AIDS or acquired immune deficiency syndrome is a disease of the immune system after acquiring HIV or human immunodeficiency virus. The HIV virus reduces the capability of the immune system to fight off infection thus one is prone for opportunistic infection and tumors. What are the important symptoms of AIDS in men?
According to genetic research, HIV has its origin in the west-central Africa during the late 19th century. In 1981, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first recognized AIDS and its cause HIV.
Currently, AIDS is a pandemic disease. Statistics as of 2009 reveals that there are about 33.3 million people worldwide that are diagnosed and living with HIV/AIDS, 2.6 million are diagnosed every year with HIV and 1.8 million dies annually due to AIDS.
The HIV is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluid or blood of infected persons. Bodily fluids include semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid and breast milk. Transmission involves anal, oral or vaginal sex; blood transfusion; punctured with infected hypodermic needles; pregnancy and childbirth; and breastfeeding.
Symptoms of AIDS are the result of poor immunity. Most of the symptoms are infections that are caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites which are normally combated by the immune system. Opportunistic infections are common and affect nearly every organ system. The type of opportunistic infection frequently developed in AIDS patients depend on the geographical area in which the patient lives.
The main symptoms that affect AIDS victim are as follows: pneumocystis pneumonia (caused by Pneumocystis jirovecii); Esophagitis (inflammation of the lower end of the esophagus) which are caused by fungal, viral or bacterial infection; chronic diarrhea which is caused by bacterial (shigella, salmonella, listeria or campylobacter) and parasitic infections; neurological defecits; toxoplasmosis which is caused by Toxoplasma gondii, a single celled parasite, that can lead to toxoplasma encephalitis; and kaposis sarcoma which is caused by a gammaherpes virus and often appears as a purplish nodule on the skin, mouth, gastrointestinal tract and lungs. Systemic symptoms associated with AIDS are as follows: sweats, fever, swollen glands, weakness, chills and weight loss.
Treatment of HIV and AIDS only slows the course of the disease and does not eradicate the virus which causes it. Currently, there is no known cure or vaccine for AIDS. Antiretroviral have proven to reduce the mortality and morbidity rate of HIV infection. Antiretroviral suppresses the replication of HIV in the body and effectively reduces the number of HIV particles in the blood stream. Suppression of virus from replicating increase the numbers of T-cell count in the blood stream and help the immune system recover.
Prevention is the key in dealing with the pandemic AIDS. Avoidance of unprotected sex, needle stick injury and drug use can help a lot in lowering the prevalence of AIDS.
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