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×´¯`×AIDS×´¯`×

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, and breast milk. This transmission can involve anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids. AIDS was first recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1981 and its cause, HIV, identified in the early 1980s.

SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of AIDS are primarily the result of conditions that do not normally develop in individuals with healthy immune systems, people with AIDS often have systemic symptoms of infection like fevers, sweats (particularly at night), swollen glands, chills, weakness, and weight loss. Once HIV has killed so many CD4+ T cells that there are fewer than 200 of these cells per microliter (µL) of blood, cellular immunity is lost.
Most of these conditions are opportunistic infections that are easily treatable in healthy people.
• Stage I: HIV infection is asymptomatic and not categorized as AIDS
• Stage II: includes minor mucocutaneous manifestations and recurrent upper respiratory tract infections
• Stage III: includes unexplained chronic diarrhea for longer than a month, severe bacterial infections and pulmonary tuberculosis
• Stage IV: includes toxoplasmosis of the brain, candidiasis of the esophagus, trachea, bronchi or lungs and Kaposi's sarcoma; these diseases are indicators of AIDS.

CAUSE

Sexual transmission occurs with the contact between sexual secretions of one person with the rectal, genital or oral mucous membranes of another. Unprotected sexual acts are riskier for the receptive partner than for the insertive partner, and the risk for transmitting HIV through unprotected anal intercourse is greater than the risk from vaginal intercourse or oral sex.
transmission route is particularly relevant to intravenous drug users, hemophiliacs and recipients of blood transfusions and blood products. Sharing and reusing syringes contaminated with HIV-infected blood represents a major risk for infection with HIV.

The transmission of the virus from the mother to the child can occur in utero during the last weeks of pregnancy and at childbirth. In the absence of treatment, the transmission rate between a mother and her child during pregnancy, labor and delivery is 25%.


DIAGNOSIS

HIV tests are usually performed on venous blood. Many laboratories use fourth generation screening tests which detect anti-HIV antibody (IgG and IgM) and the HIV p24 antigen


PREVENTION
The three main transmission routes of HIV are sexual contact, exposure to infected body fluids or tissues, and from mother to fetus or child during perinatal period. The majority of HIV infections are acquired through unprotected sexual relations between partners, one of whom has HIV. During a sexual act, only male or female condoms can reduce the risk of infection with HIV and other STDs. The male latex condom, if used correctly without oil-based lubricants, is the single most effective available technology to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Female condoms are commonly made from polyurethane, but are also made from nitrile and latex. They are larger than male condoms and have a stiffened ring-shaped opening with an inner ring designed to be inserted into the vagina keeping the condom in place; inserting the female condom requires squeezing this ring. Female condoms have been shown to be an important HIV prevention strategy

TREATMENT
Current treatment for HIV infection consists of highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART. Current optimal HAART options consist of combinations (or "cocktails") consisting of at least three drugs belonging to at least two types, or "classes," of antiretroviral agents.
An HIV vaccine is the theoretical vaccine which would be given to persons without HIV in order to vaccinate them against getting HIV, the virus which causes AIDS. No effective vaccine against HIV exists. As there is no known cure for AIDS, the search for a vaccine has become part of medical approaches against the disease. There is evidence that a vaccine may be possible. Work with monoclonal antibodies (MAb) has proven that the human body can defend itself against HIV, and certain individuals remain asymptomatic for decades after HIV infection.


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