Linda Villarosa is the director of the journalism program at the City College of New York in Harlem and an assistant professor of media and communication arts. She is a former New York Times science editor and Essence magazine executive editor.
If a person has been exposed to the virus, it is crucial that they get tested as soon as possible. The earlier HIV is detected, the more likely the treatment will be successful. A home testing kit can be used as well.
Where you live matters. People in the United States and other developed countries are more likely to have access to antiretroviral therapy. Consistent use of these drugs helps prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS.
In June, the 6th International AIDS Conference in San Francisco protested against the USA’s immigration policy which stopped people with HIV from entering the country. NGOs boycotted the conference.47
Since the first case was identified in 1981, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has grown into an epidemic that has taken approximately 500,000 lives in the United States alone. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS estimates that at the end of 2002 there were 42 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. During 2002, AIDS caused the deaths of an estimated 3.1 million people. At this time, women were increasingly affected by AIDS; it was estimated that women comprised approximately 50 percent or 19.2 million of the 38.6 million adults living with HIV or AIDS worldwide. No cure has been found, although existing treatment employing multiple drugs has made some gains in prolonging life and reducing pain. Despite the limits of medical science, however, much is known about the disease. It is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Transmitted by bodily fluids from person to person, HIV invades certain key blood cells that are needed to fight off infections. HIV replicates, spreads, and destroys these host cells. When the body’s immune system becomes deficient, the person becomes AIDS-symptomatic, which means the person develops infections that the body can no longer ward off. Ultimately, a person with AIDS dies from diseases caused by other infections. The leading killer is a form of pneumonia.
Tuberculosis is diagnosed with the Mantoux test, in which a small sample of tuberculin is placed under the skin in an arm, and if a bump persists in the area, the individual may have TB. If the person is suspected positive for TB, the doctor may advise a chest x-ray and a mucous analysis as a follow-up. The treatment and prognosis vary for individuals who are TB infected and individuals who are experiencing symptoms of the TB disease. Various drugs therapies are used to treat both individuals. Tuberculosis can be cured if treated well. The best way to prevent TB is to treat and cure people who have it.
The later stages of HIV infection are characterized by the progressive depression of T cells and repeated infections that can even occur during a course of antibiotic therapy for another infection (superinfections). People with AIDS are particularly vulnerable to “opportunistic infections” from bacteria that other people normally fight off. Pneumocystis carinii, which causes severe inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia), is a common infection that affects people with AIDS. Cancers (malignant neoplasms), and a wide variety of neurological abnormalities, most notably the AIDS dementia complex, may also occur. These neurological symptoms when of HIV, infects the nervous system.
Drug therapy is often recommended for patients who committed to taking all their medications and have a CD4 count less than 500 (indicating immune system suppression) or a high viral load (amount of HIV virus in the bloodstream).
Jump up ^ Mabuka J, Nduati R, Odem-Davis K, Peterson D, Overbaugh J (2012). Desrosiers RC, ed. “HIV-Specific Antibodies Capable of ADCC Are Common in Breastmilk and Are Associated with Reduced Risk of Transmission in Women with High Viral Loads”. PLOS Pathogens. 8 (6): e1002739. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002739. PMC 3375288 . PMID 22719248.
Latent toxoplasmosis: This asymptomatic condition is indicated by serum antibodies (IgG) to Toxoplasma gondii. TMP/SMX (in doses used to prevent P. jirovecii pneumonia) is used to prevent reactivation and consequent toxoplasmic encephalitis. Latent infection is less common (about 15% of adults) in the US than in Europe and most developing countries (up to 70 to 80% of adults).
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD’s resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder. [redirect url=’http://penetratearticles.info/bump’ sec=’7′]