HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. It destroys cells in your immune system, making it easier for you to get infected by sickness. HIV can be spread during sexual intercourse and the sharing of needles. Condoms can offer protection against HIV.
HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It’s a type of virus that destroys certain cells in your immune system. This damage can lead to getting sick easily and even dying because your body can’t fight the disease anymore.
HIV can affect anyone, there are around 1 million people in the U.S. that are living with HIV while 41,000 new infections add to this every year.
Once you get the HIV, it stays in your body for life. There is currently no cure for HIV but medication can help you stay healthy longer and decrease your chances of spreading the virus. Getting treatment is important because most patients die when not treated. Proper medication can help patients live a long life.
HIV is the virus that leads to AIDS. AIDS means Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV and AIDS are not the same. Those with HIV do not always have AIDS.
HIV is carried in the semen, blood, vaginal fluids and breast milk. The virus infects your body through cuts and sores on your skin and mucous membranes like the inside of the rectum, vagina, and opening of the penis.
Those who are infected with HIV don’t have the symptoms right away. It can take years before the disease makes you feel its effects.
The early signs and symptoms of HIV can take up to 10 years to manifest. It can even take longer for those who are taking HIV medicines.
This is why HIV testing should be done regularly if you have unprotected sex or have shared needles. Early detection can help in the treatment of HIV and make you stay healthy longer.
The first 2 to 4 weeks of getting infected with HIV, you may feel sick and be aching all over. This flu type reaction is the body’s first attempt at defending your body from the infection. At this time, you have a lot of the virus in your body so it can spread quickly to other people. The symptoms last for a few weeks then disappear. They won’t recur in a few years.
Once you have HIV, you can infect other people even if you have the symptoms or not.
The later symptoms of HIV has the virus destroying cells in your immune system called T cells or CD4 cells. Without CD4 cells your body has a problematic time-fighting disease. This makes you sickly from infections that do not usually harm you.
In the course of time, HIV damages your immune system leading to AIDS. You have AIDS when you get rare infections or if you have lost a certain number of CD4 cells. This usually occurs ten years after getting HIV if you don’t get treatment. Treatments can delay or prevent patients from developing AIDS.
Signs of AIDS:
- A sore throat
- Yeast infections
- Having bad infections often
- Chronic pelvic inflammatory disease
- A headache
- Feeling tired, lightheaded and dizzy
- Fast weight loss
- Bruising easily
- Diarrhea, fever and night sweats
- Swollen glands in your throat, groin or armpit
- A deep and dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- Skin Rashes
- Bleeding from mouth, nose, anus, and vagina
- Purple growth on skin and mouth
- Numbness in hands and feet
- Losing control of reflexes and muscles
- Losing strength in your muscles, not being able to move
In the U.S. HIV is usually spread by having unprotected sex. Using condoms or dental dams whenever you have sex and not sharing needles can help prevent you and your partners from getting HIV.