AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.
It represents the late stages of infection by a retrovirus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It is a disease in which the body’s immune system breaks down and is unable to fight off infections, known as “opportunistic infections,” and other illnesses that take advantage of a weakened immune system.
Hiv Aids Cause
HIV is CAUSED by a virus called the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
Have unprotected sex with someone who is HIV-positive.
Have another sexually transmitted disease, such as syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea or bacterial vaginosis.
HIV can be spread during pregnancy from mother to fetus.
Symptoms Of Hiv
The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection. When first infected with HIV, you may have no symptoms at all, although it’s more common to develop a brief flu-like illness two to six weeks after becoming infected. But because the signs and symptoms of an initial infection — which may include fever, headache, sore throat, swollen lymph glands and rash — are similar to those of other diseases, you might not realize you’ve been infected with HIV.
Once the immune system weakens, a person infected with HIV can develop the following symptoms:
Whitish coating on the tongue, throat or vagina
Forgetfulness, confusion and other signs of mental deterioration
Lack of energy
Frequent fevers and sweats
A number of people with these vague, indistinct symptoms have a more serious illness than the flu; these symptoms may signal the acute stages of HIV infection.
Treatment Of Hiv
Anti-HIV (also called antiretroviral) medications are used to control the reproduction of the virus and to slow or halt the progression of HIV-related disease. When used in combinations, these medications are termed Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). HAART combines three or more anti-HIV medications in a daily regimen, sometimes referred to as a “cocktail”. Anti-HIV medications do not cure HIV infection and individuals taking these medications can still transmit HIV to others.
AIDS has no cure and there are currently no FDA-approved vaccines to protect against HIV, but there are vaccines that are currently being studied. However, medications can slow the progress of the disease, which allows patients to stay healthier and live longer. The drugs used to treat HIV infection are called antiretrovirals, because they fight HIV, which is a type of “retrovirus.”
Protease Inhibitors (PIs), such as lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra), disable protease, a protein that HIV needs reproduce itself.
HIV antiviral drugs
Most medications have side effects, which your doctor will discuss with you. Individuals respond differently to medications and side effects may vary. Positive Health Practice doctors, nurses and pharmacists can help you manage these side effects.
Nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). NRTIs were the first antiretroviral drugs to be developed. They inhibit the replication of an HIV enzyme called reverse transcriptase.
Protease inhibitors (PIs). PIs interrupt HIV replication at a later stage in its life cycle by interfering with an enzyme known as HIV protease.