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Disease prevention and treatment

Things you Need to Know About HIV/AIDs

1st December is marked as the designated day that is celebrated as worlds Aids day.It has been celebrated since 1988.The day is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDs pandemic caused by the spread of the HIV infections and mourning those who have died of the disease.

It is widely believed that HIV originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo around 1920 when HIV crossed species from Chimpanzees to humans.The chimpanzee version of the virus ,Simian Immunodeficiency Virus(SIV) was probably passed to humans when they hunted these Chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infeccted blood.

As the virus ravaged most continents since its discovery,a major breakthrough occurred in 1996 when it was found that triple drug therapy(HAART) could probably suppress viral replication to minimal levels.However,most Antiretroviral drug development by research based pharmaceutical companies continue with several important innovative products such as long-acting agents in the pipeline.

It is important to use ARVs when you are HIV positive as it has many health benefits like;

1.Antiretroviral therapy prevents the virus from multiplying, which reduces the amount of HIV in the body. This gives the immune system a chance to produce more CD4 cells.

2.Although antiretroviral therapy cannot completely remove HIV from the body, it keeps the immune system strong enough to combat infections and some HIV-related cancers.

3.The aim of antiretroviral therapy is to reduce the amount of HIV in the blood to very low levels. Viral suppressionTrusted Source occurs when the count reaches fewer than 200 copies of the virus per milliliter of blood.

4.When the viral load is so low that it is undetectable, it no longer damages the immune system, and there is no risk of transmitting the virus to others. This is known as undetectable.most people using antiretroviral drugs, the virus is under control within 6 monthsTrusted Source.

A person Infected with the HIV virus undergoes three stages before it starts to manifest itself:

Stage 1: This the earliest stage. You may also hear it called the “acute” stage. You might have a fever, rash, fatigue, chills, and other flu-like symptoms. But you might not have any symptoms. If you do, they may start 2-4 weeks after you’re infected. During this time, the virus quickly makes many copies of itself.

Stage 2: During this stage, HIV continues to reproduce, and it slowly damages your immune system over time. You might not feel sick or have symptoms. But HIV isn’t gone, and you can still spread it to other people. This stage can last for years or even decades.

Stage 3:This is when you have AIDS. Your immune system has been severely damaged, leaving you vulnerable to other illnesses. With AIDS, many people have symptoms such as chills, fever, sweats, swollen lymph glands, weakness, and weight loss.

The people who are mostly at risk of getting HIV and AIDs are:

1.People who share needles or syringes with someone who has HIV

2.If you have sex with someone who has HIV

3.If a persom has vaginal or anal sex without using a condom

4.If you have more than one sexual partner.

Content created and supplied by: King'wa (via Opera News )

CD4 Democratic Republic of Congo HIV-related SIV Simian Immunodeficiency Virus(


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