On the occasion of World Aids Day, we got it all covered for you. From the time it came into existence, to its various stages and symptoms and ways to prevent it.
With a lot of technological and literal advancements, humanity has come far ahead in eradicating the blemish of HIV or AIDS. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) or the virus responsible for contributing towards AIDS gives rise to a spectrum of infectious conditions. If it goes undetected at its preliminary stage, the condition of a concerned individual may further worsen. The advanced stage of HIV infection is what we know today as Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Insights into the origin of HIV on this World Aids Day
- HIV today exists in two forms: HIV-type 1 and HIV-type 2.
- Historically, HIV-type 1 infection was only found in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes).
- Although the exact zoonosis period is unknown to the world, some molecular dating studies highlight the origin of it in the early 20th century (1915 to 1941). Further, in accordance with the molecular clock for a unique strain of HIV (2008 phylogenetic studies) date its first transmission history dates back to 1915-1931.
- Molecular dating studies for HIV-type 2 dates back to 1905-1961.
When and how was the first AIDS patient detected?
Luc Antoine Montagnier was the brain behind unveiling the presence of HIV strains.
It was somewhere in the 1980s, a person from San Francisco was diagnosed with Kaposi’s Sarcoma. After a thorough examination from the Center for Disease Control, he was entitled to the first identified case of the AIDS pandemic. In India, the first HIV onset was detected in female sex workers (Chennai) in the year 1986.
HIV-type 1 is the reason behind 36.9 million of people living with HIV across the globe. Today, HIV has become one of the global health concerns to mark its historical presence.
Symptoms in association with HIV and AIDS:
Though HIV is a virus to be associated with AIDS, infected with HIV at the initial stage doesn’t indicate the person is suffering from the wrath of AIDS.
Symptoms of HIV infection:
HIV infection is characterized to be progressive over time. It mainly proceeds in three stages: the acute phase of HIV infection, asymptomatic period, and terminates in advanced infection (AIDS).
Acute Stage of HIV infection: Characterized by fever generally lasting within the first two to four weeks of its onset till antibody formation. Body rashes, sore throat infection, fever, and severe headaches are strictly associated with symptoms of acute HIV infection. Noticing these symptoms, your doctor may ask you to undergo a CD4 count and HIV test for the final conclusion.
Asymptomatic Period: This period is characterized by the clinical latency stage. Here, the individual remains free from symptoms while the virus still undergoes an active phase of replication and proliferation.
Advanced Stage of HIV infection (AIDS): A person at this stage stands with a wholly broken immune system and shows a higher affinity for secondary infections. Cold, flu, nausea, fungal infections, persistent diarrhea, cough and breath shortness are some of the symptoms here. Significant weight loss is a general observation.
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Statistics of HIV/AIDS:
Global statistics: According to global HIV statistics (2017) out of the 36.9 million HIV patients, 1.8 million are children under the age group of 15 years. 75 percent of HIV patients have access to the HIV testing centers and were subsequently aware of their status. 59 percent of those detected positive have access to efficient anti-retroviral treatment.
National Statistics: According to the national HIV statistics (2017), HIV prevalence in India lies in the range of 0.16 to 0.30 percent. Males population exhibits 0.25 percent whereas HIV prevalence in females is nearly around 0.19 percent. Key infected people are sex workers (2.2%), gay men (4.3%), those injecting drugs (9.9%) and transgenders (7.2%).
World Aids Day – Support from society:
- Today the importance lies in eliminating the blemish stigma from the society that HIV spreads to general contact.
- It is mandatory for every HIV positive individual to remain on antiretroviral treatment (ART) to ensure an undetected viral load.
- Communicate, listen, learn and educate the society about the HIV symptoms, disease progression and the availability of ART.
- Emphasis should be on HIV testing under a medical practitioner if someone experiences any of the symptoms mentioned above.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) is for the prevention of those who are HIV negative.
- PEP or Post-exposure prophylaxis is for accidental exposure to HIV. The treatment needs a quick initiation within the first 72 hours of exposure and lasts for around 28 days. (Source- https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hiv-and-aids)
- Avoid syringe or needle exchanges and emphasize the use of condoms.
What’s new in World AIDS day This year, the World AIDS day shall be marking its presence on Saturday and will be emphasizing on Encouraging every to know their HIV status.
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