Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome – a disease that affects the body’s defense system against infection. Even the most minor infection from which a healthy body can easily get rid of, in patients with AIDS can lead to serious consequences. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, which infects CD4-lymphocytes (cells that destroy pathogens and diseases). By reducing the number of CD4-lymphocyte is a malfunction of immune system, and the patient begins the definition of infectious processes and develop malignant tumors. If the number of HIV-infected CD4-lymphocytes in the blood of less than 200, this condition is called AIDS. The effectiveness of the immune system is lowered. It may take about 10 years from the time of HIV infection to AIDS. Advanced stages of AIDS is regarded as incurable and fatal. Patients die an average of 5 years after the detection of the developed stage of AIDS. HIV can be detected by a blood test for antibodies to the virus. Analysis of HIV after infection may give false results since it takes time to generate antibodies to an average of 6 to 12 weeks. Sometimes, a positive HIV test result can be obtained only after 6 months after infection. Treatment of HIV and AIDS does not exist yet, but there are a lot of drugs that slow down the deterioration of the immune system and are thus able to significantly prolong the lives of HIV-infected patients.

The symptoms of AIDS

Early symptoms of HIV: enlarged lymph nodes, flu-like illness (with a cough, fever, loss of appetite, body aches, fatigue, weakness). HIV carrier is very contagious, even if they have no symptoms of infection.

The later symptoms of HIV (years after infection): persistent night sweats and fevers, chronic fatigue, unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite. Persistent diarrhea. Enlarged lymph nodes. Dark red skin tumor formation, as well as the mouth and nose. Frequent respiratory infections, shallow breathing or a dry cough.

What you can do?

See your doctor if think you have HIV. If you are HIV-positive: seek individual advice. Avoid unprotected sex. Use condoms as the only (but not foolproof) way to protect against HIV. HIV-infected person can not be a blood donor, organs or semen.

What can a doctor?

Assign a blood test for antibodies to HIV, to confirm the diagnosis. For consultation. Assign treatment of specific symptoms or effects of current infections. Assign specific antiviral drugs that slow the progression of HIV infection.

Preventative measures

One of the most important ways to prevent – to have sex with only one partner, do not have contact with prostitutes, casual acquaintances, drug addicts who use intravenous needles do not have a group of contacts. Use condoms to protect against HIV. Use only your own hypodermic needles, toothbrushes, razors. Insist on using only sterile disposable instruments during surgery (including dental), acupuncture, tattooing or body piercing.

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