HIV Symptoms: Myths and Misconceptions.
HIV Symptoms: HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
There is currently no effective cure. Once people get HIV, they have it for life. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled.
The immune system—more particularly, immunological cells, which are essential for warding off infections and diseases—is attacked by the viral illness known as HIV/AIDS.
Sharing infected needles or unprotected sexual contact are the two main ways that the virus is spread.
Once infected, people develop flu-like symptoms including fever and exhaustion, which frequently go unreported or are confused with other conditions.
Unrecognised HIV infections are more frequent than you may imagine; across West and Central Africa, 4.9 million people with HIV don’t know they have the disease.
Young women and teenage girls are disproportionately affected by infections, especially in African nations where young women are three times as likely to get HIV than young males.
Without appropriate care, HIV can develop into AIDS, a condition in which the immune system is severely weakened. You are more susceptible to malignancies and opportunistic infections if you have AIDS.
Despite the fact that HIV is a global problem, over two thirds of those who have the disease live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Numerous factors contribute to the high frequency in the area, including societal stigma, poor access to healthcare, and a lack of thorough sex education.
Contradictory information and beliefs continue to be an issue, particularly in regards to the spread and management of the disease.
Stages of HIV
Stages of HIV: Without therapy, HIV-positive individuals generally advance through three phases. However, HIV medication can stop or halt the disease’s course. The development of HIV to Stage 3 (AIDS) is now less frequent than it was in the beginning because to improvements in HIV therapy.
Stage 1 or the Acute HIV Infection
People are very contagious and have a significant amount of HIV in their blood.
There are several cases of flu-like symptoms.
Get tested if you suspect you may have been exposed to HIV and are experiencing flu-like symptoms.
Stage 2 or Chronic HIV Infection
Asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency are other names for this stage.
HIV is still alive and yet capable of procreating within the body.
During this period, people may not show any symptoms or get ill, but they can still transmit HIV.
Those who adhere to their HIV treatment regimen may never get Stage 3 (AIDS).
Without therapy for HIV, this period might continue ten years or more or move more quickly.
The person may enter Stage 3 (AIDS) at this stage’s conclusion due to an increase in the viral load (amount of HIV in the blood).
Stage 3 or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes (AIDS)
when HIV infection is at its worst.
High viral loads and the potential for HIV transmission are risks associated with AIDS.
Immune systems of AIDS patients have been severely compromised. They are more likely to get opportunistic infections or other severe diseases.
People with AIDS often survive for three years or less without HIV treatment.
Difference between HIV and AIDS
HIV and AIDS are distinct in that HIV is a virus that compromises your immune system. When your immune system is significantly compromised as a result of an HIV infection, AIDS can develop. If you don’t have HIV, you are unable to get AIDS.
How is the HIV virus transmitted?
The idea that HIV may be acquired by being around someone who is HIV positive is a frequent misconception.
In actuality, breast milk, semen, and vaginal secretions are all ways that HIV may transmit. Additionally, it can be passed from mother to baby when she is pregnant or giving birth.
While saliva, tears, and sweat cannot transmit HIV, certain kinds of body fluids might. Additionally, unlike COVID-19, it cannot propagate through the air.
Since condoms can help stop the spread of HIV, several nations make them widely accessible and free. Similarly, drug users’ access to clean needle programmes lowers the likelihood of HIV transmission.
Unfortunately, the Catholic Church forbids the use of condoms and other forms of artificial contraception. Many people are missing out on their life-saving benefits as a result of this divisive position.
Most likely. In most cases, symptoms of the flu appear 2 to 4 weeks after infection.
A few days or a few weeks may pass before symptoms disappear.
The mere presence of these signs does not indicate HIV infection.
Similar symptoms may be caused by other diseases.
Some patients show absolutely no symptoms.
Getting tested is the only way to find out whether you have HIV.
Is HIV Curable?
The idea that having intercourse with a virgin can cure HIV is another fallacy. This myth, which led to older men seeking unprotected intercourse with young women in Ghana in an effort to treat their HIV, is to blame for the current surge in HIV diagnoses among young women there.
Public health initiatives aim to dispel misunderstandings and increase knowledge in order to safeguard younger women.
Public health experts are striving to accelerate the distribution of HIV-suppressing drugs in the meantime. Researchers are also exploring novel antiviral medicine formulations that are more cost-effective and can be delivered to areas with high HIV incidence.
Last year, the UN issued a warning that if additional global financing for the fight against the illness is not made available, a new AIDS pandemic might break out.