HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is the virus that causes AIDS. HIV is not like other viruses and different from other, the reason is it attacks the immune system. HIV discovers and destroys a form of white blood cell, T-cells or CD4 cells, which the immune system must have to fight diseases. AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome and it is the final phase of HIV infection. Possibly, it can take many years to a person get infected from this disease called HIV to get at this stage. With the problem of AIDS refers to that the virus has damaged the immune system to the point at which the human body has a tough time fighting with infections. When some person has one or more than one particular infections, specific cancers or a very low number of T-cells, the person is regarded as a patient of AIDS.
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HIV transmission can take place when blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, vaginal fluid, or breast milk from an infected individual comes into the body of an uninfected individual. HIV can come in the body all through a vein, the lining of the anus or rectum, the lining of the vagina, the opening to the penis, the mouth, the eyes, the nose, or cuts and slashes. The most ordinary methods that HIV is transmitted from one individual to another individual is be having sex (anal, vaginal or oral) with an HIV infected individual, or by sharing an infected needles with an HIV, or from if mother is infected from HIV, than the baby also gets infected during birth or through breastfeeding after birth. HIV can also be passed on through receipt of infected blood. Though, from the year 1985, all donated blood in the United States must be tested for HIV. So, the chances of infection all through transfusion of blood or products related to blood is extremely low down. Some healthcare workers have become infected after being stuck with needles containing HIV-infected blood or when infected blood comes in contact with a worker’s open cut or is splashed into a worker’s eyes or inside their nose. There has been only one instance of a patient being infected by an HIV-infected dentist to his patient.
HIV attacks the immune system. The immune system is a group of cells and organs that protect your body by fighting disease. The human immune system usually finds and kills viruses fairly quickly. However, different viruses attack different parts of the body. HIV attacks a special type of immune system cell known as a CD4 lymphocyte. HIV has many ways of evading the body’s defenses including the ability to rapidly mutate. This means that once HIV has taken hold, the immune system can never fully get rid of it. In the situation, if left is not treated, then HIV will ultimately weaken the immune system to the extent that an individual will become sick with different types of infections, known as opportunistic infections. AIDS defining illness are considered to be as most serious opportunistic infections. When an individual becomes sick with one of the AIDS defining illness, he is said to have AIDS.
There isn’t any way to tell just by looking if someone’s been infected by HIV. In fact, a person infected with HIV may look and feel perfectly well for many years and may not know that they are infected. However, as the person’s immune system weakens, they become increasingly vulnerable to illnesses. The only reliable way to tell whether someone has HIV is for them to take a simple blood test, which can detect infection within just a few weeks after the virus enters the body.
The most important type of treatment for HIV or AIDS is known as antiretroviral treatment. This treatment comprises of drugs that should be taken every single day for the remaining life. The main motive of antiretroviral treatment is to remain the proportion of HIV in the human body at very low level. This also discontinues weakening of the immune system and permits the immune system to get better from any damage that HIV possibly has caused by now. If an individual is taking two or more than two antiretroviral drugs at the same time, that is called combination therapy. By taking a combination of three or more anti-HIV drugs is a little referred to as HAART. HAART stands for Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy.
Luckily, there are more than 20 approved antiretroviral drugs accessible and unluckily, there is no list licensed or available in each and every country. Initially, the combination of drugs that an individual is given is called first-line therapy. If after some time, HIV becomes opposed to this combination or if there will be any side effects, a move to second line therapy is suggested. Second line therapy consists of at least of three new drugs so as to increase success.
Apart from this, there are many other things through which you can decrease the risk of catching HIV or passing it along to someone else. The simplest is to withdraw or abstain from sex like so not have oral, anal or vaginal. Until, you should have love or relationship with only one person or having sex with only each other and both of you should be familiar with each other’s HIV status. If any of you have HIV, use protection like condoms to avoid other sexually transmitted diseases and likely infections with a different damage of HIV.
If only one of you has HIV, use a latex condom and lubricant every time you have sex. If you have, or plan to have, more than one sex partner, get tested for HIV. If you are a man who has had sex with other men, get tested at least once a year. If you are a woman who is planning to get pregnant or who is pregnant, get tested as soon as possible before you have your baby. Talk about HIV and other STDs with each partner before you have sex. Learn as much as you can about each partner’s past behavior, including sex and drug use, and consider the risks to your health before you have sex. Ask your partners if they have recently been tested for HIV, and encourage those who have not been tested to do so. Use a latex condom and lubricant every time you have sex. If you think you may have been exposed to another STD, such as gonorrhea, syphilis, or Chlamydia, get treatment. These STDs can increase your risk of getting HIV. Get vaccinated against the hepatitis B virus. Even if you think you have a low risk for HIV infection, get tested whenever you have a regular medical check-up. Do not inject illicit drugs. You can get HIV through needles, syringes, and other paraphernalia if they are contaminated with the blood of someone who has HIV. Drugs also cloud your judgment, which may result in riskier sex. If you do inject drugs, use only clean needles and syringes, and never share needles or syringes. Be careful not to expose yourself to another person’s blood. Get tested for HIV at least once a year. Also, consider getting counseling and treatment for your drug use, and get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B.
Fortunately, there are numerous organizations that assist HIV/AIDS victims and are constantly working to find a cure. One of these organizations is the Global AIDS Alliance (GAA). The goal of the GAA is to stop the global AIDS crisis and to limit the impact it has on poor countries that are hit hardest by the epidemic. The GAA was founded in 2001 and plays a critical role in shaping the AIDS policy debate and campaigns to speed the global response to HIV/AIDS. In just a few years, the GAA has achieved considerable success in increasing funding and influencing AIDS policy. In the future, the GAA plans to achieve universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care by 2010.
“AIDS/HIV.” About.com. Jan. 2009. 11 Jan. 2009 .
Global Aids Alliance. 2008. 11 Jan. 2009 .
“HIV/AIDS.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Jan. 2009. Department of Health and Human Services. 11 Jan. 2009 .
Mulvihill, M. L., M. Zelman, P. Holdaway, E. Tompary, and J. Raymond. Instructor’s Resource Manual: Human Diseases: A Systemic Approach. 6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2006.
“What is Aids?” Avert: Averting HIV and AIDS. Dec. 2008. 11 Jan. 2009 .
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