HIV infection is a viral disease that weakens the immune system, leading to the development of tumors and secondary infections. If this disease is not treated, then on average 9 to 11 years after the virus enters the body, death occurs. Therapy also makes it possible to increase the lifespan of an infected person to 70 to 80 years.
HIV - what is it?
The human immunodeficiency virus affects the immune system. The disease progresses slowly. The weaker the immune defense becomes, the more often the patient becomes ill. Many infected develop good and malignant tumors. Over time, immunity becomes so weak that even mild colds can lead to death. The human immunodeficiency virus affects people only. Attempts to infect animals were unsuccessful - the animals quickly healed.
The spread of HIV infection
Today, the immunodeficiency virus is considered one of the most active progressive diseases. Already in the late 1980s, statistics made the public horrified: in countries that are part of the World Health Organization, nearly 120,000 people infected with AIDS (a more severe form of HIV) and about 100,000 infected with HIV were found. The most terrible thing is that in reality the indicators are much higher, because many patients do not even guess about their diagnosis and are not registered.
How HIV is perceived by each organism depends on its geno- and phenotypic characteristics. Because of this, it turns out that some patients "burn out" of the disease in a few days, while others live with the immunodeficiency virus for years, feel great and do not even know about their problems. According to statistics, representatives of the Negroid race to HIV are more susceptible. Europeans are less sensitive to the virus, and the most "persistent" are the Mongoloids.
Countries in which HIV infection spreads most rapidly, look like this:
How is HIV transmitted?
To be able to protect yourself from the immunodeficiency virus, you need to know the main ways of getting infected with HIV. The source of it is an infected person. The danger is also presented by those patients, in whose organisms the virus is in the incubation period. The highest probability of HIV transmission is at the end of the incubation period. At this moment, the concentration of the virus is maximal.
HIV infection can penetrate into all biological fluids - blood, semen, saliva, vaginal secretions, tears, sweat, breast milk, urine, liquor - but its concentration is different, and this determines their excellent epidemiological significance. Transmission of HIV infection should occur under appropriate conditions. The virus needs to stand out from the infected organism in a natural way and penetrate into the inner environment of the healthy.
Ways of HIV transmission are diverse:
Basically, the virus is transmitted through sexual contacts. This is due to the fact that infected people in sperm and vaginal secretions have the highest concentration of HIV infection. According to statistics, 86% of infections occur in sexual contacts, of which 71% are heterosexual, and 15% are homosexual. Another way of transmission of the virus is perinatal. In the child's body, HIV can penetrate in the womb or after birth - with breast milk.
In each organism the virus develops in its own way. Therefore, the incubation period of HIV infection remains uncertain. Symptoms of the disease can manifest as a few weeks, and after years after infection. In the early stages of the incubation period, specific antibodies are formed in the blood. To be detected during a laboratory test, at least three weeks must pass from the time of probable infection.
HIV infection - symptoms
In most cases, the disease develops according to the standard scheme. There are two main stages of HIV infection: persistent and latent. Soon after infection, the first symptoms of the disease appear, which can easily be confused with the signs of flu or common cold: the temperature jumps, the throat starts to hurt, the lymph nodes increase . Many patients with the immunodeficiency virus do not associate all this, because after 2-3 weeks the manifestation of HIV infection ceases, and the disease passes to the second stage.
"Hide" the virus of immunodeficiency in the body can from a couple of months to several decades. After the latent stage comes to an end, patients develop various diseases, including oncological diseases. The symptoms of HIV also become apparent. Among the latter:
- sharp weight loss;
- frequent headaches;
- chronic colds;
- regular attacks of diarrhea;
- pain in the chest;
- lung diseases;
- fall of vision;
- dental diseases;
- depression and apathy.
HIV infection - symptoms in women
For the initial stage of the disease, women are characterized by signs of HIV infection that persist for one to two weeks:
- rashes on the body;
- soreness in the throat;
- frequent and severe headaches;
- constant fatigue;
- increased lymph nodes;
- the appearance of ulcers in the oral cavity;
- pain in muscles and joints;
- various yeast infections.
When the immunodeficiency virus passes into a more severe stage - AIDS , the following symptoms appear:
- constant indigestion accompanied by diarrhea;
- periodic temperature jumps;
- dry cough;
- deterioration, and sometimes a complete loss of memory;
- confusion of consciousness;
- inflammation of the pelvic organs.
HIV infection - symptoms in men
Signs of the disease in organisms of the stronger sex from female symptoms differ slightly. Manifestation of HIV infection in men is as follows: already on the 5th - 10th day after infection, a rash occurs on the patient's body. After some time, lymph nodes in the groin, armpits and neck are enlarged. The glands become dense, but they do not bring pain to them. Most patients with HIV complain of severe fatigue, a sharp loss of appetite, apathy to work and a constant desire to sleep.
The stages of AIDS are characterized by the following symptoms:
- painful incessant cough;
- gastric spasms;
- a heat that can hardly be brought down;
- a sharp decrease in body weight;
- partial memory loss.
Diagnosis of HIV infection
The most common method for determining HIV is ELISA, an enzyme immunoassay . Using special test systems, which use artificially derived proteins of the immunodeficiency virus, it is possible to determine antibodies to pathogenic microorganisms in the blood. Modern diagnostics of HIV can detect infection within 3 to 5 weeks after infection.
Treatment of HIV infection
Therapy of the immunodeficiency virus is a complex process and it is necessary to approach it very responsibly. Infection with HIV is no longer considered a sentence. Medicine knows many cases of successful treatment. The most effective is antiretroviral therapy, which has the following objectives:
- Stop the multiplication of the virus and reduce the viral load. That is, do so that HIV in the body is not determined.
- Restore immunity. After reducing the viral load, the body can gradually increase the number of CD4 lymphocytes that provide an adequate response of the immune system.
- Increase the duration and quality of life of the patient. Timely begun, correct treatment saves HIV-positive from all the symptoms of the disease.
Treatment of HIV infection - drugs
Antiviral drugs control replication and slow the development of virus-related diseases. In most cases, people with HIV receive recommendations to take such medications:
Treatment of HIV with folk remedies at home
The human immunodeficiency virus treats with unconventional methods, but only after consulting a doctor. Healers recommend HIV-positive to switch to high-calorie vegetarian food. To consume more pistachios, oats, pine nuts, juices, giving up salt, sugar, meat dishes. Useful for infected people herbal infusion. Astragalus, the roots of a bird's highlander, violet, poplar buds, licorice roots are mixed in equal quantities, poured with boiling water and infused for 3 hours. Drink infusion should be before eating half a cup.
Human immunodeficiency virus - prevention
To prevent infection simply, if you know and observe several important rules:
- Prevention of HIV infection involves the rejection of casual sexual intercourse.
- Regularly it is necessary to undergo examination for the presence of a virus in the body.
- Measures to prevent HIV infection also consist in the refusal of drugs.