How Is Hiv Transmitted Or Spread
The following are the means by which the HIV virus is spread:
Vertical transmission. HIV can be spread to babies born to, or breastfed by, mothers infected with the virus.
Sexual contact. In adults and adolescents, HIV is spread most commonly by sexual contact with an infected partner. The virus enters the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or abraded or irritated tissues in the lining of the mouth through sexual activity.
Blood contamination. HIV may also be spread through contact with infected blood. However, due to the screening of donated blood for evidence of HIV infection, the risk of acquiring HIV from blood transfusions is extremely low.
Needles. HIV is frequently spread by sharing needles, syringes, or drug use equipment with someone who is infected with the virus. Transmission from patient to health care worker, or vice-versa, through accidental sticks with contaminated needles or other medical instruments, is rare.
No known cases of HIV/AIDS have been spread by the following:
Enlarged lymph nodes
An HIV-infected child is usually diagnosed with AIDS when the immune system becomes severely damaged or other types of infections occur. As the immune system deteriorates, complications begin to develop. The following are some common complications, or symptoms, of the onset of AIDS. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
Hiv And Aids Treatment
More than 25 antiretroviral therapy drugs are approved to treat the virus. Your doctor will prescribe a mix of these medications.
The drugs will help stop HIV from making copies of itself. That will keep you healthy and lower your risk of spreading it.
Thereâs no cure for HIV or AIDS. ARTâs goal is to lower your viral load and keep your immune system healthy. The idea is to lower the viral load to âundetectableâ and keep it that way, by taking your medicine every day as prescribed.
Why Do Some People With Hiv Infection Develop Aids
Over time, untreated HIV infection damages the immune system and makes it more difficult to fight infections and cancers.
Before there were effective treatments for HIV infection, all infected people went on to develop AIDS within about 10 years. Today, people with HIV who take effective treatment are unlikely to develop AIDS and will have a near-normal life expectancy. This is because these medicines keep the amount of virus in their blood under control and protect the immune system.
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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
What Are Hiv And Aids
The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that affects the immune system. It gradually destroys cells called CD4 cells, which usually help the body stay healthy by fighting off disease.
If HIV is not treated, most people will develop severe immune deficiency within 10 years. At this point, the body is no longer able to fight infection and stop cancer from developing. This late stage of HIV infection is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .
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.
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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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
Lack Of Symptoms In Early Stages
ARS is common once a person has HIV. Still, this isnt the case for everyone. Some people have HIV for years before they know they have it. According to HIV.gov, symptoms of HIV may not appear for a decade or longer. This doesnt mean that cases of HIV without symptoms are less serious. Also, a person who doesnt experience symptoms could still transmit HIV to others.
Symptoms in early HIV tend to appear if the rate of cell destruction is high. Not having symptoms can mean that not as many CD4 cells, a type of white blood cell, are killed early on in the disease. Even though a person has no symptoms, they still have the virus. Thats why regular HIV testing is critical to prevent transmission. Its also important to understand the difference between a CD4 count and a viral load.
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Which Is Worse Hiv Or Aids
AIDS is the last and most advanced stage of HIV. A person is considered to have progressed into AIDS when the following occurs:
- CD4 cell count drops below 200
- Develop one or more opportunistic infections
AIDS is characterized by the occurrence of severe illnesses, referred to as opportunistic infections. These infections tend to occur more often in those with AIDS and affect people with weakened immune systems more severely than people with healthy immune systems. Some of the most common opportunistic infections include:
- Herpes simplex virus
If you are experiencing symptoms of early-stage HIV and believe you may have been exposed to the virus, its important to find out more. This can be done by taking a test with your doctor or from home with an at-home lab test.
LetsGetCheckeds at-home HIV Test involves a simple finger prick sample with online results available within 2-5 days. Our dedicated medical team will be available throughout the process to offer a helping hand should you need it.
You consider taking a test if:
- You should also consider getting tested if:
- You become sexually active
- You have had unprotected sex
- You are experiencing symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection
- You are entering into a new sexual relationship
- You have received a notification from a previous partner that they are infected
How To Prevent Hiv From Advancing To Aids
AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV. The best way to avoid AIDS is to start antiretroviral therapy as soon as possible. Taken every day as prescribed, these drugs will keep you healthy and make your viral level so low, it canât be detected. Sticking to the right treatment can keep AIDS at bay for years and decades. It also practically eliminates the chances that youâll pass HIV to your sexual partners and others. Many HIV-positive people live normal life spans.
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How Do People Become Infected With Hiv
HIV is in the blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk of an infected person. It can be spread by exposure to these body fluids by:
- unprotected anal or vaginal sex without a condom
- sharing drug injecting equipment
- tattooing, piercing and other procedures with unsterile needles or equipment
- transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
- oral sex, although this is rare
- sharps injuries
It is important to remember that HIV is not spread through activities such as kissing, sharing cups and cutlery, normal social contact, toilet seats or mosquitoes.
You are at higher risk of HIV infection if:
- you are a man, a transgender woman or a person who identifies as gender diverse who has sex with men
- you have sex or share needles with someone else at risk of HIV
- you share sex toys
- you have sex with people from countries with a high rate of HIV infection
- you inject drugs
- you have had tattoos or other piercings overseas using unsterile equipment
- you have a sexually transmitted infection . People can be infected with several different STIs at the same time. Having an STI can make it easier to become infected with HIV and pass it on to sexual partners
- you have had a blood transfusion in a country where the blood supply is not safe
Some people are at a higher risk of HIV infection because they are exposed to more people with HIV infection and/or engage in more high-risk behaviour. These include:
Does Hiv Always Lead To Aids
Dr. David explains how treatment can help keep HIV in check.
Not everyone who has HIV progresses to AIDS. An individual diagnosed with HIV today who takes their antiretroviral medication every day as prescribed can live a normal, healthy lifespan. They can also have children without HIV.
ARVs work to lower the viral load of an individual with HIV, often to levels that are undetectable by standard lab tests. In addition to improving health, getting and keeping a low viral load also prevents the spread of the virus.
There are many different ARVs available today that are highly effective at treating HIV, including some that are combined into a single pill. A healthcare provider can advise on the best treatment regimen.
#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than AIDS featuring top HIV doctors providing answers to commonly-asked questions about HIV prevention, testing and treatment.
This information is shared for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The views expressed are those of the featured medical professional and reflect information available to that professional at time of filming. Always consult a health care provider for any personal health decision.
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.
When To Contact A Doctor
Anyone who is showing symptoms of HIV should contact a doctor as soon as possible. This is especially important if the individual has recently had sexual contact with someone else or shared a needle with someone else.
HIV can remain asymptomatic for a long time. For this reason, anyone who has recently had unprotected sex and is concerned about exposure to HIV should contact a doctor as soon as they can, even if they do not have any symptoms. The same goes for anyone who has recently shared a needle.
It can be difficult to discuss the possibility of having HIV. However, without proper treatment, HIV can be life threatening. In these situations, it is very important for people to put their long-term health first and to discuss the matter with a doctor.
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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.
Tips For Taking Your Medications
Besides knowing “how does HIV turn into AIDS?” You may want to know how to take the medications correctly. Medications for HIV need to be taken consistently. Otherwise, the virus can become resistant to the drugs and reproduce itself faster. Here are a few tips to help you take your medications in the right way and prevent an early onset of AIDS:
- Start taking your medication at the right time. When you start taking antiretroviral drugs, you will need to keep taking them for the entire life. So make sure you are ready to this serious commitment. Before starting taking ARVs, you can test yourself for consistency by taking a piece of candy at a specific time every day. Your performance with this will help you know whether you are ready to start taking the drugs.
- Have a reminder. You can choose to set an alarm or a reminder on your phone or simply check off a to-do list. This will help you always remember to take your drugs.
- Store the drugs correctly. Ideally, you should keep them at a spot where you can always see them, such as near to your bed. When travelling, you should have a container with the medications.
- Have sufficient amounts of the medications at all times. It is important to keep more than your need of the drugs at all times in case anything happens. Whenever you almost run short of the drugs, you need to visit the pharmacist to avoid a last minute rush.
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Symptoms And Stages Of Hiv Infection
- There are three stages of HIV infection. The symptoms vary in type and severity from person-to-person.
- Stage 1 after initial infection can feel like flu but not everyone will experience this.
- Stage 2 is when many people start to feel better and may last for 10 years or more. During this time a person may have no symptoms.
- Stage 3 is when a persons immune system is very badly damaged and can no longer fight off serious infections and illnesses.
- The earlier a person is diagnosed with HIV and starts treatment, the better their health will be over time.
- Some people dont get any symptoms during stages 1 and 2, and may not know they have the virus, but they can still pass on HIV.
The signs of HIV infection can vary in type and severity from person-to-person, and some people may not have any symptoms for many years.
The stages below describe how HIV infection progresses in the body if it is left untreated. Without antiretroviral treatment for HIV, the virus replicates in the body and causes more and more damage to the immune system.
However with effective treatment, you can keep the virus under control and stop it from progressing. This is why its important to start treatment as soon as possible after testing positive.