100+ Interesting Facts About HIV\ AIDS
Also called: Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, AIDS , HIV, Human immunodeficiency virus
HIV Aids stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It harms your immune system by destroying a type of white blood cell that helps your body fight infection. This puts you at risk for serious infection and certain cancer.
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the final stage of infection with HIV. It happens when the body’s immune system is badly damaged because of the virus. Not everyone with HIV develops AIDS.
In May 1983, two papers appeared in the same issue of Science claiming the same breakthrough; the identification of virus apparently linked to AIDS. While neither the US nor the French team were certain of the link, their claims were seized in the search for a treatment. Further research by the US team confirmed the AIDS connection, and the virus was named the Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV). But the coincidence of two teams making the same claim sparked a bitter row between the team leaders; Robert Gallo of the Nation Cancer Institute, Maryland, and Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute, Paris. Initially the dispute focused on who should benefit from royalties for a blood test HIV. In 1987, the US and French government settled that dispute by declaring both teams co-discoverers. But then Gallo’s teams were accused of having wrongfully acquired the virus from the Paris team – a charge later rejected by investigators. The arguments continued until 2002, when the rivals publicly agreed that Montagnier’s team had discovered HIV, but its role in AIDS was first shown by Gallo. Even so, controversy flared once more in 2008 when the Nobel prize was awarded for the HIV breakthrough – and Gallo’s contribution was overlooked.
HIV can spread in different ways:
. Trough unprotected sex with a person with HIV. This is the most common way that it spreads.
. By sharing drug needles
. Trough contact with the blood of a person with HIV
. From mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding
Anyone can get HIV Aids, but certain groups have a higher risk of getting it.
. People who have another sexually transmitted disease (STD). Having an STD can increase your risk of getting or spreading HIV.
. People who inject drugs with shared needles
.Gay and bisexual men, especially those who are Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino American
. People who engage in risky sexual behaviors, such as using condoms
The symptoms of HIV/AIDS
The first signs of HIV infection may be flu-like symptoms:
Fever, Chills, Rash, Night sweats, Muscle aches, Sore throat, Fatigue, Swollen lymph nodes, Mouth ulcers
These symptoms may come and go within two to four weeks. This stage is called acute HIV infection.
If the infection is not treated, it becomes chronic HIV Aids infection. Often, there are no symptoms during this stage. If it is not treated, eventually the virus will weaken your body’s immune system. Then the infection will progress to AIDS. This is the late stage of HIV infection. With AIDS your immune system is badly damaged. You can get more and more severe infections. These are known as opportunistic infections (OIs).
Some people may not feel sick during the earlier stages of HIV infection. So the only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to use testing sites.
How do I know if I have HIV?
A blood test can tell if you have HIV Aids infection. Your health care provider can do the test, or you can use a home testing kit. You can also use the CDC testing Locator to find free testing sites. There is no cure for HIV Aids infection, but it can be treated with medicines. This is called antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART can make HIV infection a manageable chronic condition.
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