HIV and AIDS: All You Need to Know About the Virus

Author: Shiela Lupiba Shiela Lupiba
Category: Men's Health
  • A student displays his hands painted with messages as he poses during an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to mark the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial, in Chandigarh, India, May 20, 2018. REUTERS/Ajay Verma – RC12F070A300

What is HIV?

HIV or the human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection. As a result, a person infected with the virus is more likely to contract additional infections and diseases. It transmits through intimate contact with certain bodily fluids of a person who has HIV. Most frequently through sexual activity that is not safe. Sexual activity that does not involve the use of a condom or HIV medication. To prevent or treat HIV), or through the sharing of injection drug equipment.

The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that anyone who might be at risk for HIV should get a test. People who are at a higher risk of contracting should look into it prevention, testing, and treatment services that are all- encompassing and highly effective. Self-testing kits, rapid diagnostic tests that are easy to use. Not overly expensive, and medical professionals can all diagnose HIV infection. It is critical that HIV testing services adhere to the 5 Cs, which informs consent, confidentiality, counseling, accurate results, and connection to treatment and other services.

Untreated HIV can cause AIDS

If it is not treated, HIV can eventually cause the disease known as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

The virus that causes HIV is not capable of being stop by the body. And there is currently no treatment that considers to be effective for it. Therefore, once you have it, you will always have it.

Antiretroviral therapy, also known simply as ART, is a form of treatment for HIV. It has been shown to be highly effective. The medication, when taken exactly as directed, has the potential to reduce the amount of virus in the blood. Also referred to as the viral load, to an extremely low level. This process refers to as viral suppression. A person says to have an undetectable viral load if their viral load is so low that it cannot be spot by a typical laboratory. People who have HIV but take their medication exactly as directed. Achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load, and live a long and healthy life are able to prevent the transmission of the virus to their HIV-negative partners through sexual activity.

In addition, there are effective methods to prevent getting the virus through sex or drug use. Such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), which is medicine that people at risk for it take to prevent getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), which is HIV medicine that is taken within 72 hours of a possible exposure to prevent the virus from taking hold. Gaining knowledge about additional preventative measures can be helpful in preventing the spread of the virus.


The vast majority of people who contract HIV do so as a result of sexual contact (either oral or vaginal) or the sharing of injection equipment (needles, syringes, etc). (for example, cookers). On the other hand, there are effective methods that can be use to stop the spread of the virus.
Sexual contact – The transmission of HIV most frequently occurs through sexual contact with a partner who is infected. During sexual activity, the virus can enter the body through the mucosal lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, or rectum. It can also enter through the mouth.

Contamination of the blood – It can also be transmitted through direct or indirect contact with infected blood. However, because blood checks for any signs of HIV infection before it uses in transfusions, the likelihood of contracting the virus through these procedures is extremely remote.

Sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-use equipment with a person who has HIV is a common way for the virus to be transmitted from person to person. It is extremely uncommon for an infection to pass from a patient to a healthcare worker, or vice versa. Through the use of contaminated needles or other medical instruments that cause accidental sticks.

Mother-infant – It can pass on to children who are either born to mothers who have the virus or who are breastfed by such mothers.

What is AIDS?

AIDS is the late stage of HIV infection, which manifests itself when the immune system of the body has been severely compromised as a result of the virus.

Because taking its medication as directed can halt the progression of the disease, the vast majority of people living with HIV in the United States will not develop AIDS.

When these three conditions are met, a person with HIV is said to have developed AIDS:

The number of CD4 cells in their blood drops below the threshold of 200 cells in every cubic millimeter (200 cells/mm3). (The CD4 cell count should be between 500 and 1,600 cells per milliliter in someone who has a healthy immune system.) OR, regardless of their CD4 count, they develop one or more opportunistic infections.

Without treatment with its medication, the average lifespan of an AIDS patient is about three years. When a person diagnose with a potentially fatal opportunistic illness, their life expectancy drops to about one year if they do not receive treatment. The medication can still be of assistance to people living with the infection, and in some cases, it can even save their lives. But those who begin treatment for HIV as soon as possible after being diagnose enjoy greater benefits; this is one reason why HIV testing is of such critical significance.


HIV Main symptoms of HIV/AIDS Infection to human body

To a large extent, yes. Within two to four weeks of infection, the majority of people develop symptoms similar to those of the flu. The duration of the symptoms can range anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
Even if you have all of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean you have HIV. There are a variety of illnesses that can cause these symptoms.
There are some people who don’t experience any symptoms at all. Getting a test is the only way to determine whether or not you are infected with the virus.


AIDS is a chronic, life-threatening condition caused by HIV. It hinders your body’s ability to fight infection and disease by damaging your immune system.

HIV is STI (STI). It can also be spread by infected blood, injection drugs, or sharing needles. It can be spread during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Without medication, it may take years for HIV to cause AIDS.

HIV/AIDS has no cure, but medications can control the infection and slow progression. Antiviral treatments have reduced AIDS deaths worldwide, and international organizations are working to increase prevention and treatment in resource-poor countries.

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