HIV/AIDS - Prevention & Cure






A I D S   is:

    must do something to contract

    ability to fight off infectious agents

    lack of

    cluster of symptoms that are characteristic for a disease

H I V    is :

  • HUMAN-
    isolated to the human species

    lacking the ability to fight off infectious agents

  • VIRUS-
    a disease causing agent

Some information

  • AIDS (Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome) is the late stage of infection with the
    HIV (Human Immuno-deficiency Virus)

  • AIDS can take around 7-10 years to develop after infection with HIV.

  • HIV is transmitted through semen and vaginal fluids, infected blood and blood products, infected mother to her baby-before birth, during birth or through breast milk.

  • A person who is HIV positive has HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. HIV damages the immune system, the part of the body that fights infection. Over time, the immune system becomes very weak. This stage of HIV is called AIDS. No one knows for sure when a person with HIV will get AIDS. HIV is different in different people. It can take a long time for HIV to make the person sick. Many people with HIV stay healthy for years. Understanding what it means to be HIV positive helps everyone. It helps people with HIV take the best care of themselves. It helps others give people with HIV the support they need and deserve.


Causes of spread of AIDS

Infected blood

Infected blood

Infected needles

Infected needles

Multiple partners

Multiple partners


Infected mother to her baby before birth

nfected mother to her baby before birth
Injectable Drug Abuse

Injectable Drug Abuse

HIV VirusHIV can be passed on because the virus is present in the sexual fluids and blood of infected people. If infected blood or sexual fluid gets into your blood, then you will become infected. If a man with HIV has vaginal intercourse without a condom, infected fluid could pass into the woman's blood stream through a tiny cut or sore inside her body. This can be so small that you don't know about it. If a couple have anal intercourse the risk of infection is greater than with vaginal intercourse.
If a woman with HIV has sexual intercourse without a condom, HIV could get into the man's blood through a sore patch on his penis or by getting into the tube which runs down the penis.
If there is any contact with blood during sex, this increases the risk of infection. For example, there may be blood in the vagina if intercourse happens during a woman's period. There can also be bleeding during anal intercourse.



Process of Infection


The AIDS virus causes a weakness of the immune system. When it infects the body, it prefers to attack certain cells of our defense system. These cells are called helper T cells which are a fundamental part of our immune system. The AIDS virus almost fully specializes on these white blood cells since these helper T cells have CD4 molecules on the surface to which the AIDS virus binds.

W.B.C. attacked by HIV
W.B.C. attacked by HIV

AIDSThe AIDS virus, to put it simply, consists of genetic information on the inside and a protective outer shell of proteins and glycoproteins. Since viruses use the host cell's resources for reproduction, they don't need to contribute much themselves. That's why they are much smaller than the host cells, e.g. helper T cells. In the host cell's nucleus, displayed in blue here, there are more than 100,000 times as much genetic information stored than under the protein shell of the AIDS virus. However, there is no way for the host cell to stop the virus once the cell has been infected.

The infection proceeds in this manner: The virus anchors itself to a special protein (CD4) on the surface of the helper T cell. This causes the viral membrane to fuse with the host cell's membrane. This way the genetic information gets inside the cell.

The AIDS virus belongs to a special group of viruses. Its genetic information is not encoded as DNA, but instead as RNA (ribonucleic acid) and therefore has to be reverse transcripted into DNA. The tools for this are delivered by the host cell itself, except for a little helper protein (reverse transcriptase) which the virus has brought with itself. The DNA is now legible for the cell and is transferred to the nucleus. This process is already finished by a half of a day after infection. The foreign piece of DNA is then inserted randomly into the host DNA and it is now ready to be transcribed.

At the beginning of AIDS, the viral DNA is being transcribed to form many RNA molecules--the signal which causes this is yet unknown. The accruing RNA is carried to the cytoplasm of the cell, where it can start making proteins.
The RNA, with the help of the host's resources, begins to make many copies of the different parts of the AIDS virus (the protective shell and the helper and anchor proteins).
After everything has been copied, thousands of bubbles like these are produced and migrate to the cell membrane surface and fuse with it.
Finally, a copy of the RNA genetic information is added to the bubble. Then this section of the cell membrane turns inside out and new viruses leave the cell.
Naturally, the release of the new AIDS viruses significantly weakens the host cell which soon dies. Thats how the immune system weakens and AIDS starts.

In early 1996 there were 28m people infected worldwide. This number includes people who already died of AIDS. These numbers do not include the number of people who already died.


Symptoms of AIDS


Loss of weight
Loss of weight
  • prolonged, unexplained fatigue
  • swollen glands (lymph nodes)
  • fever lasting more than 10 days
  • chills
  • excessive sweating especially night sweats
  • mouth lesions including yeast lesions and painful, swollen gums
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • changes in bowel habits including constipation
  • frequent diarrhea
  • symptoms of a specific opportunistic infection (such as candida, pneumocystis, and so on)
  • tumor (Kaposi sarcoma)
  • skin rashes or lesions of various types
  • unintentional weight loss
  • general discomfort or uneasiness (malaise)
  • headache

Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:

  • speech impairment
  • muscle atrophy
  • memory loss
  • decreasing intellectual function
  • joint swelling
  • joint stiffness
  • joint pain
  • cold intolerance
  • bone pain or tenderness
  • unusual or strange behavior
  • slow, sluggish, lethargic movement
  • anxiety, stress, and tension
  • groin lump
  • generalized itching (pruritus)
  • genital sores (female)
  • genital sores (male)
  • blurred vision
  • double vision (diplopia)
  • light sensitivity
  • blind spots in the vision
  • decreased vision or blindness
  • chest pain
  • flank pain or pain in the sides
  • back pain
  • abdominal pain
  • loss of appetite, indigestion, or other gastrointestinal upset
  • muscle pain
  • bone pain or tenderness
  • numbness and tingling
  • seizures

Note: Initial infection may produce no symptoms. Some people with HIV infection remain without symptoms for years between the time of exposure and development of AIDS. Many other symptoms may develop in addition to those listed above.


HIV infection is diagnosed on the basis of blood tests using three different ELISA/Rapid simple tests using different antigen preparation.

AIDS cases are diagnosed on the basis of two different ELISA/Rapid tests on different antigens and presence of AIDS related opportunistic infections.

Western Blot test is used for confirmation of diagnosis of indeterminate ELISA tests.

Tests & Signs
ELISA testDevelopment of characteristic infections and tumors, called opportunistic infections of AIDS and AIDS defining manifestations of immune deficiency (see complications), may occur. Sometimes the presence of one of these disorders is the first sign that AIDS is present.

  • HIV antibody test ELISA (Enzyme Linked Immunoabsorbent Assay) and western blot are positive
  • absolute CD4 lymphocyte count is less than 200
  • p24 antigen is abnormal
  • T (thymus derived) lymphocyte count is abnormal

There is no cure for AIDS at this time. However, treatments are available that can improve the quality of life of those suffering the infection.

  • Antiviral therapy suppresses the replication of the HIV infection in the body. Retrovir, also called Zidovudine or AZT, is an antiviral agent most frequently used in treatment for AIDS.AZT
  • Saquinavir, manufactured under the trade name Invirase, has recently been approved by the FDA for use in the treatment of AIDS. It is the first to be approved in a new group of drugs claimed to be 10 times stronger than existing antivirals used in AIDS treatment.
  • Other antiviral agents are in investigational stages. Hematopoietic stimulating factors are sometimes used to treat anemia and low white blood cell counts associated with AIDS.
  • Preventive measures to avoid opportunistic infections such as Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia is possible with medications and can keep AIDS patients healthier for longer periods of time. Opportunistic infections are treated as they occur.
  • The emotional stress of devastating illnesses can often be helped by joining support groups where members share common experiences and problems. See AIDS - support group.



How to avoid AIDS ?


Use Condoms

Use Condoms

Use disposable Syringes
Use of disposable Syringes
& needles

Avoid Multiple Partners

Avoid Multiple Partners
Use of HIV free blood

Use of HIV free blood

Proper treatment of sexually transmitted diseases      Proper treatment of sexually transmitted diseases
Proper treatment of sexually transmitted diseases


Prevention is the only cure

Prevention is the only cure

HIV is not spread by-

Shaking Hands
Shaking Hands
Eating Together
Eating Together


Mosquito Bites
Mosquito Bites
Toilet Seats
Toilet Seats


Drinking water or eating food from the same utensils used by infected person.

Sharing toilets.

Shaking hands.

Hugging or kissing

Donating blood

Working with people who are HIV infected.

Massage and rub each other's bodies.

Swimming in pools used by people with HIV/AIDS.

Through mosquito bite

Socialising or casually living with people with HIV/AIDS.


Cover your hands
But if you have any cuts or sores
on your hands make sure they are
covered with plasters (band-aids).
HIV Infected individuals need more care and support
HIV Infected individuals need
more care & support



Some other Information

  • Blood products like plasma, Factor 8, Rh Factor, immunoglobulin, interferon, etc., also should not be accepted until one is sure that they have been screened for HIV.

  • In case of requirement of blood always prefer to accept blood from family and friends instead of buying blood from professional donors as one cannot be sure of the quality of blood donated by him.

  • Donating blood does not carry the risk of transmission of HIV infection as the needles used for these purposes are sterile.

  • You could rule out the risk of acquiring HIV infection when you go in for a blood-test if the equipment being used on you is sterile.

  • Menstrual blood of an HIV positive woman is infective.

  • Mosquitoes are not capable of transmitting HIV infection as the HIV is not able to survive or replicate inside the intestine of the mosquito.

  • Medical personnel are at a potential risk of acquiring HIV infection as they have to deal with bloodand other body risk is very minimal if precautionary measures such as use of gloves, masks and goggles, are taken when handling potentially infected material.

  • Dried blood is not infective as the HIV cannot live long outside the body and cannot survive in a dried form.



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