In this article, we are going to discussed Everything about HIV Aids. HIV is a virus. The virus can be transmitted through bodily fluids and infect another person. HIV can occur in all bodily fluids but is actually only sufficiently present in blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk to cause infection. HIV infects certain white blood cells that play a role in the human immune system. The virus enters the DNA of these white blood cells and starts to multiply there. These new HIV particles infect other white blood cells, which cause them to die more quickly or function less well. This gradually reduces the human immune system and gives the virus the opportunity to multiply more.
Symptoms of HIV infection
HIV infection proceeds in different stages. Flu-like symptoms may develop a few weeks after being infected with the virus. There is a fever, muscle pain, headache, and swelling of the lymph nodes. Sometimes there are symptoms such as diarrhea, pneumonia, inflammation of the liver, or abnormalities in the central nervous system. There may also be a blotchy rash and superficial mucous membrane wounds in the mouth, esophagus, or on the genitals. Most symptoms have disappeared spontaneously after one to a few weeks.
After that, the HIV infection enters a stage where no complaints occur. On average this stage lasts 8 to 11 years, but it can also be much shorter. Usually no medication is required during this period. After that, painless lymph node swellings often develop without further symptoms.
As the immune system continues to decline, symptoms of fatigue, fever, weight loss and neurological abnormalities such as dementia and nerve damage occur. When the immune system decreases further, all kinds of infections can develop that do not occur in healthy people, such as certain forms of pneumonia or problems with vision. AIDS is diagnosed at this stage of the disease.
In the final stage of the disease, tumors such as Kaposi’s sarcoma develop. The end stage of AIDS usually consists of various infections and / or Kaposi’s sarcoma.
How does HIV infection develop?
HIV can be passed on through blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal fluid. Risk groups are people with a lot of unprotected sexual contacts, such as some gay men, prostitutes, and drug users who administer drugs with needles. Their (sexual) partners are also at risk. In the past (between 1980 and 1986) blood transfusions and the administration of blood products (hemophilia patients) were a (low) risk. Since then, all blood is screened and there is no more risk.
See also: Blood in the sperm
Is it serious and what can you expect from Aids?
HIV infection is treatable but not curable. The virus does not disappear from the body, but is inhibited. The sooner you start treatment, the better. You always have to keep taking the pills. Usually it is a combination of three or more HIV inhibitors. With this therapy, someone with HIV can live a fairly normal life.
If untreated, AIDS is a deadly disease. There is no drug (yet) that can cure AIDS or a vaccine to prevent AIDS.
When to go to the doctor?
If you have had unprotected sexual contact with an HIV-positive patient, it is advisable to contact the doctor or the GGD as soon as possible. Even if you use drugs and have shared needles or syringes with others, it is wise to contact your doctor.
You can then receive PEP treatment. This is a course of HIV inhibitors to prevent you from becoming HIV positive. If you start the treatment quickly (within 72 hours), you will usually succeed in preventing infection.
What can you do about it yourself?
Infection with HIV can be prevented by the following measures: protected sexual contact with condom, use of clean needles and syringes when using drugs. Healthcare workers should avoid needle stick injuries, adequate sterilization and avoid skin and mucous membrane contact with blood and potentially contaminated medical instruments. If there has nevertheless been a possible risk, please contact your general practitioner or GGD for a possible PEP treatment.
General advice and precautions
An STD is contagious to others, even if you have no symptoms, or the symptoms are so vague that you do not suffer from it. So you can inadvertently and unintentionally pass on the STD. The infectivity lasts from the moment you contract the STD until the treatment is completed. It is therefore important that you warn your partner (s) with whom you have had sexual contact, as they may also have the STD although they may not have any symptoms yet. They can also pass on the STD unnoticed.
By warning your partner (s) you prevent the STD from spreading further or having serious consequences for others. If you find it difficult to tell your sexual partner (s) that you have an STD, you can contact the STD / AIDS social nurse at the GGD. He/she can anonymously warn your partner if you give permission.
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