What is it?
HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) is a slowly regressing virus disease which effects the immune system and leads to the lack of the immune defense of the organism from the tumors and the infections.
The stage of HIV during which the person starts having the secondary infection or tumor diseases is called the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
First records of HIV and AIDS were made in the early 1980s. Now these abbreviations are known even to children. The worldwide information complain is established to inform population about the high speed if the disease spreading and the absence of the proven medical cure from it. The only way to slow down the spreading of the disease is to inform people about the ways to avoid this deathly thread.
It is known now that the virus come from the east Africa, its nature and structure is defined, as well as the ways the virus is being transmitted. Still it does to allow to create the effective cure from HIV. The statistics about the irradiation f the virus is affrighting. At the moment there are more than 50 million people infected by HIV or having AIDS.
Symptoms of the disease first time were registered in 1978 in American male homosexual patients as well as in heterosexual patients of both genders in US and Tanzania. In 1983 Luc Montagnier from the Paster University (France) has discovered the virus of the immunodeficiency of a human being (HIV) which becomes the cause of the HIV infection.
Ways to challenge the infection
There are several ways to receive the infection
– Unsafe sex (without using a condom);
– Common use of the needle syringe, needles or other injecting means;
– Transfusing the infected blood;
– Transmitting the infected blood from the HIV+ woman during pregnancy, delivery and breast feeding (In case if the pregnancy is being cared under the control of the therapist and the infections and the intake of the course of medications – the risk of infecting the child is minimum);
– Using the unsterile instruments for tattoo and piercing;
– Using other persons shaving blades, teeth brushes with the seen traces of blood on them (happens very rare).
HIV can be transmitted through the blood, the sperm, vulva discharge and mother’s milk – while it is impossible to get infected through other biological substances (such as drool, sweat, tears, urine and feces) this is caused by the fact that in order to get infected, the certain concentration of a virus is needed. One drop of blood contains the necessary amount of a virus – for the same amount of the virus, it would require to have about 4 liters of drool.
As it is well known, viruses cannot replicate by themselves: they need a living cell in order to put its genetic information into it. After that the cell starts working as a virus production factory. Finally the cell becomes weak and dies. For its replication HIV uses a certain type of immune cells called helpers (that are the type of t-lymphocytes). That is why HIV is so dangerous for the body: it affects ones defensive system, making it work for its own needs.
The immunity decreases slowly. The infected person may live and feel oneself good for many years without knowing that he is infected. But for all this time the virus was destroying his immune system. When the amount of helpers cell is critically decreased, the person becomes highly vulnerable for the diseases and threads, including the ones that are relatively safe for the ordinary humans.
The AIDS diagnosis it usually being put a few years after the HIV infection, when the patient has developed one or several serious secondary diseases.
The early signs of the regression of the immune system include:
– Candida infection of the mouth and digestive tract.
– Long or short periods of temperature,
– Night sweat,
– Weight loss,
– Severe and frequent respiratory infections,
– Zona serpiginoza (herpic).
The period between getting the infection and the appearance of the antibodies in the blood is called the “window period” (or gap period). It lasts from 3 to 6 months after getting infected. After the antibodies appeared in the blood they can be discovered by the immuno-flouriscent analysis of blood (HIV analysis). This test can be done in any clinic, also anonymously.
If the antibodies are discovered in blood – then the test result is considered as positive. But still this primal test result should be verified by an additional – secondary test, in order to have a final confirmed result. Only after the results are confirmed the person receives the diagnosis HIV. All the information all the time stays absolutely confidential. All the results can be discussed with the immunologist and infectionist that can prescribe the needed medicine.
Medicines that are being used for HIV treatment do not kill the virus, but they can block it by distracting the virus duplicating processes which decreases the rate of the virus activity. The decrease of the HIV activity brings to a larger number of healthy immunity cells in the body. Receiving several medicines simultaneously is called the highly effective antivirus therapy. It can lead to such an decrease of the virus rate in the body that HIV can even be impossible to detect. Still, it does not mean that the person s free from the virus, since HIV can also live within the lymphatic knots as well as other organs of a human body. Knowing about your HIV status is a good chance to receive the effective necessary help that can prevent one from serious and risky consequences of having the virus.
Other infections (like syphilis) accruing in the HIV positive person should be treated differently than in a uninfected by HIV body.
It is very important for the HIV infected person to have immune system screening every 3 months in order to react in time to the changes in the body processes, receive the appropriate treatment and avoid the development of AIDS.
It is important to understand that the present situation in medicine allows the infected person to live a long life. In order for this life to be good and not to turn into a curse, every city has its psychological centers for HIV infected persons, hotlines, anonymous clinics (state city or regional centers for the prevention and fight with HIV/ AIDS).
Many people are afraid to get infected by HIV through the general routine contact. These fears are absolutely unrealistic, since the general contact with the infected people living with HIV/AIDS is absolutely safe. Although it is essential to know that there are the symptoms that make the risk of getting infected through the intercourse higher:
– Having sexually transmitted diseases – the little wounds and irritations on the sex organs caused by these diseases become a sort f a gate to the HIV virus;
– Vaginal erosion is a dangerous symptom for both – a man and a woman. A woman can easier receive the virus through the erosion and the man can get infected from a woman through the erosion cells that can also have HIV;
– Anal intercourse is a big risk for transmitting the infection through the micro-traumas in the anus and the rectal intestine.
In order to prevent the transmission of the HIV it is recommended:
– To use condoms during sexual contacts
– For the infected pregnant women to receive the necessary medical support in order to prevent the child from getting infected;
– Using only new needles for the injections;
– Using the post-contact prophylactics in the cases of the high risk of HIV transmission
Post-contact prophylactics in the case of the risk of transmitting HIV
The question of the post-contact prophylactics is an important issue not only for the doctors, but also for the partners in discordant group, as well as people who had a real o possible chance of getting infected by HIV. The effectiveness of the post-contact prophylactics is still being researched, but it is also being used among the doctors that had a contact with the infected patient. Here are the details of the prophylactics.
What is a post-contact prophylactics?
Prophylactics is a way to prevent the risk of transmission of HIV. It is being used in cases when there was a risk of HIV transmission and demand the intake of antiviral medicine, same ones that are used for treating HIV positive patients. It is essential to start taking the medicine the soonest after the incident so that the risks of transmission is minimized. It needs to be taken 24 to36 hours after the risk, but not later then 72 hours. The medicines are prescribed by the doctor and should be taken for 4 weeks (unless one has side effects).
Who is recommended to go through the prophylactics?
For doctors who went through the professional risk.
It is since 1996 that doctors started going through the post-contact prophylactics of HIV. Hospital workers start receiving the medications in the first hours after the risk (the accidental jab with an infected blood). Going through this protocol decreases the risk of infection on 79 percent. Still, some of the hospital workers got the infection anyway.
Other risk groups.
In 2005 the US Center for the Disease Control (CDC) has changed the terms of the post-contact prophylactics adding the other risk groups to the existing group of the medical workers. People can get infected through the unsafe intercourse, in case if the condom got broken, and during the common use of the needles during drugs injections. Also a baby can receive the virus from the milk of its mother. One of the researches of the post-contact prophylactics states that in 400 cases of the risks and the followed the port-contact protocol non of the cases leaded to infection.
The side-effects of the protocol?
The most common side effects of the post-contact protocol are^ general weakness, vomiting, headaches, tiredness, diarrhea.
Post-contact prophylactics is a prescription of the antiviral medicine that are needed to be taken shortly after the risk. Post-contact protocol dicreases the risk of infection to 79%. One has to take several pills a few times a day for 4 months. There are side-effects of the pills that make the protocol difficult to accomplish. The protocol is not 100% effective ad does not gagantee that the transmission os HIV has not happened.
In order to avoid the transmission of HIV one has to follow the rules of the self-security.