Q – What is HIV in HIV and AIDS?
A – HIV in HIV and AIDS stands for the human immunodeficiency virus. It is one of a group of viruses known as retroviruses. With introduction into the body, the virus damages and kills cells of the body’s immune system. The body tries to keep up by generating new cells or trying to contain the virus, but eventually the human immunodeficiency virus wins out and progressively destroys the body’s ability to fight infections and certain cancers.
Q – What is ‘AIDS’ in HIV and AIDS?
‘AIDS’ in HIV and AIDS stands for the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is caused by HIV and occurs when the virus has destroyed so much of the body’s defenses that immune-cell counts fall to critical levels. At this stage, certain life-threatening infections or cancers develop.
Common Knowledge in HIV and AIDS
In HIV and AIDS, human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that attacks the immune system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease. Both the virus and the infection it causes are called HIV in HIV and AIDS.
White blood cells are an important part of the immune system. HIV invades and destroys certain white blood cells called CD4+ cells. If too many CD4+ cells are destroyed, the body can no longer defend itself against infection. The last stage of HIV infection is acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. People with AIDS have a low number of CD4+ cells and get infections or cancers that rarely occur in healthy people.
But having HIV in HIV and AIDS does not mean you have AIDS. Even without treatment, it takes a long time for HIV to progress to AIDS, usually 10 to 12 years. If HIV is diagnosed before it becomes AIDS, medicines can slow or stop the damage to the CD4+ cells.
HIV in HIV and AIDS can be detected in several fluids and tissue of a person living with HIV. It is important to understand however, that finding a small amount of HIV in a body fluid or tissue does not mean that HIV is transmitted by that body fluid or tissue. Only specific fluids transmit HIV in HIV and AIDS. They include blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk from an HIV-infected person. These specific fluids must come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into the blood-stream for transmission to occur in HIV and AIDS.
Other common questions and their answers in HIV and AIDS
Q - If you have un-protected sexual intercourse with an infected person, are you 100% certain of getting HIV in HIV and AIDS?
A - The chances of getting HIV in HIV and AIDS are much greater when you have sexual intercourse without proper protection. However, NOT all acts of sexual intercourse between infected and un-infected people will lead to transmission.
Q - Can HIV be transmitted through Kissing in HIV and AIDS?
A - Medical science has found no proof so far to suggest that there’s transmission of HIV through saliva, which is what is exchanged during a kissing moment. Even though small amounts of the virus have been isolated in saliva, laboratory studies reveal that saliva has natural properties that decrease the power of HIV to infect cells in HIV and AIDS.
Q - Can I get HIV by eating with infected persons?
A - There is no evidence in HIV and AIDS that HIV can be transmitted by eating with infected persons. Eating is casual contact which isn’t infectious. Casual contacts include shaking hands, hugging, sleeping on the same bed, using the same bathroom and toilets, sharing the same swimming pool and using the same telephone.
Q - How does transmission of HIV from a mother to her unborn child happen in HIV and AIDS?
A - During pregnancy. There is a possibility that an infected mother can pass the virus to her unborn child while she is pregnant since there is a lot of fluid contact during pregnancy. This chance increases if complications like abruptio placenta occur. In HIV and AIDS, transmission also occurs during labour and delivery. There is some mixture of mother’s blood and baby’s blood especially if there is prolonged labour or any other complication of delivery. Through breast feeding is also a possibility. HIV is present in breast milk and can infect the linings of the alimentary tract of the baby.
Q - Can mosquitoes and other biting insects transmit HIV in HIV and AIDS?
A – No. There is no evidence that suggests this is possible. It would be disastrous if this were true because everyone at one point or another has had a bite from an animal of any nature.
Q - How often do people get HIV from blood transfusion in HIV and AIDS?
A - Transmission of HIV through infected blood and blood products is no longer common due to the preventive measures that have been put in place in reputable health care facilities. Blood is now routinely screened for HIV 1 and HIV 2 and where available, treated with virucidal techniques before transfusion. Also, donors are screened and if they are found to be HIV positive, they are not allowed to donate blood.
Q - Can a woman get HIV from artificial insemination in HIV and AIDS?
A - Yes, it’s possible to get it from untreated semen from infected donors. But measures like donor screening, semen screening and virucidal techniques have been adopted to prevent situations like this from arising.
Q - Is transmission of HIV through transplants possible in HIV and AIDS?
A – Yes. HIV resides in cell and tissue fluids. With donor screening, sensitive and accurate HIV testing and virucidal processing, the possibilities are lower.
Q - How can I prevent myself and my loved ones from getting HIV?
A - The most important thing is to know about how HIV is transmitted. With this knowledge in HIV and AIDS, it is easier to discern what is right and that can help prevent HIV infections.
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Conclusion on HIV and AIDS
Understanding the dangers of HIV, and knowing how the virus is transmitted are the most important protective in HIV and AIDS.