AIDS is a chronic, life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The virus and the infection itself are known as HIV. The term AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is used to mean the later stages of HIV infection. Thus, the terms HIV infection and AIDS refer to different stages of the same disease.HIV most commonly spreads by sexual contact with an infected partner. It can also spread through infected blood and shared needles or syringes contaminated with the virus. Untreated women with HIV also can pass the infection to their babies during pregnancy and delivery, and through their breast milk.
Signs And Symptoms:
In the early stage:
In The Later Stage:
Normally, white blood cells and antibodies attack and destroy foreign organisms that enter your body. This response is coordinated by white blood cells known as the CD4 lymphocytes. Unfortunately, these lymphocytes are also the main targets of HIV, which attaches to the cells and then enters them. Once inside, the virus inserts its own genetic material into the CD4 lymphocytes and uses the material to make copies of itself.
When the new copies of the virus break out of the host cells and enter your bloodstream, they search for other cells to attack. In the meantime, the old host cells die. The cycle repeats itself again and again. In the process, more than 10 billion new HIV particles are produced every day. To counter this huge virus production, your immune system turns out as many as 2 billion new CD4 cells daily.
Eventually, however, the virus wins this race. The number of CD4 cells in your body progressively decreases, and you develop severe immune deficiency, which means your body can't effectively fight off viruses and bacteria that cause disease.
How is it transmitted:
Sexual transmission: It may be infected through vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected partner whose blood, semen or vaginal secretions enter your body. You can also become infected from shared sexual devices if they're not washed or covered with a condom.
Through infected blood: The virus may be transmitted through blood and blood products ¡ª including whole blood, packed red cells, fresh-frozen plasma and platelets ¡ª you receive in blood transfusions.
Through needle sharing: HIV is easily transmitted through needles and syringes contaminated with infected blood. Your risk is increased if you inject drugs frequently or also engage in high-risk sexual behavior. Although avoiding the use of injected drugs is the most reliable way to prevent infection.
From mother to child: Each year, nearly 700,000 infants are infected with HIV, either during pregnancy or through breast-feeding. But if women receive treatment for their HIV infection during pregnancy, the risk to their babies decreases greatly. Combinations of HIV drugs may reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission even more.
Different types of Aids:
Tuberculosis:It is the most common opportunistic infection associated with HIV and the leading cause of death among people living with AIDS. It increases the rate at which the AIDS virus replicates.It also often strikes people with HIV years before other problems associated with HIV develop. You can get Tuberculosis when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes near you. The bacteria then spread through your blood and lymph nodes to the rest of your body.