Important Facts About HIV
HIV is one virus many people have misconceptions about. Contrary to the popular belief of many people, HIV is a virus that only affects human beings. HIV attacks a person’s t-cells and reproduces more of the virus. As the virus progresses, more t-cells are destroyed, and at this time, HIV will change to AIDS. HIV is an acronym for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is similar to other viruses in many ways. The primary facts that make HIV differ from other diseases is the way the virus affects the body. With viruses, such as the flu and cold, the human body can fight off infections over time. HIV is a virus that can get worse as time progresses, and the body cannot fight the disease.
As far as medical researchers are aware, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. Over time, the virus that causes HIV breaks down and destroys the immune system. The final stage of HIV is AIDS. AIDS occurs in the body when the HIV infection has broken down the body’s immune system to the point it cannot fight and protect the body from diseases and viruses. AIDS and HIV are not the same virus. AIDS, as previously stated, becomes a factor once HIV has destroyed nearly all of the body’s t-cells. AIDS is an acronym for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. People who have AIDS require medical treatment and intervention to prolong life and prevent early death.
There are three stages of HIV, including acute infection, clinical latency, and AIDS. Acute infection is the first stage of HIV. During the initial stage of HIV, the virus reproduces more HIV within the body. Some people do not experience symptoms during the first stage of HIV, but people who do complain of having flu-like symptoms. Stage two of HIV is clinical latency. During the second stage of HIV, the virus is active, but it is reproducing at a decreased rate than the previous stage. During the second stage of HIV, some people experience symptoms and other people do not. The final stage of HIV is AIDS. When a person’s CD4 cells decrease below 200 cells/mm, they are considered to have AIDS. People who seek treatment during this stage of HIV live longer than people who do not receive treatment. People who do not receive treatment for AIDS typically live for three years or less.
There are many factors that determine the progression of HIV. Factors that play a major role in shortening the time between HIV and AIDS depends on the individual. Determining factors for this situation include old age, poor nutrition, stress, genetic background, co-infection with other viruses, and HIV subtype. Factors that can prolong the time between HIV developing into AIDS include receiving medical care and treatments, taking medications as prescribed, consuming healthy foods and genetic background. People who continuously make healthy choices once they contract HIV will have a little control over how rapidly the disease progresses in their body.
People should be tested annually to ensure their health and receive treatment if they have HIV. It is better to know in the early stages of HIV, than find out when there is not much of anything that can be done. People who are receiving proper care and treatment for HIV can lead long lives, but people who do not receive treatment can die within ten years or less.