HIV spreads to avoid turning it into AIDS:
- You may become infected by having sex. If your partner’s an HIV positive and you’ve made vaginal, anal or oral sex, and his/her blood, semen or vaginal secretions enter your body, the virus can enter your body too.
- Shared needles. Needles and syringes are a thorough way of acquiring HIV and other infectious diseases. It’ll put your health at high risk since you’ll never know when the previous owner is HIV positive.
- Blood Transfusions. The virus may be transmitted through blood transfusions in some cases. Although blood banks and hospitals are safe (since they screen the blood supply), it’s still essential to be cautious enough.
- During pregnancy or delivery or through breast-feeding
Today, more tools than ever are available to prevent HIV. You can use strategies such as abstinence (not having sex), never sharing needles, and using condoms the right way every time you have sex. There’s no vaccine to prevent HIV infection and no cure for AIDS. But you can protect yourself and others from infection. To help prevent the spread;
- Use treatment as prevention (TasP). It means taking your medication exactly as prescribed and getting regular check-ups after blood test.
- Use post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, taking PEP as soon as possible within the first 72 hours can reduce your risk of becoming infected with HIV. You’ll need to take medication for 28 days.
- Use a new condom always. This is not just for hygiene but also for HIV protection or STIs.
- Try preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). It reduces your risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90% and from injection drug use by more than 70%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Protect yourself and others from infection.
- Tell your sexual partners if you have HIV so they can also be tested.
- Use a clean needle – always. Epidemiologic studies that rates of HIV infection between condom users and nonusers who have HIV-infected sex partners demonstrate that consistent condom change reduce risk of HIVs.
- Consider male circumcision. There’s evidence that male circumcision can help reduce the risk of getting HIV infection.
- Consider taking Drug Marinol (dronabinol) – which contains a synthetic form of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), an active ingredient of cannabis. Medical Marijuana online spurred out both news on TV and on the Internet as its considered options for treatment of exacerbating symptoms of HIV. It is surmised that marijuana’s appetite-stimulating properties could benefit those experiencing the profound, unexplained weight loss as a result of still-mysterious conditions like HIV and others.