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AIDS: definition

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS is an infectious disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV (HIV English) of which there are two types (HIV 1 and 2).

These viruses attack the immune system of the body, particularly the white blood cells, or CD4 lymphocyte T4, to defend him. HIV enters cells, multiplies and destroys them, releasing new viruses that may in turn infect other cells.

The early stages of infection, the subject has no symptoms it is only HIV positive, without developing disease at a later stage, when the immune system weakens, opportunistic infections and cancers develop and define disease AIDS.

Risks and health issues of AIDS

The number of people living with HIV worldwide is estimated at 39.5 million, including more than 4 million adults and children newly infected in 2006. In numerous parts of the globe, new-fangled HIV infections are seriously concentrated in the midst of young people (15-24 years). Discovered there are more than 20 years, AIDS has already killed more than 16 million people and continues its ravages at a rate of 3 million deaths per year. Between 6 000 to 7 000 people are still infected each year.

Transmission of AIDS

HIV is transmitted during sexual contact (vaginal or anal) not protected by condoms and through blood (sharing of contaminated needles, transfusion of contaminated blood, occupational accident ...). It is also transmitted from mother to child at some stage in pregnancy, breastfeeding or childbirth.

AIDS Prevention

How to manifest AIDS?
AIDS is the last stage of HIV seropositivity. Time without symptoms, the patient will show signs of severe immune deficiency: opportunistic infections (virus, bacteria or fungus mainly affects the lungs, intestine, brain, and skin) and cancers (cancer of the lymph nodes, causing Kaposi's sarcoma brown skin spots) often lead to death if untreated. The severe form of the disease occurs on average more than 10 or 15 years after infection, when the fall in blood lymphocytes and are unable to fulfill their role.

With what should we not confuse AIDS?
HIV status revealed by blood does not mean AIDS. Indeed, a patient may remain for years without symptoms and with immune CD4 to normal: he is HIV positive.
Monitoring the infection uses precisely the number of CD4 and viral load (amount of virus).

Various disorders such as fever, swollen glands, diarrhea, fatigue or fungal infections (thrush) may occur in the course of evolution without tipping the AIDS stage.

Are there possible prevention against AIDS?
Treatments include fewer tablets before and their side effects are better recognized and warned by doctors. A regular intake, daily need without forgetting.

Treatment does not prevent the wearer from infection to transmit the infection to partners if they do not protect, you should always use a condom.

Similarly, needle sharing is prohibited, and the HIV-positive patient can not donate blood.

AIDS Preparing consultation

AIDS: when to visit?
Testing is a fundamental step in prevention policy. Do not wait for symptoms to make a screening, but do in case of risk behavior (unprotected sex, condom breakage, sharing needles or syringes, wound with an object contaminated with blood contaminated ...) or before abandoning condom use with a partner. Testing is anonymous and free screening centers.

In the case of HIV known, regular monitoring with the measurement of CD4 and viral load can take care of early complications or even prevented by appropriate treatment.

What does the doctor against AIDS?

Once the diagnosis is confirmed by the presence of antibodies against HIV, infectious disease doctor offers an assessment to determine the stage of the disease and initiate treatment. Treatments do not cure the infection but have two main objectives: to fight against the virus by HAART and fight against opportunistic infections (prevention or treatment).

Regular medical monitoring is necessary to adapt treatment to the virus, the possible side effects and disease progression.

HIV treatment is supported 100% by Social Security (Long-term disease [ALD]).

How do I prepare for my next consultation AIDS?
While great strides have been made in the number and shape of tablets, side effects persist (diarrhea, nausea, fatigue ...). Do not hesitate to identify the circumstances in which they appear to discuss with your doctor.

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