Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Is there any sure way to avoid acquiring HIV?
- What is the best treatment for me?
- How can I avoid getting any infections that will make me very sick?
- How can I find support groups in my community?
- What diagnostic tests will you run?
- How often will I need to see my doctor?
- Will there be any side effects to my treatment?
- How does this affect my plans for having a family?
- Is it safe for me to breastfeed my baby?
- Will using a condom keep my sex partners from acquiring HIV?
- Should I follow a special diet?
How Is Hiv Spread From Person To Person
HIV can only be spread through specific activities. In the United States, the most common ways are:
- Having vaginal or anal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV. Anal sex is riskier than vaginal sex.
- Sharing injection drug equipment , such as needles, with someone who has HIV.
Less common ways are:
- From mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. However, the use of HIV medicines and other strategies have helped lower the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV to 1% or less in the United States.
- Getting stuck with an HIV-contaminated needle or other sharp object. This is a risk mainly for health care workers. The risk is very low.
HIV is spread only in extremely rare cases by:
- Having oral sex. But in general, the chance that an HIV-negative person will get HIV from oral sex with an HIV-positive partner is extremely low.
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.
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Stage : Acute Primary Infection
The early symptoms of HIV can feel like having the flu. Around one to four weeks after getting HIV, you may start to experience these flu-like symptoms. These normally dont last long . You may only get some of the symptoms and some people dont have any symptoms at all.
Symptoms can include:
- joint aches and pains
- muscle pain.
These symptoms happen because your body is reacting to the HIV virus. Cells that are infected with HIV are circulating throughout your blood system. In response, your immune system tries to attack the virus by producing HIV antibodies this process is called seroconversion. Timing varies but once you have HIV it can take your body up to a few months to go through the seroconversion process.
Having these symptoms alone does not mean you definitely have HIV. The only way to know if you have HIV is by taking a test. You should always visit your healthcare professional if youre worried about or think youve been at risk of getting HIV, even if you feel well and dont have any symptoms. They can then arrange for you to get tested.
HIV will not always show up in a test at this early stage, and you may need to test again later to confirm your result . Your healthcare professional will talk to you about the timing of your test and answer any concerns. Its important not delay speaking to a healthcare worker if you are worried about HIV.
Understanding Hiv And Aids
Generally speaking, the time it takes to go from HIV infection to AIDS is around five to 10 years if no medical intervention is made. Differences in time can be due to any number of factors, including:
- The genetic strain of HIV a person has been infected with
- The general health of the individual
- The place where the person lives
- A person’s genetics or family history
- Smoking and other personal lifestyle choices
This is, of course, if the person receives no treatment. The picture changes entirely if he or she does.
Since 1996, the introduction of antiretroviral drugs has dramatically altered the natural progression of HIV infection. While HIV still cannot be cured, people newly diagnosed with HIV who get treated and stay in care can be expected to have near-normal to normal life expectancies. As with other chronic diseases, early detection is key to identifying and treating the infection as soon as possible.
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Two Ways To Beat Cancer: Healthy Living And Early Detection
You can lower your cancer risk a lot, and manage your HIV at the same time, by making healthy choices. Finding cancer in its early stages and treating it right away can raise your chances of living longer with HIV. Cancer treatments can also be very hard on the immune systems of people with HIV. So, it is also important for people with HIV to not let cancer start growing and find cancer in its early stages.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Hiv And Aids
When first infected with HIV, a person may have:
- increased number of infections
- infections that are more severe than is typical
Without treatment, HIV can lead to a very weakened immune system and progress to AIDS. Illnesses that happen in AIDS are called “AIDS-defining conditions.”
AIDS-defining conditions include:
- very fast and severe weight loss
- a lung infection called pneumocystis pneumonia
- Kaposi sarcoma
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How Can I Know If I Have Hiv
The only way to know if you have HIV is to take an HIV test. Many medical groups recommend routine voluntary HIV screening of all patients aged 18 to 75 years of age as a normal part of medical care. The reason for this is that nearly one out of seven people infected with HIV are not aware that they have the infection.
Stages Of Hiv Infection
The stages of infection from person to person vary slightly, both in severity and the speed of progression. These stages map the depletion of immune cells as the body’s defenses further and further degrade.
With each progression, the risk of opportunistic infections increases until the immune system is said to be fully compromised. It is at this stage that the risk of illness and death is particularly high.
The stages of infection can be roughly classified as follows:
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Fungal Infection Can Advance To An Aids
Candidiasis, commonly called thrush, is a fungal infection caused by strains of Candida, a type of yeast. People living with HIV infection are more prone to candidiasis. It is not an uncommon condition and generally manifests when a person’s immune response is low.
The Candida yeast itself is present in most human beings, within the natural flora of the mouth and digestive tract, as well as on the skin. It is only when changes to these systems occur that Candida can actively thrive, usually manifesting with superficial infection.
However, when the immune system is severely compromised, as can happen with untreated HIV, Candida can become invasive and spread throughout the body, causing severe illness and possibly death. Learn more about how this fungal infection can affect you and what you can do to lower your risk.
How To Live Healthily With Hiv
Besides the answer to “how does HIV turn into AIDS?” here are also tips about how to live healthily with HIV.
1. ; Eat a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is the key to boosting;your immune system. You need to eat a well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients. Some good options are whole grains, lean meat, fresh vegetables and fruits.
2. ; Avoid Wrong Types of Foods
Avoid foods which you are allergic to. In addition, you need to avoid raw sea food, half cooked meat, raw eggs and unpasteurized dairy products. They may cause foodborne illness and;the level of severity of consequences is multiplied in HIV patients.
3. ; Get Vaccinations
Since you are more susceptible to common infections, you should get immunized against them. At the same time, you should avoid vaccines that are made using live viruses which;can cause diseases since your immune system is already weakened.
4. ; Take Care;with Pets and Other Animals
Pets and animals may carry parasites that will cause infections in people with HIV. For example, cats carry feces that can cause toxoplasmosis.;Always wash your hands after handling animals.
5. ; Avoid Getting Stressed
If you feel stressed, increase your sleep time, and try;stress relieving practices such as breathing exercises. This is because stress lowers the level of immunity in your body, and this can increase your chances of developing AIDS faster.
6. ; Dont Engage in Risky Sexual Behavior
7. ; Improve Your Lifestyle
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How Do I Know If I Have Hiv
The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. Testing is relatively simple. You can ask your health care provider for an HIV test. Many medical clinics, substance abuse programs, community health centers, and hospitals offer them too. You can also buy a home testing kit at a pharmacy or online.
To find an HIV testing location near you, use the HIV Services Locator.
HIV self-testing is also an option. Self-testing allows people to take an HIV test and find out their result in their own home or other private location. You can buy a self-test kit at a pharmacy or online. Some health departments or community-based organizations also provide self-test kits for free.
Read the U.S. Food and Drug Administrations fact sheet on the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, the only FDA-approved in-home HIV test.
The coronavirus pandemic has made it more difficult for some people to access traditional places where HIV testing is provided. Self-testing allows people to get tested for HIV while still following stay-at-home orders and social distancing practices. Ask your local health department or HIV service organization if they offer self-testing kits.
What Research Is Being Done
Within the Federal government, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke , a component of the National Institutes of Health , supports research on the neurological consequences of HIV and AIDS. NINDS works closely with its sister agencies, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Institute of Mental Health , to fund research related to HIV and AIDS. The Office of AIDS Research coordinates AIDS research across NIH.
NINDS conducts research into how the weakened immune systems of individuals with AIDS lead to neurological illnesses. NINDS investigators are studying the JC virus, which can reproduce in the brains of people with impaired immune systems and cause progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy . In one small NINDS study, the anti-cancer drug pembrolizumab showed promise in slowing or stopping the progression of PML. Additional research is needed to confirm results, which could lead to new investigations that help revolutionize treatment for similar chronic infections in immune compromised individuals.;
Many individuals whose infection is successfully suppressed with cART experience a reactivation of the virus upon stopping treatment. Researchers are studying how a reservoir of inactive HIV is maintained in the brain. This research is a first step toward developing a means to render the virus permanently dormant or even to rid the brain of all traces of the virus.
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Are Women More Likely To Get Hiv
Yes. Biologically speaking, a woman is more vulnerable to heterosexual transmission of the disease because the genitalia are easily exposed to seminal fluids.
Gender inequality has great influence on the spread of HIV/AIDS among women. In some cultures, many women and girls are often put in situations where they engage in non-consensual sex or have sex for money.
In the U.S., minority communities have been hit the hardest by HIV. African American and Hispanic women together represent less than 25% of all U.S. women, yet they account for more than 78% of AIDS cases reported among women in the country.
Preventive Treatment Before Exposure
Taking an antiretroviral drug before being exposed to HIV can reduce the risk of HIV infection. Such preventive treatment is called preexposure prophylaxis . However, PrEP is expensive and is effective only if people take the drug every day. Thus, PrEP is recommended only for people who have a very high risk of becoming infected, such as people who have a partner who is infected with HIV.
PrEP may also be recommended for people who engage in high-risk sexual activities, such as the following:
Men who have anal sex with men without using a condom
Heterosexual men and women who do not regularly use condoms during sex with partners whose HIV status is unknown and who are at increased risk of HIV infection
People who use PrEP still need to use other methods to prevent HIV infection, including consistent use of condoms and not sharing needles to inject drugs.
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Activism By Aids Patients And Families
Also in 1982, Michael Callen and Richard Berkowitz published How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach. In this short work, they described ways gay men could be sexual and affectionate while dramatically reducing the risk of contracting or spreading HIV. Both authors were themselves gay men living with AIDS. This booklet was one of the first times men were advised to use condoms when having sexual relations with other men.
At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, there was very little information about the disease. Also, because AIDS affected stigmatized groups, such as LGBTQ and people of low socioeconomic status, there wasn’t much mass media coverage initially when the epidemic started. However, with the rise of activist groups composed of people suffering from AIDS, either directly or through a loved one, more public attention was brought to the epidemic.
How Do You Get Hiv/aids
HIV is both a bloodborne and sexually transmitted infection . Because of this, there are a few different ways of getting it. Mothers with HIV can transmit the virus to their children in utero or later while breastfeeding, which is called perinatal HIV transmission. Because doctors offer HIV screening to pregnant women in Canada, perinatal transmission accounts for a very small number of new HIV cases here.
Injection drug use is one of the major pathways of infection for HIV in Canada data shows that approximately 10% of people who inject drugs are HIV positive. While PWIDs are 59 times more likely to get HIV than those who dont use injection drugs, however, sharing needles isnt the only way HIV spreads.
Unprotected sex is the primary driver of HIV transmission in Canada, and around the world. Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up just over 50% of HIV cases in Canada. They also accounted for just over 50% of new HIV infections in 2018 , despite making up only 3-4% of the adult male population. GbMSM who engage in unprotected sex may have a higher risk of contracting HIV because it spreads through both blood and semen. This makes activities like unprotected anal sex much riskier. But gbMSM arent the only individuals at risk of contracting HIV sexually. Heterosexual sex accounted for just over 33% of new HIV cases in Canada in 2018.;
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Respiratory And Cardiovascular Systems
HIV makes it hard to fight off respiratory problems such as the common cold and flu. In turn, an HIV-positive person may develop related infections, such as pneumonia.
Without treatment for HIV, advanced disease puts an HIV-positive person at an even greater risk for infectious complications, such as tuberculosis and a fungal infection called pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia .
PJP causes trouble breathing, cough, and fever.
The risk of lung cancer also increases with HIV. This is due to weakened lungs from numerous respiratory issues related to a weakened immune system.
According to available research , lung cancer is more prevalent among people with HIV compared to people without it.
People with HIV are more likely to develop high blood pressure. HIV also raises the risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension . PAH is a type of high blood pressure in the arteries that supply blood to the lungs. Over time, PAH will strain the heart and can lead to heart failure.
If a person has HIV with a low CD4 count, theyre also more susceptible to tuberculosis .
TB is an airborne bacterium that affects the lungs. Its a leading cause of death in people who have AIDS. Symptoms include chest pain and a bad cough that may contain blood or phlegm. The cough can linger for months.
Strategies For Preventing The Transmission Of Hiv
Condoms made of latex provide good protection against HIV , but they are not foolproof. Oil-based lubricants should not be used because they may dissolve latex, reducing the condom’s effectiveness.
Other measures can help. For men, circumcision, an inexpensive, safe procedure, reduces the risk of becoming infected during vaginal intercourse with an infected woman by about half. Whether circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection in other circumstances is unclear. Because circumcision provides only partial protection against HIV infection, people should also use other measures to prevent HIV infection. For example, if either partner has a sexually transmitted disease or HIV infection, it should be treated, and condoms should be used correctly and consistently.
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