AIDS/HIV Virus (Idea , Causes & Origin) , World Epidemic

AIDS/HIV Virus (Idea , Causes & Origin) , World Epidemic


HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.

If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).


Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of HIV completely. So once you have HIV, you have it for life. HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which help the immune system fight off infections. If left untreated, HIV reduces the number of CD4 cells (T cells) in the body, making the person more likely to get infections or infection- related cancers. Over time, HIV can destroy so many of these cells that the body can’t fight off infections and disease.


These opportunistic infections or cancers take advantage of a very weak immune system and signal that the person has AIDS, the last state of HIV infection. No effective cure for HIV currently exists, but with proper treatment and medical care, HIV can be controlled.


The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy or ART. If taken the right way, every day, this medicine can dramatically prolong the lives of many people with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of transmitting the virus to others. Today, a person who is diagnosed with HIV, treated before the disease is far advanced, and stays on treatment can live a nearly as long as someone who does not have HIV.


ACQUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS)

AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDSis the final stage of HIV infection, and not everyone who has HIV advances to this stage.


AIDS is the stage of infection that occurs when your immune system is badly damaged and you become vulnerable to opportunistic infections.


When the number of your CD4 cells falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood (200 cells/ mm3), you are considered to have progressed to AIDS. (Normal CD4 counts are between 500 and 1,600 cells/ mm3.) You can also be diagnosed with AIDS if you develop one or more opportunistic infections, regardless of your CD4 count.


Without treatment, people who are diagnosed with AIDS typically survive about 3 years. Once someone has a dangerous opportunistic illness, life expectancy without treatment falls to about 1 year. People with AIDS need medical treatment to prevent death.


WHERE DID HIV COME FROM?

Scientists identified a type of chimpanzee in Central Africa as the source of HIV infection in humans.


They believe that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus (called simian immunodeficiency virus, or SIV) most likely was transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when humans hunted these chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infected blood. 

Studies show that HIV may have jumped from apes to humans as far back as the late 1800s.

Over decades, the virus slowly spread across Africa and later into other parts of the world. We know that the virus has existed in the United States since at least the mid- to late 1970s.




HIV Flu-like symptoms can include :

-Fever

-Chills

-Rash

-Night sweats

-Muscle aches

-Sore throat

-Fatigue

-Swollen lymph nodes

-Mouth ulcers

These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. During this time, HIV infection may not show up on an HIV test, but people who have it are highly infectious and can spread the infection to others.You should not assume you have HIV just because you have any of these symptoms.

Each of these symptoms can be caused by other illnesses. And some people who have HIV do not show any symptoms at all for 10 years or more.

AIDS Symptoms can include :

-Rapid weight loss

-Recurring fever or profuse night sweats

-Extreme and unexplained tiredness

-Prolonged swelling of the lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck

-Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week

-Sores of the mouth, anus, or genitals

-Pneumonia

-Red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids

-Memory loss, depression, and other neurologic disorders

Each of these symptoms can also be related to other illnesses. So the only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested.

Many of the severe symptoms and illnesses of HIV disease come from the opportunistic infections that occur because your body’s immune system has been damaged.




THE GLOBAL HIV/AIDS EPIDEMIC :

-According to the World Health Organization (WHO) , there were approximately 36.9 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2014. Of these, 2.6 million were children (<15 years old).

-According to WHO, an estimated 2.0 million individuals worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2014. This includes over 220,000 children (<15 years). Most of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa and were infected by their HIV- positive mothers during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

-A UNAIDS report shows that of the 36.9 million people living with HIV globally, 17.1 do not know they have the virus and need to be reached with HIV testing services, and around 22 million do not have access to HIV treatment, including 1.8 million children.

-The vast majority of people living with HIV are in low- and middle-income countries. According to WHO, sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with 25.8 million people living with HIV in 2014. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for almost 70 percent of the global total of new HIV infections.

-According to WHO, an estimated 34 million people have died from AIDS-related causes so far, including 1.2 million in 2014.

-Even today, despite advances in our scientific understanding of HIV and its prevention and treatment as well as years of significant effort by the global health community and leading government and civil society organizations, most people living with HIV or at risk for HIV do not have access to prevention, care, and treatment, and there is still no cure. However, effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs can control the virus so that people with HIV can enjoy healthy lives and reduce the risk of transmitting the virus to others.

-The HIV epidemic not only affects the health of individuals, it impacts households, communities, and the development and economic growth of nations. Many of the countries hardest hit by HIV also suffer from other infectious diseases, food insecurity, and other serious problems.
-Despite these challenges, there have been successes and promising signs. New global efforts have been mounted to address the epidemic, particularly in the last decade. Prevention has helped to reduce HIV prevalence rates in a small but growing number of countries and new HIV infections are believed to be on the decline. In addition, the number of people with HIV receiving treatment in resource-poor countries has dramatically increased in the past decade. According to UNAIDS, in June 2015, 15.8 million people living with HIV were accessing antiretroviral therapy (ART) globally, up from 13.6 million in June 2014.

-Progress has been made in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and keeping mothers alive. According to UNAIDS , in 2014, 73% of the estimated 1.5 million pregnant women living with HIV globally were accessing antiretroviral therapy to avoid transmission of HIV to their children; new HIV infections among children were reduced by 58% from 2000 to 2014.



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