HIV/AIDS. This disease is one of the most fearful disease to ever plague the human species. It was in 1983 that scientists and doctors discovered the virus known as HIV/AIDS. According to The AIDS Institute, chimpanzees are believed to be the early transmitter of this highly dangerous disease to the human species when their infected blood affected hunters. The early variant of this virus is known as the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV).
What is Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV/AIDS)?
According to HIV GOV, HIV is a virus spread through selected body fluids which attacks the body’s immune system. More specifically, they target the CD4 cells (commonly referred to as the T cells). Over time, as the T cells count drop, the body will become unable to fight off diseases and infections due to a weakened immune system. When the body further weakens, it becomes prone to infections and cancers, signalling that the person has now developed AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). There is currently no cure for HIV/AIDS, but treatment exists. Hopefully, there can be a true cure in the next decade so millions of people around the world can be free from this terrible disease.
Is HIV/AIDS transmissible?
HIV is commonly spread through shared needle/syringe, and certain sexual behaviours. Certain body fluids such as blood, semen, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk from an infected person can transmit HIV according to HIV GOV.
Some things we do have to be cautious about regarding the transmission of HIV is:
- HIV can live in a used needle under certain environment and factors for more than a month
- Sexual transmission of HIV between sexually active partners is common
- From mother to child during pregnancy, birth or breast feeding
What causes HIV/AIDS?
Like mentioned above, HIV is transmitted and caused by infected blood and certain sexual fluids. Having unprotected sex with a HIV positive person is one of the most common methods of transmission.
How can we fight against HIV/AIDS?
There are a few ways to treat HIV even though there is no known cure for HIV. The treatment for HIV includes taking medicines which slow the progression of the virus in the human body. HIV belongs to a type of virus family known as retrovirus and drugs which treat viruses under this family are known as antiretrovirals (ARV). The drugs are usually given together with other ARV drugs, forming an antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Having an ART in place helps maximize the chance of a person’s survival rate until a true cure is found. The prescription for each individual infected with HIV will be different and adherence to the drug regime is extremely important to stay healthy.
Like other illnesses and diseases, having a healthy body also aids in prolonging an infected person’s life. Plenty of exercises and eating more fruits and vegetables will ensure the body has all the nutrients it needs to constantly fight the battle internally. We believe that a cure for all diseases can eventually be found, if we all band together in the fight against incurable diseases.
Let us start now with education, and not fear the disease known as HIV and we are always looking forward to a future where we are all part of a cure story.