HIV – one of the most dangerous infectious diseases in the world today. Firstly, because the drugs for the total treatment have not been yet found, and secondly, it is practically does not come out. With the penetration of the virus in the human body, as well as in its intensive breeding there are no obvious symptoms. Therefore, the only sure way to identify the disease is taking a test for HIV – infection.
Human immunodeficiency virus (refers to retroviruses – Retroviridae) was identified in 1983, getting into the body it causes HIV infection, which induces AIDS on the last stage of disease progress. Unlike congenital immunodeficiency, syndrome is classified herein as purchased.
Penetrating into the cells, the virus destroys them so that the body becomes unable to resist pathogens of other infections that pose no danger to human health with a normal functioning immune system. HIV infection is characterized by a long incubation period – the time from infection to growth of AIDS in the case of therapy absence is about 9-11 years. The duration of this period depends mostly on viral load, the body and its immune status, as well as upon the age, health of the patient, presence of harmful habits and somatic diseases.
Practical epidemiology of HIV emphasizes major channels of infection incidents – it is sex, using the same syringe, blood transfusion, as well as the transmission of HIV from mother to child. Risk groups comprise homosexuals, drug addicts and those who are sleeping around. Today donated blood is tested, so transmission of blood infection to recipients is practically impossible.
The virus does not high viability in the environment, it is killed by any reactive reagents with disinfecting power, during boiling, and is almost completely inactivated if heated up to 56 °C for 30 min. However, in human biological fluids outside the body at room temperature the virus may “live” for several days.
HIV symptoms early signs
Very rarely, the symptoms of HIV may be present at the early stages of the disease, since the first signs are hidden. For example, the patient has an increase of temperature to 37.5 – 38 degrees. You can also notice nodes enlargement, sore throat, especially when swallowing. Sometimes on the skin may appear rash in a form of red spots. At this stage of disease progression sometimes happens diarrhea.
You will notice that all of these symptoms also can match ordinary colds. In most cases, patients at first think about usual cold and therefore do not pay any attention to these symptoms. In addition, all symptoms disappear rather quickly and do not cause any concern. That means only one thing – the infection has moved to a new stage of disease development.
Detection of antibodies to HIV-1.2 in patient blood is an absolute proof of HIV. These antibodies can be disclosed using certain tests, carried out by specialized labs and AIDS centers. Usually conducting tests are recommended in a extent of time from two weeks to three months, because it is possible to notice HIV symptoms after 3 months. Retesting is advised in 3-6 months.
Majority of people living with human immunodeficiency virus have the following clinical aspects: some period after infection (usually a few weeks), HIV symptoms identical to the signs of colds and flu occur. Increased body temperature, nodes enlargement, sore throat, etc. Then, comes the asymptomatic period of the disease, which continues from 3 months to 25 years (the disease has two stages – a persistent and latent).
What are the symptoms of HIV?
- Weight loss and paratrophia
- Constant colds
- Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Pain in the chest
- Reduction of vision
- Parodontological ailments, inflammation of the oral mucosa
- Herpes (genital as well)
- Papilloma warts
- Lung diseases – pulmonic fever, white plague
- Disease of viral hepatitis
What are the symptoms of HIV for drug-addicted people?
HIV has slightly different signs for drug-addicted patients who use narcotic drugs as injection. Typically, these people are much more likely have phthisis, bacterial pneumonia, hepatitis, STDs etc. Also are observed the symptoms of septic panvalvular disease. Children, who have got HIV infection from mothers during pregnancy or childbirth, have quicker progress of disease, especially infants, more serious diseases progress and can even die.
Symptoms of HIV in women
Most girls and women by nature are prone to diseases of the genitourinary system, which lead to a decrease in their immunity and increase the chances of contracting HIV. The major main HIV symptoms in women are enlarged lymph nodes, pain in the groin area, painful menstruation, mucous vaginal discharge, pelvic pain and headaches, as well as increased fatigue and irritability. Of course, please do not attribute usual tiredness and painful menstruation to HIV.
Symptoms that occur in HIV-positive women are extremely diverse. This may be connected with illnesses that occur due to low immunity, or directly due to the impact of the virus on the cells of the body. Physicians identify several phases of HIV in the body. The first phase – incubation, the second – onset of the primary symptoms, followed by secondary diseases and, at the end AIDS. Today, a lot of people live and do not know that they are HIV-infected. HIV – a disease that progresses in the human body quite quickly. The period of the disease progress varies between ten and twelve years.
During the incubation period, all the symptoms of infection either in women or in men are non-specific. One of the first signs of HIV, mainly, is unfounded increase in body temperature. The temperature usually reaches thirty-nine and forty degrees keeps for several days (two to ten). To this list should be added headache, fatigue, arthralgia and sweating, especially at night. Loss of appetite, diarrhea and even depression can also be signs of immunodeficiency virus.
All these features can be observed in both men and women. However, there is a number of symptoms basic only for females. These symptoms are anorexia, pelvic infection, and different vaginal infections. As we have mentioned above, women should seek a medical advice, if menstruation is accompanied by severe pain in the groin and lymph nodes are enlarged. Furthermore, headaches, irritability and constant fatigue may also indicate the presence of HIV in the body. Most HIV-positive women have anorexia (called lipodystrophy). Very often, different psychological changes (anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, and even dementia) are the symptoms of HIV in women.
Not always, these symptoms are obvious, so many women are living with HIV and do not know about it. You should remember, that the ignorance of the danger, does not exempt from the consequences. Some people believe that, in contrast to the male body, the female immunodeficiency virus develops more slowly. The reason may be that women are more careful to their health.
HIV infection preventive measures
An effective HIV infection and AIDS therapy – is HAART (Highly Active Anti Retroviral Treatment), actively used in many countries, but there are many options of radical prevention of HIV infection. The only radical prevention is a mental defense. Other types of prevention include antivirus preventive therapy in a case of infected women pregnancy, the use of barrier protective measures during sexual contact, keeping hygienic rules, reducing of the total number of prostitutes and drug addicts etc.
The most reliable preventive measure is a responsible attitude to the health.