The Response Has Been Based On Projections
Though the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing quickly, some of the precautions in the United States began before the disease reached pandemic proportions, based on projections. With COVID-19, the extreme measures of isolation and economic shutdown werent taken because of the number of deaths that occurred, but rather those that could happen,Talya Miron-Shatz, PhD, an expert on medical decision-making, tells Readers Digest. For example, during the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide, nobody knew the toll it would take, especially when it first began, she says. As a decision scientist, I was fascinated by how most world leaders treated the virus, Miron-Shatz explains. When it was in the bud, they ignored it. Its because humans dont deal well with small probabilities, or with probabilities in general. We tend to turn them into all or nothing.’
The World Is More Interconnected Now
Though there have been comparisons to the 1918 Flu Pandemic, one notable difference is the social and political context in which it has emerged, according to Nolan Kline, PhD, assistant professor of anthropology at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. We live in an increasingly interconnected world marked by global travel and commerce that can play a role in how quickly communicable diseases spread, he explains. Similarly, Shan-Estelle Brown, PhD, assistant professor of anthropology at Rollins College, points to the fact that through globalization and participation in international supply chains, no country is isolated. Foods, people, and goods now easily travel around the worldand quickly, she says.
Of course, its wise to stay home right now, and if you had a vacation planned, youll need to sort things out. Heres how to get a refund if a world crisis like coronavirus forces you to cancel a trip.
What Is The Treatment For Stds
STDs caused by bacteria or parasites can be cured with medicine. There is no cure for STDs caused by viruses, but treatment can relieve or eliminate symptoms and help keep the STD under control. Treatment also reduces the risk of passing on the STD to a partner. For example, although there is no cure for HIV, HIV medicines can prevent HIV from advancing to AIDS and reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
Untreated STDs may lead to serious complications. For example, untreated gonorrhea in women can cause pelvic inflammatory disease, which may lead to infertility. Without treatment, HIV can gradually destroy the immune system and advance to AIDS.
Read Also: Does Hiv Make Your Hair Fall Out
Symptoms Of Hiv Infection
Most people experience a short flu-like illness 2 to 6 weeks after HIV infection, which lasts for a week or 2.
After these symptoms disappear, HIV may not cause any symptoms for many years, although the virus continues to damage your immune system.
This means many people with HIV do not know they’re infected.
Anyone who thinks they could have HIV should get tested.
Some people are advised to have regular tests as they’re at particularly high risk.
Retroviruses That May Cause Human Illness
Retroviruses are a family of viruses that are grouped together based on how they are structured and how they replicate within a host. Besides human immunodeficiency virus , the virus that causes AIDS, there a two other retroviruses that can cause human illness. One is called human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 and the other is called human T-lymphotropic virus type 2 . Both of these viruses are transmitted between people through sexual contact, infected blood or tissue exposure, or during pregnancy or childbirth from an infected person to their child.
Recommended Reading: Does Cookie Johnson Have Hiv
The Quest For Understanding Of Hiv
Since the discovery of HIV and its link to AIDS, great strides have been made in understanding its biology and in developing effective treatments. The difficulty in dealing with HIV on a global scale is largely due to the fact that HIV infection is far more common in resource-poor countries.
In the developed world, antiretroviral therapy has greatly improved prognosis and increased survival rates. Public education programs have raised awareness such that testing and prevention of infection are more common. Both of these approaches are difficult in countries with undereducated or underfunded populations.
HIV-related health information is typically considered separate from other health information and may require separate consent to share or divulge.
Health care workers who are infected with HIV may be required to divulge their status to their employer or patients and may be restricted in the types of procedures they can perform.
Hiv Infection Can Be Diagnosed By A Simple Test
On HIV transmission, the immune system produces antibodies against the virus. A blood or saliva test can detect those antibodies to determine if the virus is present. It can take several weeks after transmission for the HIV antibody test to come back positive.
Another test looks for antigens, which are proteins produced by the virus, and antibodies. This test can detect HIV just days after infection.
Both tests are accurate and easy to administer.
Recommended Reading: How Long Can Aids Go Undetected
Hiv Vs Aids: Whats The Difference
It can be easy to confuse HIV and AIDS. They are different diagnoses, but they do go hand-in-hand: HIV is a virus that can lead to a condition called AIDS, also known as stage 3 HIV.
At one time, a diagnosis of HIV or AIDS was considered a death sentence. Thanks to research and the development of new treatments, people with HIV at any stage today are living long, productive lives. An HIV-positive person who adheres to regular antiretroviral treatment can expect to live a near-normal life span.
How Do You Get Or Transmit Hiv
You can only get HIV by coming into direct contact with certain body fluids from a person with HIV who has a detectable viral load. These fluids are:
- Semen and pre-seminal fluid
- Rectal fluids
- Vaginal fluids
- Breast milk
For transmission to occur, the HIV in these fluids must get into the bloodstream of an HIV-negative person through a mucous membrane open cuts or sores or by direct injection.
People with HIV who take HIV medicine daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners.
You May Like: How Long Does Hiv Last
Definition Of Exclusion Criteria
Blood donor eligibility is regulated by the Guidelines on the Collection of Blood and Blood Components and on Use of Blood Products . Criteria are defined for the permanent or temporary deferral from donation with respect to the transmission of HIV. Permanently deferred from donation are the following:
Persons with a confirmed HIV infection.
Persons with non-prescribed IV or IM drug use.
Persons whose sexual behaviour puts them at high risk of acquiring severe infectious diseases like HBV, HCV or HIV that can be transmitted by blood:
heterosexual persons with high-risk sexual behaviour, i.e. sexual contacts with multiple sex partners,
men who have sexual contacts with men
male and female sex workers.
Temporary deferral from donating blood is valid for persons:
who entered Germany from a country or a region, where they had been continuously resident for more than 6 months, with a comparatively high prevalence of HBV, HCV, HIV or HTLV-1/-2 infections,
who had sexual contacts with persons belonging to a group with an enhanced risk of infection with HBV, HCV, HIV and/or HTLV-1/-2 ,
with tattoos or body piercing.
This Hiv/aids Specialist Explains Its Similarities And Differences To Covid
Few viruses have instilled as much fear as HIV. Although it was discovered nearly 40 years ago, we still do not have a vaccine or a cure. But the COVID-19 pandemic has rivaled that level of fear as researchers race to find a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes this disease. The largest question at hand: will developing a vaccine prove to be just as vexing?
The answer to that question remains to be seen, but there may be a lot we can learn by comparing the two viruses. As we think about vaccine development, however, its important to remember that HIV and SARS-CoV-2 are very different viruses. They are transmitted differently. They replicate differently. They cause disease differently.
So how similar are HIV and SARS-CoV-2?
A few recent studies on the effects of HIV and SARS-CoV-2 indicate that they do have some similarities. Shanghai-based researchers provided evidence that SARS-CoV-2 can infect T lymphocytes, the same cells targeted by HIV. Other researchers have documented that individuals with severe COVID-19 may exhibit lymphopenia, or an atypically low number of lymphocytes in the blood. Likewise, HIV infection results in this abnormality, eventually causing the immunosuppression associated with AIDS. But these findings should not cause us to assume that SARS-CoV-2 is like HIV.
Recommended Reading: Hiv Hair Loss Symptom
Hiv Doesnt Always Produce Symptoms
HIV usually causes flu-like symptoms about two to four weeks after transmission. This short period of time is called acute infection. The immune system brings the infection under control, leading to a period of latency.
The immune system cant completely eliminate HIV, but it can control it for a long time. During this latency period, which can last for years, a person with HIV may experience no symptoms at all. Without antiretroviral therapy, however, that person may develop AIDS and as a result will experience many symptoms associated with the condition.
How A Retrovirus Or Rna Virus Works
A retrovirus is a virus whose genes are encoded in RNA, and, using an enzyme called reverse transcriptase, replicates itself by first reverse-coding its genes into the DNA of the cells it infects.
Like other viruses, retroviruses need to use the cellular machinery of the organisms they infect to make copies of themselves. However, infection by a retrovirus requires an additional step.
The retrovirus genome needs to be reverse-transcribed into DNA before it can be copied in the usual way. The enzyme that does this backward transcription is known as reverse transcriptase.
Retroviruses use reverse transcriptase to transform their single-stranded RNA into double-stranded DNA. It is DNA that stores the genome of human cells and cells from other higher life forms. Once transformed from RNA to DNA, the viral DNA can be integrated into the genome of the infected cells.
When the DNA versions of the retroviral genes have been incorporated into the genome, the cell then is tricked into copying those genes as part of its normal replication process. In other words, the cell does the work of the virus for it.
Retroviruses are “retro” because they reverse the direction of the normal gene copying process. Usually, cells convert DNA into RNA so that it can be made into proteins. But with retroviruses, the process has to start by going backward.
Read Also: Does Hiv Cause Hair Loss
Who Is At Risk For Hiv Infection
Anyone can get HIV, but certain groups have a higher risk of getting it:
- People who have another sexually transmitted disease . Having an STD can increase your risk of getting or spreading HIV.
- People who inject drugs with shared needles
- Gay and bisexual men, especially those who are Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino American
- People who engage in risky sexual behaviors, such as not using condoms
Racial Sexual And Age
In the United States, the rate of HIV infection is highest in Blacks . The prevalence is also high among Hispanic persons . These increased rates result from socioeconomic factors rather than genetic predisposition.
In the developed world, HIV infection is much more common in males. In 2015, males accounted for 81% of all diagnoses of HIV infection among adults and adolescents in the United States. Among heterosexuals, females are more likely to acquire HIV infection from an infected male than a male is from an infected female, but a large proportion of infections in males are due to homosexual contact, with or without injection drug use. Males are also more likely to acquire HIV infection from injection drug use alone.
Males were also more likely to acquire HIV infection through contaminated blood products for treatment of hemophilia before universal testing of the blood supply was instituted. The risk of HIV exposure from factor VIII concentrates has been virtually eliminated by viricidal treatment of plasma-derived factor VIII concentrates, as well as the introduction of recombinant factor VIII concentrates and the gradual elimination of albumin from the production process used for these products.
In the developing world, HIV infection is equally common in males and females. The primary route of HIV transmission in the developing world is heterosexual contact.
You May Like: Does Cookie Johnson Have Aids
Aids: Stage 3 Of Hiv Infection
AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection. It is diagnosed based on a CD4 cell count or the development of one or more opportunistic infections. Stage 1 is the acute stage of HIV and stage 2 is the clinical latency stage. More information on these two stages is included later in the article.
The CD4 cell count in healthy individuals ranges from 500 to 1,600 cells per cubic millimeter of blood . According to AIDS.gov, those with HIV are considered to have developed AIDS when their CD4 cell count drops to under 200 cells/mm3.
Without medical treatment, AIDS typically develops between 2 and 15 years after contracting the HIV virus.
The rate at which the virus progresses depends on many factors, including the patients age, general health, genetics, the presence of other infections, and standard of health care.
Some people with the HIV virus will never develop AIDS. Those who use medication are unlikely ever to have it.
How Do You Get Hiv
HIV is carried in semen , vaginal fluids, anal mucus, blood, and breast milk. The virus gets in your body through cuts or sores in your skin, and through mucous membranes . You can get HIV from:
having vaginal or anal sex
sharing needles or syringes for shooting drugs, piercings, tattoos, etc.
getting stuck with a needle that has HIV-infected blood on it
getting HIV-infected blood, semen , or vaginal fluids into open cuts or sores on your body
HIV is usually spread through having unprotected sex. Using condoms and/or dental dams every time you have sex and not sharing needles can help protect you and your partners from HIV. If you do have HIV, treatment can lower or even stop the chances of spreading the virus to other people during sex. If you dont have HIV, theres also a daily medicine called PrEP that can protect you from HIV.
HIV can also be passed to babies during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. A pregnant woman with HIV can take medicine to greatly reduce the chance that her baby will get HIV.
HIV isnt spread through saliva , so you CANT get HIV from kissing, sharing food or drinks, or using the same fork or spoon. HIV is also not spread through hugging, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. And you cant get HIV from a toilet seat.
Read Also: Does Nba Youngboy Have Hiv
Preventing Transmission By Blood Transfusions And Organ Transplants
In the United States, the following have almost eliminated transmission of HIV infection by organ transplantation or blood transfusion:
Screening donors of organs or blood for risk factors for HIV infection
Screening donated blood for HIV
Risk is reduced further by asking people with risk factors for HIV infection, regardless of their test results for HIV, not to donate blood or organs for transplantation.
However, developing countries have not consistently used sensitive HIV screening tests and have not restricted donors. Consequently, transmission by these routes is still a problem in these countries.
Interval Of Mild Or No Symptoms
After the first symptoms disappear, most people, even without treatment, have no symptoms or only occasionally have a few mild symptoms. This interval of few or no symptoms may last from 2 to 15 years. The symptoms that most commonly occur during this interval include the following:
Swollen lymph nodes, felt as small, painless lumps in the neck, under the arms, or in the groin
White patches in the mouth due to candidiasis
Some people progressively lose weight and have a mild fever or diarrhea.
These symptoms may result from HIV infection or from opportunistic infections that develop because HIV has weakened the immune system.
Read Also: Nba Youngboy Truth About Herpes
How Can A Person Reduce The Risk Of Getting An Std
Sexual abstinence is the only way to eliminate any chance of getting an STD. But if you are sexually active, you can take the following steps to lower your risk for STDs, including HIV.
Choose less risky sexual behaviors.
- Reduce the number of people you have sex with.
- Do not drink alcohol or use drugs before and during sex.
Use condoms correctly every time you have sex.
- Visit this website from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to learn how to use condoms correctly.
Stages Of The Hiv Lifecycle
Binding and fusion
HIV attaches to a T-helper cell. It then fuses to it and releases its genetic information into the cell.
The types of drugs that stop this stage of the lifecycle are called fusion or entry inhibitor drugs because they stop HIV from entering the cell.
Reverse transcription and integration
Once inside the T-helper cell, HIV converts its genetic material into HIV DNA, a process called reverse transcription. The new HIV DNA then enters the nucleus of the host cell and takes control of it.
The types of drugs that stop this stage of the lifecycle are called NRTIs , NNRTIs and integrase inhibitor drugs.
Transcription and translation
The infected T-helper cell then produces HIV proteins that are used to produce more HIV particles inside the cell.
Assembly, budding and maturation
The new HIV is put together and then released from the T-helper cell into the bloodstream to infect other cells and so the process begins again.
The type of drugs that stop this stage of the lifecycle are called protease inhibitor drugs.
Read Also: Jania Has Herpes