What is Aids, is a virus attacks the white blood cells of the immune system, making the sufferer liable to secondary infections which may be fatal.
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It results from a virus (HIV) that attacks the immune system, thereby weakening the body’s defense against disease.
What types of peoples are mostly affected by Aids?
People with AIDS are often afflicted with one or more of a cluster of diseases that include: a rare form of skin cancer; nervous or mental disorders; a rare form of pneumonia; and extreme weight loss from persistent infections.
They are also more susceptible to infections, including thrush, herpes simplex, shingles, and tuberculosis.
Many people who have antibodies to HIV do not display any symptoms. Others develop AIDS-Related Complex (ARC) and have only mild symptoms.
Symptoms of what is aids?
Swollen lymph glands.
Unexplained weight loss.
Marked fatigue and muscular weakness.
What causes AIDS?
AIDS is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This destroys white blood cells that are essential to the healthy functioning of the immune system.
The virus can be passed from one person to another by direct contact with body fluids principally blood and blood products, although semen and vaginal secretions may also be responsible.
An unborn baby may inherit the virus from infected sperm cells, whether artificially or naturally inseminated, or from its mother.
Very rarely, the disease has been transmitted to dentists, doctors, and laboratory technicians through accidental contact with infected blood.
In the early 1980s, a relatively small number of people contracted AIDS through blood transfusions and blood products.
Improved screening techniques and the heat treatment of blood products have been implemented to guard against the risk of using infected blood.
How and what is AIDS diagnosed and treated?
Blood tests can determine whether you carry antibodies to HIV, indicating that you have been infected by the virus.
Since no cure has yet been discovered for AIDS itself, therapy mostly involves the treatment of viral, fungal or bacterial infections that may develop as a result of the condition, with the relevant drugs.
What can I do myself?
If you have AIDS or are infected, you need to stay as healthy as possible by eating a balanced diet and getting adequate rest.
You should also take sufficient precautions against passing on the infection to others
Do not have sexual intercourse with anyone who has or is suspected of having AIDS, or with intravenous drug takers?
Use a condom during sex unless both of you are certainly monogamous.
If you use hypodermic needles, never share a needle or use an unsterilized one.
If your job brings you into contact with blood or blood products, be sure you wear protective gloves, a mask and other equipment.
Do not share toothbrushes toothpicks or razors with any other person.
Contrary to popular belief, AIDS is not transmitted by casual contact (touching, cuddling, dry kissing) or by donating blood.
When should I see my doctor?
Contact a physician if you have any reason to believe that you may have been infected with HIV, if you or a sex partner fall into a high-risk group or if you have any AIDS symptoms.
Blood samples will be taken. A negative antibody test does not necessarily prove that a person has not been infected, as antibodies may take as long as three months to appear.
However, a positive test is always an accurate indication that the person is infected. Further tests are then carried out to verify the positive result.
Is AIDS dangerous?
At this time, there is no cure for AIDS, and it is believed to be fatal in all cases. It is known that everybody with the HIV will eventually develop AIDS. However, much research is being undertaken to find a cure.
AIDS significantly increases the risk of contracting some diseases. These include Kaposi’s sarcoma, which is a rare form of skin cancer.
One of the most devastating effects of having AIDS or being infected can be the loss of contact with, and sup-port from, former friends. The Terrence Higgins Trust helps to introduce the person living with AIDS to an important support group.