Categories: Healthcare

What you need to know about HIV/AIDS: Stages, causes and treatments

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a form of a virus that affects the immune system, causing it to weaken, and result in a life-threatening situation with time. Once the person is diagnosed with HIV, there is no known cure to fully eliminate the disease, however, your lifespan can be extended with effective medicinal treatments.

According to a study, India has the third largest HIV epidemic in the world, with 2.1 million people living with the disease. That is why awareness around HIV is needed more now than ever.

Debunking the misconception: HIV and AIDS are not the same things

People who are diagnosed with HIV, not necessarily have AIDS too. However, the HIV virus can lead to AIDS if timely attention is not provided. It is particularly spread through bodily fluids that directly affect your immune system that may be acquired during unprotected intercourse, blood transfusion, etc.

AIDS is the most aggressive form of HIV infection, which leads to degeneration of the immune system, causing fatalities.

Stages of HIV infection

HIV starts with an acute infection called the preliminary stage, which is followed by clinical latency or asymptomatic HIV infection. This phase is hardly detected as the patient does not produce any symptoms. However, the disease continues to develop, even if undetected.

If left untreated during this time, the infection gets aggressive and the virus starts breaking the immune system. When the CD4 cells fall below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood (200 cells/mm3), it is clinically declared that the person has acquired AIDS. AIDS is also confirmed when a person develops several opportunistic illnesses (illnesses occurring more often due to weakening of the immune system) irrespective of the CD4 count.

Can HIV be treated?

HIV can be treated to an extent if diagnosed timely, and patients can lead a normal life. Currently, the most effective treatment available for HIV is antiretroviral therapy or ART. The treatment does not completely uproot the virus from the body but increases the longetitivity of lives of people that are diagnosed with HIV, along with decreasing the chances of the patients affecting others.

It is advised that the person should seek immediate medical assistance on seeing emergency warning signs that indicate the presence of HIV, as the timely diagnosis can be lifesaving.

Daniel is our UK-based freelance Editor. As part of our quest towards credible news, Doctor's Clinic Blog India affiliates with individuals from other parts of the world to provide an in-depth focus on essential topics. Daniel received his degree from the University of Sheffield, and since then, worked to multiple sites as a freelance contributor and editor.

Daniel Martin

Daniel is our UK-based freelance Editor. As part of our quest towards credible news, Doctor's Clinic Blog India affiliates with individuals from other parts of the world to provide an in-depth focus on essential topics. Daniel received his degree from the University of Sheffield, and since then, worked to multiple sites as a freelance contributor and editor.

Share
Published by
Daniel Martin

Recent Posts

Remidio Changing the eye care industry with its Mobile retinal imaging device

The five senses are dominated by vision, which is essential to every aspect of our…

2 months ago

Palak Tiwari’s fitness secret revealed: All you need to know

It is true when dieticians and nutritionists say, ‘You are what you eat’. Just ask…

5 months ago

Oncology Billing 101: All you need to know

Cancer is a debilitating disease responsible for nearly 10 million deaths in 2020. For perspective,…

5 months ago

A quick guide to understanding the difference between liver and kidney

Even a sixth grader can recount the difference between the liver and kidney. However, not…

6 months ago

Vipassana Sets You Free, But You Must Have The Will To Survive The First 10 Days

Rajat Khare, a well-known entrepreneur and the creator of the Luxembourg-based investment fund Boundary Holding,…

7 months ago

Fitness mantras for a healthy mind and body (post pandemic)

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the ways to remain fit with the focus on both…

7 months ago