What Is Aids
What is AIDS? AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Most people have a general understanding of the illness but few know where it came from and what it actually does to the body. The myth that it is a disease that is a product of homosexual relationships is just that, a myth. It came about after men in West Africa ate the meat of monkeys infected with the virus and it spread from there. Its numbers can be explained by the fact that up until a few years ago no one wanted to talk about it or think about it so it wasn’t treated. Now that people have faced the fact that AIDS and HIV is a huge problem and one that no one who has it should be blamed for. Hopefully with the laser focus the medical community has put on it in recent years we will have even better ways to fight very soon.
How is AIDS transmitted: It is not as simple as just getting AIDS. AIDS itself develops from a disease called HIV, an infective virus. It can take years for AIDS to develop from HIV. HIV destroys a person immune system making it much easier for them to become seriously ill. HIV, AIDS, is transmitted through blood, vaginal fluid, semen, and breast milk. One interaction of any of these is enough to infect a person. There have been a few cases where HIV/AIDS has been transmitted through kissing when the infected has open sores or bleeding sores in their mouth. There was a time when AIDS was frequently transmitted through blood transfusions but new screening methods and better tests have almost completely eliminated the threat.
Symptoms of HIV/AIDS: While a person is HIV positive they can suffer from headaches, fevers, sore muscles, sore joints, swollen lymph glands, stomach aches, and skin rashes, most commonly during the first couple of weeks after becoming infected. It is important to note that some people do not have any symptoms. During this time, until HIV becomes AIDS it is destroying your immune system, meaning that even a cold can be deadly. A person becomes infected with AIDS once their immune system is destroyed to a certain point by HIV, if you have less then 200 CD4 cells then you have AIDS. At this point your immune system is so weak that it becomes vulnerable to what are called opportunistic infections. The CDC keeps a list of opportunistic infections that are considered a sign that a person has AIDS.
Treatment: There is no cure for HIV or for AIDS. Once either of these infections has set in there is no way to remove them. Antibiotics can slow down the damage to a person’s immune system and any other symptoms but they only delay the inevitable. There are medications that can treat any infection a person’s gains as a result of HIV or AIDS but they still do not treat either HIV or AIDS. With or without treatment people infected have lived for years before the disease has finally taken them, there's no reason not to have a good life.