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HIV AIDS: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

BY: Amna Adnan | Category: Healthcare | Submitted: 2010-08-18 21:43:35
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Article Summary: "HIV is human immunodeficiency virus responsible for causing AIDS in humans. It attacks the immune system and transmits through sexual intercourse. There is no cure for this disease so far but still some medications are there which make the spread of virus slow..."


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HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus. It attacks the immune system of the body and blocks its normal functioning. This virus cans spread form one person to the other through blood or other bodily fluids. It causes AIDS or Acute Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. HIV belongs to the family of retroviruses. When the HIV infects the person, it does not show any symptoms of the disease for long time. When after many years, symptoms appear, then the person suffers from AIDS and there is no cure for this disease. The virus gradually starts degrading the body's immune system and destroys its ability to fight against other infections and cancers. There is no cure for this disease.

Causes and Transmission of HIV:-
The degree of presence of HIV in he blood and vaginal fluid is different in every individual infected with this virus. It is not necessary whether they show any symptoms or not. HIV does not spread until the fluid comes in contact with the tissues present in the lining of vagina, area of anus, mucous membrane of nose, eyes and mouth. It can even spread if the HIV enters the cut in the skin by a needle or syringe.

Most common way of spreading the HIV is through sexual contact or injecting the same syringe in many people. If a woman is suffering from HIV AIDS and she is pregnant, then the child can also suffer from this disease. If the disease spreads through sexual transmission then it can be from woman to man, man to man, and woman to woman through vaginal or oral sex. It is necessary that before having sexual contact, it should be made sure that both the partners are free of HIV infection.

If the HIV spreads through needles then it is because people who use drugs they are not in their senses and do no care if they are using their own syringe or other persons'. It may trigger the spread of HIV. Similarly the virus can also spread through anabolic steroids which are used for piercing of body piercing, increase muscles and making of tattoos. If a separate needle is used for every person then HIV cannot infect the person.

Symptoms:-
When a person is infected with HIV, no symptoms occur for many years. When the symptoms appear, a person suffers from fever, pain in the joints and muscles, headache, diarrhea and sore throat. Sometimes when a person goes to a doctor, he gives medicines of fever and let him go. Unfortunately there are some people who just suffer from the flue and fever but inside of them is a monster which is making them die slowly and steadily.

HIV also attacks the immune system and symptoms are swollen lymph nodes and immune system cannot protect the body against infection whether bacterial or viral. With this other symptoms the person also looses weight rapidly, he does not feel like eating anything, he suffers from diarrhea and he becomes fatigue after a short time.

Symptoms of HIV AIDS also appear in the respiratory system of the body that is a person feels difficult to breath and respiratory tract is infected with the virus. When the immune system of the body becomes weak, it gets susceptible to other diseases also like cancers, influenza and hepatitis.

Treatment:-
Many drugs have been developed to fight against the HIV AIDS. All the drugs which are used to treat this disease are called as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART. These drugs have the ability to decrease the number of diseases caused due to HIV. Though these drugs are effective but it is a fact that HIV AIDS has no cure and it causes death sooner or later. The drugs are prescribed by the doctors who first see that how much the disease has spread in the body then prescribe according to that. There are three drugs which are most commonly prescribed to the AID patients which improve the efficiency of the immune system. They are as follows.

1) Protease Inhibitors:-
These drugs have the ability to stop the replication of virus when it reaches in the later stages. This is how new viruses do not produce. For example, lopinavir and ritonavir in combination, indinavir, amprenavir are most commonly used.

2) Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors:-
This drug does not allow the virus to make its copies. For example;

- Nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors include medicines, didanosine (ddI/Videx), emtricitabine (FTC/Emtriva), zalcitabine (ddC/Hivid), stavudine (d4T/Zerit), lamivudine (3TC/Epivir), abacavir (ABC/Ziagen)and tenofovir (Viread).
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors drugs are used by combing with the above mentioned drugs. This combinantion blocks the multiplication of virus in the body. Drugs include nevirapine (Veramune), etravirine (Intelence) and efavirenz (Sustiva).

3) There are new inhibitors fusion and entry which block the entry of the virus into the human cells. For this purpose, new drug was developed named enfuvirtide. There is another drug maraviroc which has the ability to bind to the protein present on the human cell surface.

4) Integrase inhibitors block the virus from entering into the DNA of human cell.

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