Thursday, July 18, 2024

What Is The Difference Between Hiv And Aids

How Is Hiv Detected

The Difference Between HIV and AIDS

Today, HIV can be detected with a number of simple saliva or blood tests. A saliva test looks for antibodies, the natural defense the body puts up to fight the infection. But results typically show up 3 to 12 weeks after exposure a long time to wait for such sensitive news. For a faster turnaround, theres the nucleic acid test , which looks directly at the blood. This test is effective 7 to 28 days after exposure.

Prep Can Offer Protection

can protect themselves through pre-exposure prophylaxis .

Under the brand name Truvuda, this pill contains two medications tenofovir and emtricitabine that can stop the virus from taking hold, even if exposure occurs.

According to the CDC, consistent use of PrEP can reduce the chance of infection by up to 92 percent.

According to the 2019 guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, only people with a recent negative HIV test result are suitable candidates for PrEP. Those with a high risk of HIV should take PrEP once per day.

The symptoms of HIV vary widely. They depend on the individual, management of the virus, and the stage of the condition.

What Is The Difference Between Hiv Vs Aids

  • The difference between HIV and AIDS is in the strict definition of both words. For example, HIV is defined as a virus that can be transmitted from person to person and damages the human immune system.
  • AIDS is defined as a syndrome or condition that results when HIV damages the human immune system so severely that the person becomes very susceptible to additional problems, including infections like pneumonia or tuberculosis and/or the development of cancers like Kaposi’s sarcoma.
  • HIV and AIDS are similar only because both of them involve the human immunodeficiency virus. Confusion exists between these two words because both the public and medical literature have tended to use HIV and AIDS interchangeably. Strictly speaking, the use of them interchangeably is incorrect. Consequently, for clarity, HIV should only refer to human immunodeficiency viruses and AIDS should only refer to the relatively end-stage syndromes that develop after HIV has extensively damaged a person’s immune system. For example, a person can have HIV, or better termed, an infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus but not have AIDS. A person can have AIDS caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, but AIDS is a syndrome , and AIDS is not the human immunodeficiency virus .

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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.

How An Hiv Infection Develops Into Aids

An Introduction to HIV

As Medical News Today explains, a person with HIV who follows an effective treatment regimen is unlikely to have the virus lead to AIDS. However, if HIV is untreated, the persons immune system will continue to be damaged. The more compromised the immune system becomes, the more likely the person will develop an opportunistic infection.

The opportunistic infections that are most likely to affect AIDS patients include the following:

  • Invasive cervical cancer, lung cancer, Kaposis sarcoma and other cancers
  • Candidiasis, which is a fungal infection that affects the throat and lungs
  • Pneumocystis pneumonia, which is a fungal form of pneumonia
  • Toxoplasmosis, which is a parasitic infection that affects the brain
  • Cryptococcosis, which is a fungal infection that often causes pneumonia

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Treatment And Life Expectancy

If HIV develops into stage 3 HIV, life expectancy drops significantly. Its difficult to repair damage to the immune system at this point. Infections and other conditions, such as certain cancers, resulting from severe immune system impairment are common. However, with successful antiretroviral therapy and some immune system recovery, many people with stage 3 HIV live long lives.

With todays treatments for HIV infection, people can live with HIV and never have AIDS develop. Its also important to note that successful antiretroviral treatment and a sustained undetectable viral load greatly lowers the risk of transmitting the virus to a partner.

How Are Hiv And Aids Diagnosed

  • Screening tests are recommended for patients who are at risk for developing HIV and AIDS.
  • Antibody tests were traditionally used to diagnose HIV.
  • An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay blood test was used for screening for antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus as evidence of infection.
  • Another blood test, the Western blot assay, was then used to confirm HIV infections.
  • There are also newer combined HIV tests that can detect HIV infection up to 20 days earlier than antibody screening tests. These are called combined antigen/antibody tests that look for the presence of a protein called p24 that’s part of the virus that shows up two to four weeks after infection, as well as HIV antibodies. These combined tests are now recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
  • Another type of diagnostic test, the nucleic acid test , identifies the genetic material of the human immunodeficiency virus. The NAT can detect HIV infection about seven to 28 days after infection with HIV, but these tests are very expensive and not used for routine HIV screening.
  • If a person is diagnosed with an HIV infection, health care providers suggest the patient be screened for additional infectious diseases and/or other diseases that might indicate AIDS.
  • The diagnosis of AIDS is more complex than HIV diagnosis. One major blood test for the diagnosis of AIDS is the CD4 T-cell count.
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    Does Hiv Always Develop Into Aids

    Dr Win-Leung Siu explains how advances in medication, such as antiretroviral drugs , now mean it is increasingly rare to develop AIDS despite having HIV.

    He says that the portrayals of severely unwell patients with AIDS in movies from the 1980s are no longer reflective of reality. Even transmission rates of HIV have improved – in fact, there is no risk of transmission from a person having the right treatment.

    The ‘Undetectable=untransmittable‘ campaign sought to raise awareness of this advance. The aim of effective treatment for HIV is to lower levels of HIV in a person’s blood. Below a certain level , the person has what is referred to as an undetectable viral load. At this level, research has shown that they cannot pass on the virus through sexual contact.

    “Medical improvements have meant that HIV is now just like many other chronic illnesses. As long as you take your medicine and look after yourself, you can live a normal lifespan.

    “The number of people with AIDS is continuously decreasing. In 2017, of the estimated 101,600 people with HIV in the UK, there were 428 AIDS-related deaths. However, it is estimated that 248 of these deaths could have been prevented with an earlier diagnosis. This remains a big issue in the UK. However, deaths from AIDS-related illnesses have vastly declined, likely thanks to improved rapid testing and treatment,” explains Dr Win-Leung Siu.

    Different Types Of Hiv Tests

    Health Tips – The difference between HIV and AIDS

    The biggest difference between HIV and AIDS is that HIV is a virus that infects the body and compromises its ability to fight off other diseases, while AIDS is the final stage of an HIV infection in which the persons immune system is so compromised by HIV that opportunistic infections and diseases occur.

    A person must be tested for the virus to determine whether they have HIV. The following are the three types of HIV tests:

    • Nucleic acid tests involve drawing blood from the persons vein and detecting HIV in the blood. NAT is the fastest and most expensive HIV test.
    • Antigen/antibody tests detect the presence of HIV antibodies and antigens in the blood. The blood is drawn from a vein or extracted via a finger prick.
    • HIV antibody tests detect HIV antibodies in the persons blood or oral fluid. Tests involving drawing blood from a vein can detect antibodies sooner after the initial infection than either a finger prick or oral fluid.

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    Difference Between Hiv And Aids When It Comes To Treatment

    Treatment can curb HIV. Antiretroviral therapy is effective in slowing down the progress of the virus and even halting it. This therapy will shrink the amount of virus in the system to such an extent that blood tests wont detect the presence of HIV in a persons body. So this means that HIV wont be a magnet for multiple diseases. And an HIV positive person wont transmit the virus to others. Antiretroviral therapy can help a person lead a healthy and normal life. So far, scientists have not managed a breakthrough in the research to find a cure for AIDs.

    The chief difference between HIV and AIDs lies in the fact that the former causes the latter. AIDs can be life-threatening. That is why you should do everything possible to ensure you do not expose yourself to the deadly HIV. Unfortunately, no cure exists for AIDS, but strict adherence to antiretroviral regimens can dramatically slow the progress of the disease as well as prevents secondary infections and complications. If you want to know how you can avert contracting HIV and AIDs, speak to a Doctor via MediBuddy today.

    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

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    Prevention Of Hiv Infection

    So far there is no cure for HIV. The prevention is the most effective measure against HIV infection and the consequences of AIDS. For this it is recommended:

    • the correct use of condoms , especially when there is no commitment to sexual fidelity.
    • Do not share needles or syringes.
    • Any instrument that pierces the skin must be sterile.
    • Antiretroviral treatment for infected pregnant women to prevent infection of the baby.

    HIV test

    List Out The Different Types Of The Human Immunodeficiency Virus

    What Is The Difference Between Hiv And Aids

    There are two main types of the human immunodeficiency virus HIV-1 and HIV-2. Both can lead to AIDS and are very different from each other.

    Put your understanding of this concept to test by answering a few MCQs. Click Start Quiz to begin!

    Select the correct answer and click on the Finish buttonCheck your score and answers at the end of the quiz

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    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.

    Hiv And Aids Diagnosis

    HIV tests check your blood or fluid from your mouth for antibodies that your body makes in response to the virus. You can take them at a doctorâs office, a community health center, a hospital, or at home.

    When you have HIV, your doctor will keep an eye on how much of the virus is in your system. You might hear them call it your âviral load.â Two things will tell them if your infection has become AIDS:

    • Your CD4 count. A person with a healthy immune system has 500 to 1,600 CD4 cells in a cubic millimeter of their blood. A person with AIDS has fewer than 200. This number is called your âCD4 count.â
    • AIDS-defining infections. These are also called opportunistic infections. These generally happen in people who have a CD4 count below 200. Viruses, bacteria, or fungi that donât usually make healthy people sick can cause these infections in someone with HIV or AIDS.

    How long it takes HIV to become AIDS is different for everyone. If you donât get treatment, it might take 10 to 15 years. With treatment, you may never have AIDS.

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    Educating People On Prevention And Treatment Strategies

    The cornerstone of efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS is widespread testing. As stated above, approximately one in seven people in the U.S. with HIV dont know theyre infected. Educating people about the need for testing and for appropriate precautions after testing positive would reduce the rate of infection substantially, according to the CDC.

    By delivering a timely diagnosis, testing allows people with HIV to receive the treatment they need to maintain a healthy immune system and keep AIDS at bay. emphasizes recent improvements in HIV testing that identify infections sooner, which reduces the chances of the person transmitting the disease during the acute phase of the infection when viral loads are highest and the risk of another person contracting the virus is highest.

    Difference Between Hiv And Aids

    HIV FAQ: What is the difference between HIV and AIDS

    The main difference between HIV and AIDS lies in the fact that HIV is a virus whereas AIDS is a condition which is caused by HIV. In fact, a person can get infected by HIV without showing signs of AIDS for many years, but for someone to acquire AIDS, he should definitely get infected by Human deficiency virus at first.

    AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection. In fact, a person getting exposed to HIV will initially develop signs and symptoms similar to the flu. Acute HIV infection present with minor difficulties whereas if the infection is severe enough to weaken the immune system only it will give rise to AIDS with severe and remarkable signs and symptoms, disrupting the quality of life of an individual.

    Furthermore, once HIV invades the human body and attacks the immune system, it can never be removed out the system by any mean, even though it may never cause AIDS. However, the symptomatic changes of AIDS can be improved with medications like anti-retroviral drugs.

    Image Courtesy:

    Symptoms of acute HIV infection By Mikael Häggström via Commons Wikimedia

    Symptoms of AIDS By Mikael Häggström.Häggström, Mikael. Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014. Wikiversity Journal of Medicine 1 . DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.008. ISSN 20018762. via Commons Wikimedia

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    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.

    Myths About Hiv Infection

    Many myths persist about HIV, how it is spread, and how it might be treated.

    • “HIV spreads by” HIV cannot be spread through air or water through casual contact through public facilities through saliva, sweat, or tears or through insect bites.
    • “Only gay people and drug users get HIV.” There is no statistical evidence to support this. While men who have sex with men are the most at-risk demographic, straight men and straight women also contract HIV. Though it is rare, it is even possible to contract HIV in other ways that do not involve sex or drug use .
    • “HIV is a death sentence.” or, in contrast “HIV can be cured.” Today, HIV-positive people who receive proper treatment have similar life expectancies to those who are HIV-negative. However, there is no cure for the disease, and it remains in the body for life it is simply that its negative symptoms are held at bay.
    • “I don’t have to worry about HIV because modern medicine means it’s not a big deal.” Though antiretrovirals and combination drugs like Truvada can go a long way to preventing infection or improving long-term outcomes, they should not be relied upon. Abstinence, safe sex, and/or careful needle use are the only true methods of prevention. HIV is no longer a death sentence necessarily, but it should not be taken lightly.

    For the dispelling of more common myths, see this page on

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