Resources For Hiv And Aids Prevention
These are among the U.S. government agencies that provide helpful information for individuals and health care professionals about the most effective approaches for preventing the spread of HIV and AIDS.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, HIV National Strategic Plan The plan presents the departments strategy for ending the HIV epidemic in the U.S. by 2030 by preventing new infections and improving health outcomes for people with HIV.
How To Know If You Have Aids
The list of difference between HIV and AIDS is not complete without knowing the symptoms in different stages.
- Stage One occurs 2-6 weeks after HIV exposure. Symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, fever, and red non-itchy rash, last 1-2 weeks, and are due to the immune systems initial defense against HIV.
- Stage Two begins after the first symptoms have disappeared and the immune system stops fighting the infection. This phase can last over a decade and not produce any symptoms. However, the HIV is gradually destroying CD4+ T-cells, increasing the risk of other infections.
- Stage Three or AIDS is diagnosed if there are under 200 CD4+ cells/mm3 of blood, or if the patient has an AIDS-defining illness, e.g. Pneumocystis pneumonia or Kaposis sarcoma. Other AIDS symptoms include night sweats, long-term fever, breathlessness, chronic diarrhea, lymph node swelling, weight loss, purple skin patches, bleeding, bruising, and yeast infections.
How Is HIV/ AIDS Transmitted?
The most common ways of acquiring HIV are through:
- Sexual intercourse with an HIV-positive person
- Needle-sharing with infected individuals
- Transmission from mother to baby in pregnancy or labor, or when breastfeeding
Stage 1 Hiv: Acute Hiv
The acute HIV phase develops within two to four weeks after the initial infection. HIV replicates rapidly, and the risk of transmission is high. It destroys the bodys CD4 T-lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell crucial to help fight infections. At this stage, some may experience flu-like symptoms. These include fever, rash, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, sore throat, and more.
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Hiv And Aids Transmission
- Myth: HIV can be transmitted simply by being around people who are HIV-positive.
- Fact: As WebMD explains, HIV cant be transmitted via touch, sweat, tears, saliva or urine. Its perfectly safe to hug, kiss, shake hands, share eating utensils and use the same gym equipment as someone with HIV.
- Myth: If both partners are HIV-positive, they dont have to practice safe sex.
- Fact: HIV has many different strains, and new strains may arise that are resistant to current ART approaches.
Why Dont We Have An Aids Vaccine Yet
The biggest challenge to developing an HIV vaccine is that HIV can hide its genetic code in its host DNA unlike other viruses. They bury into the immune cells and, once there, remain hidden from the immune system and never leave. The virus is also extremely wily. It is highly adaptable and creates multiple variants within each individual, and evades immune response.
Sometimes hope arrives in a strange package. In 2020 and 2021, the world poured all its energy, resources, and funding to develop the Coronavirus vaccines.Scientists who worked on the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines came from the world of HIV research. Sure, this effort temporarily diverted attention away from HIV. However, the fast-tracking of the mRNA vaccine technology could potentially help in the fight against HIV.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Aids
HIV causes different symptoms at different stages of infection.
This early stage is known as acute HIV infection. Within 2 to 4 weeks of HIV infection, most people show flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, rash, tiredness, body ache, sore throat, and mouth ulcers. These symptoms may last from a couple of days to many weeks. Some people dont show any symptoms in this stage.
These symptoms are similar to those of other viral infections. If you have these symptoms, you may not necessarily have an HIV infection. If you are concerned that you may have HIV, it is best to get an HIV test.
This stage is called the latency period, or chronic HIV infection. In this stage, you still may not have any symptoms. The virus continues to multiply slowly in your body. Stage 2 can last for 10 to 15 years.
If you have HIV and arent taking HIV treatment, the virus will damage your immune system over time. This ongoing damage leads to AIDS the final stage of HIV infection. Its symptoms include:
Again, these symptoms can be related to other illnesses. If you are HIV-positive and have these symptoms, visit your doctor to check if the HIV infection progressed to stage 3 or AIDS.
Differences Of Hiv And Aids
|HIV is the virus known as human immunodeficiency virus, affecting the immune system
|AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It is a condition which develops from an infection with HIV
|The period from an HIV infection until the development of AIDS varies from one person to the other. Today with advanced ART therapy, people may live for years without developing AIDS. Sometimes AIDS will not develop at all.
|If you have developed AIDS this means that you have an HIV infection. The period from an HIV infection to the development of AIDS varies from one person to the other.
|HIV is transmitted from one person to the other through sexual intercourse and exchange of body fluids like blood, breast milk or semen.
|You cant get AIDS from another person. However, remember that you can get infected with HIV from another person which can lead to the development of AIDS.
|In general, 2 to 4 weeks after the infection, flu like symptoms will appear. However, they will disappear quickly, followed by an asymptomatic period.
|People who develop AIDS usually have several different symptoms of AIDS
|HIV is detected with the help of anti HIV antibodies.
|To analyze if the infection has developed into AIDS, the CD4+ T-cell count is measured.
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Support Groups And Resources For People Who Have Hiv Or Aids
Peer support is effective in helping people meet the challenges associated with HIV and AIDS. Peer support can reduce anxiety and depression, relieve symptoms, and assist people in maintaining treatment regimens. Healthline describes the work that many online HIV/AIDS support forums do. Some of these include:
- POZ Community Forums provides moderated discussion boards with information about a diagnosis, treatment, and community resources.
- HIV/AIDS TherapyTribe is an online space where people can offer advice and moral support to others who share their experiences with HIV and AIDS.
- The Well Project allows women and girls who are living with HIV to participate in moderated forums and read about the experiences of others who are in the same situation.
If I Have Hiv How Can I Keep From Spreading It To Others
The best ways to keep from spreading HIV to others are many of the same ways you use to protect yourself:
- Let sexual partners and anyone you inject drugs with know that you have HIV.
- Follow your treatment plan and dont miss medications. If you have an undetectable viral load, you greatly reduce the risk of transmitting HIV through sex.
- Talk to your sexual partner about taking PrEP.
- Wear condoms for vaginal, anal and oral sex even if you have an undetectable viral load.
- Dont share needles or other equipment to inject drugs.
- Limit the number of sexual partners you have.
- If youre pregnant and have HIV, following your treatment plan, including ART medications, can reduce your risk of transmitting the virus to your child.
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How Aids Started And Spread Worldwide
The HIV virus is known to have originated from chimpanzees in Central Africa. The CDC states that the zoonotic transfer of HIV to humans may have occurred as early as the 1800s when hunters came in contact with infected chimpanzee blood.Other accounts suggest that the HIV virus crossed over from chimps to humans in the 1920s. Using genetic dating methods, researchers David Ho et al. from the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in New York discovered that HIV may have originated in the 1940s or 1950s .
Thefirst official reporting of AIDS in the United States was in June 1981 in Los Angeles. The cause of death was severe pneumonia, but the case was retroactively declared an AIDS-related opportunistic infection.
Efforts To Overcome Hiv And Aids Education Challenges
The greatest challenge to HIV and AIDS education efforts in the U.S. and worldwide is the COVID-19 pandemic. Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria examines the impact the coronavirus has had on the most vulnerable communities who suffer the highest rates of HIV/AIDS as well as tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious diseases.
When the AIDS epidemic began 40 years ago, the goal of governments, researchers and healthcare providers was to stop it from spreading and develop effective treatments. Today, the challenges are much different, as a recent United Nations meeting on AIDS discussed:
- Wipe out AIDS by 2030.
- Face sensitive issues relating to sex between men, drug use, prostitution and sex trafficking.
- Use new communication methods to reach young people with a message of prevention, testing and treatment.
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But How Can A Person’s Life Change If Hiv Is Treated
“It would not be an exaggeration to say ARVs, the treatment for HIV, save lives,” admits Dr Win-Leung Siu.
Some studies have suggested that, if a person is diagnosed with HIV early, starts medication promptly and is adherent to medication, there’s a chance they can have a longer lifespan compared to other people in the same demographics without HIV. There can be many contributing factors to this, not solely medication.
Populations Impacted The Most By Hiv And Aids
About 1.2 million people in the U.S. have HIV, although approximately 13% of infected individuals dont know it.
- Age groups. In 2019, the highest HIV infection rates per 100,000 people in the U.S. were among people ages 25 to 34 and ages 35 to 44 . The infection rate for all age groups was 12.6 per 100,000 people.
- Race/ethnicity. In 2019, the highest infection rates by race or ethnicity were among African Americans , Latinx/Hispanics , and people of multiple races . African Americans accounted for 44% of new HIV diagnoses, and Latinx/Hispanics accounted for 30% of new infections these groups represent only 13% and 18%, respectively, of the total U.S. population.
- Sex. In 2019, gay and bisexual men, as well as other men who have sex with men, accounted for 69% of new HIV infections in the U.S. Heterosexual women accounted for 16% of new infections, and heterosexual men accounted for 7% of new HIV infections.
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Where Can You Get Tested For Hiv And Seek Emotional Support
Additionally, Dr Win-Leung Siu recommends contacting specific HIV organisations such as Terrence Higgins Trust and Positively UK for information and support regarding HIV and AIDS.
Causes Of Hiv Infection
HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person. This includes semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood and breast milk.
It’s a fragile virus and does not survive outside the body for long.
HIV cannot be transmitted through sweat, urine or saliva.
The most common way of getting HIV in the UK is through having anal or vaginal sex without a condom.
Other ways of getting HIV include:
- sharing needles, syringes or other injecting equipment
- transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding
The chance of getting HIV through oral sex is very low and will be dependent on many things, such as whether you receive or give oral sex and the oral hygiene of the person giving the oral sex.
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Hiv/aids Cures And Reversals
There is no known, consistent cure or reversal for HIV/AIDS. However, there are some notable cases of “functional cures.” Functional cures are cases where the virus is not removed from the body but is essentially made dormant in such a way that it no longer affects quality of life in any way.
Some examples of functional cures do exist:
- Very early detection and subsequent combination antiretroviral treatment of HIV has been found to functionally cure a small percentage of patients. In a study that involved 70 newly diagnosed HIV-positive individuals, 14 were able to eventually stop taking medication without having the virus rebound significantly over the next several years.
- A baby born to an HIV-positive mother in Mississippi was put on an aggressive antiretroviral regimen and remained on the therapy for about 18 months. At three years of age, the child was no longer taking antiretrovirals , and there was no evidence of HIV in the child’s system. However, in July of 2014, HIV was detected in the four-year-old for the first time.
- At least two people who have received bone marrow transplants had a reversal of their HIV. Unfortunately, in 2013, it was discovered that this reversal was temporary, and the virus has returned in these individuals.
Outside of functional cure examples, there are also people who appear to be immune to HIV infection. It is possible that studying these individuals will lead to a cure or other functional cures.
Treatment’s Impact On Life Expectancy
In the past, an AIDS diagnosis was considered by many to be a death sentence. With the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy in 1996, that outlook changed. This form of combination therapy can fully suppress the virus and slow disease progression.
During the height of the epidemic in the United States, HIV was the eighth leading cause of death overall. By the mid-1990s, it accounted for 23% of deaths among men ages 25 to 44 and 11% of deaths among women of the same age group.
By 1995, the HIV mortality rate had peaked to its highest level ever, killing nearly 50,000 U.S. citizens and residents. With the introduction of HAART, now referred to simply as antiretroviral therapy, the death rate plummeted by more than 50% in three years.
Even people clinically diagnosed with AIDS can benefit from antiretroviral treatment. With that said, the lower your CD4 count is at the start of therapy, the less likely you will be to achieve immune recovery.
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Hiv Doesnt Always Progress To Stage 3
HIV is a virus, and AIDS is the condition the virus may cause. An HIV infection doesnt necessarily progress to stage 3. In fact, many people with HIV live for years without developing AIDS. Thanks to advances in treatment, a person living with HIV can expect to live a near-normal life span.
While a person can have an HIV infection without having AIDS, anyone diagnosed with AIDS has already contracted HIV. Because there is no cure, the HIV infection never goes away, even if AIDS never develops.
What Is Hiv And What Is Aids
“Human immunodeficiency virus is the virus that attacks a person’s immune system. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a state of untreated HIV. This is where a person’s immune system is unable to fight off illnesses that a healthy immune system would have defended against.”
HIV is most often contracted by having sex with a person who is HIV positive without using a condom. The virus does not spread simply like the common cold. HIV spreads via bodily fluids, such as semen, blood, vaginal fluids, menstrual blood and breast milk.
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Elite Controllers And Natural Superpower Against Hiv
There are a handful of people who, despite being infected with HIV, have no symptoms and need no retroviral medications. This group of HIV-resistant individuals has natural immunity that is quite powerful in defeating HIV and are known as elite controllers.
One such elite controller is Loreen Willenberg, a Californian in her 60s. Her immune system is so incredibly potent that Loreen is classified as an exceptional elite controller. Loreen has had no HIV disease progression for almost 30 years! Researchers believe that, in elite controllers, 60% of the HIV genes are clustered in genetic areas known as gene deserts. The immune systems of elite controllers kill all other HIV cells. The ones allowed to live contain inactive DNA which cannot replicate .
Intervention Strategy Resources: Diagnosis Treatment Prevention And Response
- The plans goal is to reduce HIV infections in the U.S. by 75% by 2025 and 90% by 2030.
- Early detection and immediate access to care resources improve outcomes for individuals and communities.
- Rapid start treatment programs should be available to all. At the same time, the thousands of HIV-positive people who are aware of their status but arent currently receiving treatment should be encouraged to resume their care programs.
- Interventions such as PrEP and syringe services programs have been shown to reduce HIV infection rates.
- Real-time response systems allow communities to quickly identify and address new outbreaks of HIV infections. The systems are made possible by innovative epidemiological techniques and close links between federal, state and local resources.
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