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Transcript of HIV/AIDS
The signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS varies, depending on an individual and what stage of the disease they are in. There are 3 main stages of progression of HIV/AIDS; the Early Acute Stage, the Clinical Latency Stage and the Progression to AIDS Stage.
How Many People
HIV/AIDS is a global epidemic that has taken the
lives of over 25 million people since the first cases were reported in 1981. Without a cure, HIV is and continues to be one of the most devastating diseases in our history;
How Do You Get HIV?
Though there is no known cure for HIV/AIDS, many drugs have been invented that help to slow down the rate at which HIV attacks the body`s T-cells and CD4 cells. These drugs, known as azidothymidine, are in 5 classes and are to be taken at different stages of HIV`s development.
Clinical Latency Stage Symptoms
The term “latency” refers to a period where a virus
is living or developing in a person without producing symptoms. It is during this stage that infected individuals don`t experience any HIV-related symptoms. This stage is also referred to as an “asymptomatic HIV infection”. During this stage, HIV progresses at a lower rate, especially if the individual is on HIV medication. Though the individual is progressing at a lower level, they are still able to transmit HIV.
If an infected individual is not taking HIV medication,
their immune system is going to weaken much faster than if they were on medication. Once individuals reach this stage, they may run into many health problems due to the effect that HIV/AIDS is having on their immune system. Some symptoms that they may experience in this late stage of the disease are;
Early, Acute Stage Symptoms
Within 2-4 weeks of contracting HIV, most people experience severe flu-like symptoms. This is known as "Acute Retroviral Syndrome", and is the body's natural response to HIV. The most common symptoms experienced are;
What is HIV/AIDS?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus, more
commonly referred to as HIV, is similar to many
other viruses, with one exception; the immune system cannot clear itself of HIV. The virus can hide it's symptoms for up to 10 years as it copies it's DNA into the body's disease-fighting T-cells and CD4 cells, therefore weakening the immune system. When the majority of the body's T-cells and CD4 cells have been destroyed and the body can no longer fight infections, HIV has developed to AIDS; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. People with AIDS have severely damaged immune systems, which makes
them vulnerable to contracting opportunistic infections. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS, so when a victim is diagnosed, medical intervention is required to
prolong their life.
How is HIV
Transmitted Through Body Fluids?
In order to contract HIV, the virus
must enter your bloodstream. There
are several ways HIV can
By: Elizabeth Mitton
HIV lives and reproduces in specific human body fluids. If any of those fluids enter your body, you're at risk for contracting HIV.
Which Body Fluids Contain HIV?
Unless mixed with blood, feces, saliva,
urine and vomit do not have enough
HIV to infect someone.
HIV can be transmitted through
anal, oral, or vaginal sex when bodily
fluids are shared. HIV can enter the
bloodstream through microscopic
tears in the lining of the vagina,
vulva, penis, rectum or mouth. This
is the most common way of
During Pregnancy, Childbirth or Breastfeeding
HIV can be spread through mother to
child; babies are always in contact with
their mother's fluids and can become
infected during pregnancy, during childbirth
when they are exposed to amniotic,
cerebrospinal and synovial fluids, as well
as when breastfeeding.
Through Injection Drug Use
Injection drugs puts people in contact
with their own blood and possibly others,
if they share needles. If needles have been shared with an HIV infected individual,
you are putting yourself at risk for HIV
being injected directly into your
Healthcare workers are at risk of contracting HIV through their work. They can come into contact with infected blood or other fluids through needle sticks or cuts, or when body fluids splashed into their eyes, mouth, or into an open sore or cut.
Through a Blood Transfusion or Organ Transplant
Though rare, there have been some cases in which unknowing HIV infected donors have donated their blood or organs, leaving the patient
Muscle and Joint Pain
Rapid Weight Loss
Prolonged Swelling of Lymph Glands
Sores in the mouth, anus or genitals
Coloured Blotches on the Skin, Mouth, Nose or Eyelids
Memory loss or Depression
33.4 million individuals are living with HIV/AIDS today
97% of HIV/AIDS cases are individuals living in low income countries, particularly Sub-Saharan Africa, most without access to prevention, care, and treatment.
Approximately 71,300 Canadians were living with HIV/AIDS in 2011
There are many ways in which people can protect themselves from contracting HIV and how those who are infected can prevent the spread of HIV.
Sexual intercourse is the most common
way of contracting and spreading HIV. By
refraining from sexual activities, your
chances of contracting HIV are significantly decreased.
If you prefer not staying abstinent, another method that is highly effective in preventing HIV is to have safe sex. By wearing a condom, you prevent the spread of bodily fluids that carry HIV such as semen and vaginal fluids.
By limiting your number of sexual partners, you greatly reduce your chances of contracting and spreading HIV.
Always use Clean,
In order to prevent HIV, always use
clean, unused needles and do not share them. By sharing needles with an infected individual, you are risking HIV going directly into your bloodstream. If you must share needles, be sure to clean the needle as well as the syringe with water and bleach each time it is used.
If You Might be
If there`s a possibility that you`re pregnant
or HIV positive and trying to get pregnant, a doctor should be contacted immediately to discuss medication options to reduce the baby`s risk of HIV. After the baby is born, HIV positive mothers should not breastfeed since HIV can be transmitted through breast milk.
The best way to protect yourself
from and prevent spreading Human Immunodeficiency Virus is to go and get tested. Oral tests are available and results are back within 20 minutes. Testing is important, because if you are HIV positive, treatment should begin immediately to help slow down the progress of HIV.
If you Test
Should you test positive for Human
Immunodeficiency Virus, don`t worry. Many people
are overwhelmed when they learn they have HIV, but you are not alone. Your doctor talk you through what is going to happen, will provide you with the necessary medications and recommend support groups and other aid, should you need it. Researchers continue to create medications to improve the lives of infected individuals. Together, we will beat HIV/AIDS.
More Information on HIV/AIDS can be
ARCHIVED - Summary : Estimates of HIV Prevalence and Incidence in Canada, 2011 (n.d). Public Health Agency of Canada. Retrieved January 4, 2014, from http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/aids-sida/publication/survreport/estimat2011-eng.php
HIV/AIDS. (n.d.). Government of Canada, Health Canada, Retrieved January 4, 2014, from http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/health-sante/disease-maladie/hiv-vih-eng.php
How to Prevent HIV/AIDS and other STD's. (n.d.). Lifebeat Music Fights HIV/AIDS. Retrieved January 4, 2014, from http://
Public Health Agency of Canada. (n.d.). HIV/AIDS Updates. Retrieved January 4, 2014, from http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/aids-sida/publication/epi/2010/4-eng.php