HIV is among the most dangerous viruses that damages the immune system of the affected individual. The immune system is responsible for fighting off infections and bacteria. Untreated HIV infects and kills the white blood cells that plays an important role in the immune system (called CD4), these cells are also known as T cells. As HIV kills more CD4 cells, the body is more likely to get various types of infections and cancers.
Method of HIV transmission
- Vaginal and rectal fluids
- Breast Milk
This virus isn’t air, or water born and can’t be contacted through casual contact. HIV is a lifelong condition that has no cure, yet. However, scientist around the world are working to find a cure. Nonetheless, with medical care and treatment called antiretroviral therapy, it is possible to manage the disease and live with the virus for years.
In the absent of treatment, a person is more likely to develop a serious condition called AIDS. At that point, the body is too weak to fight off other disease and infections. The life expectancy of people with untreated AIDS is about three years. With antiretroviral therapy, HIV can be controlled, and life expectancy can be the same as a person without HIV.
What is AIDS?
AIDS is a disease that normally develop in people with HIV. It’s the most advance stage of HIV. However, one can have HIV and not develop/have AIDS. HIV kills CD4 cells. Healthy adults have about 500 to 1,500 per cubic millimetre of CD4 cells. An infected person with HIV whose CD4 count is below 200 per cubic millimetre will be diagnosed with AIDS.
A person can also be diagnosed with AIDS if the have HIV and develop an opportunistic infection or cancer that’s rare in people who don’t have HIV. An opportunistic infection, for example pneumonia, is one that take advantage of a unique situation, such as HIV
If AIDS does develop, it means that the immune system is severely compromised. It’s weakened to the point where it can no longer fight off diseases and infections. That makes the person vulnerable to a wide range of illnesses, like Tuberculosis, oral thrush, pneumonia, herpes, toxoplasmosis cancer among others.
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