99. UNAIDS (2016) ‘UNAIDS announces 18.2 million people on antiretroviral therapy, but warns that 15–24 years of age is a highly dangerous time for young women’ (Accessed 24/01/2017), WHO (2016) ‘Global report on early warning indicators for HIV drug resistance’
Other drugs can prevent or treat opportunistic infections (OIs). In most cases, these drugs work very well. The newer, stronger ARVs have also helped reduce the rates of most OIs. A few OIs, however, are still very difficult to treat. See Fact Sheet 500 for more information on opportunistic infections.
^ Jump up to: a b Pope M, Haase AT (2003). “Transmission, acute HIV-1 infection and the quest for strategies to prevent infection”. Nature Medicine. 9 (7): 847–52. doi:10.1038/nm0703-847. PMID 12835704.
Treating infected women with HIV drugs can dramatically reduce the risk of transmission. Infected pregnant women should be treated during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy, during delivery, and during breastfeeding. Doing a cesarean delivery and treating the baby for several weeks after birth also reduce the risk.
Infected CD4+ lymphocytes have a half-life of about 2 days, which is much shorter than that of uninfected CD4+ cells. Rates of CD4+ lymphocyte destruction correlate with plasma HIV level. Typically, during the initial or primary infection, HIV levels are highest (> 106 copies/mL), and the CD4 count drops rapidly.
Pneumonia is inflammation of the lungs caused by fungi, bacteria, or viruses. Symptoms and signs include cough, fever, shortness of breath, and chills. Antibiotics treat pneumonia, and the choice of the antibiotic depends upon the cause of the infection.
Jump up ^ Bell C, Devarajan S, Gersbach H (2003). “The long-run economic costs of AIDS: theory and an application to South Africa” (PDF). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3152. Archived from the original on June 5, 2013. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
An alternative view — unsupported by evidence — holds that unsafe medical practices in Africa during years following World War II, such as unsterile reuse of single-use syringes during mass vaccination, antibiotic, and anti-malaria treatment campaigns, were the initial vector that allowed the virus to adapt to humans and spread.
People who already have a sexually transmitted infection, such as syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydia, human papillomavirus (HPV), gonorrhea, or bacterial vaginosis, are more likely to acquire HIV infection during sex with an infected partner.
Acronym for acquired immune deficiency (or immunodeficiency) syndrome; disorder of the immune system characterized by opportunistic diseases, including candidiasis, Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia, oral hairy leukoplakia, herpes zoster, Kaposi sarcoma, toxoplasmosis, isosporiasis, cryptococcosis, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and tuberculosis. The syndrome is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1, groups M and O, and HIV-2), which is transmitted in body fluids (notably breast milk, blood, and semen) through sexual contact, sharing of contaminated needles (by IV drug abusers), accidental needle sticks, contact with contaminated blood, or transfusion of contaminated blood or blood products. Hallmark of the immunodeficiency is depletion of T4+ or CD4+ helper/inducer lymphocytes, primarily the result of selective tropism of the virus for the lymphocytes.
Sub-Saharan Africa is the region most affected. In 2010, an estimated 68% (22.9 million) of all HIV cases and 66% of all deaths (1.2 million) occurred in this region. This means that about 5% of the adult population is infected and it is believed to be the cause of 10% of all deaths in children. Here in contrast to other regions women compose nearly 60% of cases. South Africa has the largest population of people with HIV of any country in the world at 5.9 million. Life expectancy has fallen in the worst-affected countries due to HIV/AIDS; for example, in 2006 it was estimated that it had dropped from 65 to 35 years in Botswana. Mother-to-child transmission, as of 2013, in Botswana and South Africa has decreased to less than 5% with improvement in many other African nations due to improved access to antiretroviral therapy.
HIV most often spreads through unprotected sex with an infected person. It may also spread by sharing drug needles or through contact with the blood of an infected person. Women can give it to their babies during pregnancy or childbirth.
Transmission of HIV through its most common routes—sexual contact or sharing of needles—is almost completely preventable. However, the measures required for prevention—sexual abstinence or consistent condom use (see How to Use a Condom) and access to clean needles—are sometimes personally or socially unpopular. Many people have difficulty changing their addictive or sexual behaviors, so they continue to put themselves at risk of HIV infection. Also, safe sex practices are not foolproof. For example, condoms can leak or break.
The ability of cytotoxic T lymphocytes to destroy HIV-infected cells is demonstrated by studies of peripheral blood cells from infected individuals, in which cytotoxic T cells specific for viral peptides can be shown to kill infected cells in vitro. In vivo, cytotoxic T cells can be seen to invade sites of HIV replication and they could, in theory, be responsible for killing many productively infected cells before any infectious virus can be released, thereby containing viral load at the quasi-stable that are characteristic of the asymptomatic period. The best evidence for the clinical importance of the control of HIV-infected cells by CD8 cytotoxic T cells comes from studies relating the numbers and activity of CD8 T cells to viral load. An inverse correlation was found between the number of CD8 T cells carrying a receptor specific for an HLA-A2-restricted HIV peptide and plasma RNA viral load. Similarly, patients with high levels of HIV-specific CD8 T cells showed slower progression of disease than those with low levels. There is also direct evidence from experiments in macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) that CD8 cytotoxic T cells control retrovirally-infected cells in vivo. Treatment of infected animals with depleting anti-CD8 monoclonal antibodies was followed by a large increase in viral load.
Although a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body’s own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
HIV Encephalopathy is a severe condition usually seen in end-stage disease. Milder cognitive impairments may exist with less advanced disease. For example, one study found significant deficits in cognition, planning, coordination and reaction times in HIV-infected compared to uninfected children, effects that were more pronounced in those with higher viral loads. 
Regular blood tests are needed to make sure the virus level in the blood (viral load) is kept low, or suppressed. The goal of treatment is to lower the HIV virus in the blood to a level that is so low that the test can’t detect it. This is called an undetectable viral load.
Although one goal of antiviral therapy is to prevent the development of immune suppression, some individuals are already immunosuppressed when they first seek medical care. In addition, others may progress to that stage as a result of resistance to antiviral drugs. Nevertheless, every effort must be made to optimize antiviral therapy in these patients. In addition, certain specific antibiotics should be initiated, depending on the number of CD4 cells, to prevent the complications (that is, the opportunistic infections) that are associated with HIV immunosuppression. Guidelines for the prevention of opportunistic infections can be found at https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/.
A thorough discussion of the history of AIDS and the biologic link between HIV and AIDS can be found in an article entitled ” The relationship between the human immunodeficiency virus and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ” at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Web site. The document was originally written in September 1995, prior to the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which has significantly improved AIDS-free survival in persons infected with HIV. This version was updated March 2010.
Body fluid exposure – exposure to HIV can be controlled by employing precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to contaminated blood. Healthcare workers should use barriers (gloves, masks, protective eyewear, shields, and gowns) in the appropriate circumstances. Frequent and thorough washing of the skin immediately after coming into contact with blood or other bodily fluids can reduce the chance of infection.
Jump up ^ Hymes KB, Cheung T, Greene JB, Prose NS, Marcus A, Ballard H, William DC, Laubenstein LJ (September 1981). “Kaposi’s sarcoma in homosexual men-a report of eight cases”. The Lancet. 2 (8247): 598–600. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(81)92740-9. PMID 6116083.
Animal models show that Langerhans cells are the first cellular targets of HIV, which fuse with CD4+ lymphocytes and spread into deeper tissues. In humans, rapid occurrence of plasma viremia with widespread dissemination of the virus is observed 4-11 days after mucosal entrance of the virus.
Currently, there is no licensed vaccine for HIV or AIDS. The most effective vaccine trial to date, RV 144, was published in 2009 and found a partial reduction in the risk of transmission of roughly 30%, stimulating some hope in the research community of developing a truly effective vaccine. Further trials of the RV 144 vaccine are ongoing.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevalence and awareness of HIV infection among men who have sex with men — 21 cities, United States, 2008. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2010 Sep 24. 59(37):1201-7. [Medline].
Confidentiality relating to HIV is not uniform in schools. Some school districts require rather broad dissemination of the information; others keep it strictly private. In the mid-1980s, the New York City Board of Education adopted a policy that nobody in any school would be told the identities of children with AIDS or HIV infection; only a few top administrators outside the school would be informed. The policy inspired a lawsuit brought by a local school district, which argued that the identity of a child was necessary for infection control (District 27 Community School Board v. Board of Education, 130 Misc. 2d 398, 502 N.Y.S.2d 325 [N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1986]). The trial court rejected the argument on the basis that numerous children with HIV infection might be attending school and instead noted that universal precautions in dealing with blood incidents at school would be more effective than the revelation of confidential information.
HIV-1 and HIV-2 are retroviruses in the Retroviridae family, Lentivirus genus. They are enveloped, diploid, single-stranded, positive-sense RNA viruses with a DNA intermediate, which is an integrated viral genome (a provirus) that persists within the host-cell DNA.
HIV is spread primarily by unprotected sex (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Methods of prevention include safe sex, needle exchange programs, treating those who are infected, and male circumcision. Disease in a baby can often be prevented by giving both the mother and child antiretroviral medication. There is no cure or vaccine; however, antiretroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy. Treatment is recommended as soon as the diagnosis is made. Without treatment, the average survival time after infection is 11 years.
Fusion and entry inhibitors are agents that keep HIV from entering human cells. Enfuvirtide (Fuzeon/T20) was the first drug in this group and was given in injectable form like insulin. Maraviroc (Selzentry) can be given by mouth and is used in combination with other ARTs.
HIV attacks and destroys a type of white blood cell called a CD4 cell, commonly called the T-cell. This cell’s main function is to fight disease. When a person’s CD4 cell count gets low, they are more susceptible to illnesses.
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