HIV infection is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This condition destroys the immune system and makes it harder for the body to fight various infections. HIV can be contacted by:
HIV is not transmitted through kissing, sneezing, spiting or sharing objects like telephones, kitchen utensils, towels or toilet seats.
HIV infection has four stages:
There are situations when people infected with HIV have no symptoms for many years, but they can still pass the HIV infection to others. The HIV ELISA blood test changes from HIV negative to HIV positive after approximately 3 months after the patient has been exposed to the virus.
Symptoms which appear in patients infected with HIV are usually due to an infection in part of the body. Some symptoms related to HIV infection can include:
One important thing that has to be mentioned is that, when diagnosed with the HIV infection, many people can have none of the symptoms mentioned above. Prevention Methods
Usually, doctors recommend drug therapy for patients who take all their drugs and for patients who have a CD4 number below 500 cells/ mm3, which indicates that the immune system is suppressed. Pregnant women, patients with kidney or neurological problems related to HIV, usually need drug treatment. no matter the level of their CD4. People with HIV need to take all their drugs, because if not, the virus can become resistant to the medications. Drug therapy recommended for patients with HIV infection involves a combination of antiviral drugs. Pregnant women with HIV infection are also treated with antiviral drugs, especially to reduce the chance of transmitting HIV to their babies.
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