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diseaseconditions.peperonity.net

◆ AIDS / HIV

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=>GENERAL INFORMATION:
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AIDS is an acronym for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.
AIDS is the final stage of HIV virus infection.
In HIV infected patients, the immune system is very much impaired and their immune system cannot fight infection.
HIV is an acronym for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

"AIDS is an epidemic disease, a potentially preventable, deadly infection for which there is no cure, no vaccine, and it is not under control."

THE ‘SILENT BUT LETHAL TSUNAMI’ OF ASIA

Asia has always been looked at by outsiders as the land of mystic magic, serine breath taking beauty, and the harmonious central key to getting in touch with the spiritual side of humanity. However there is more to this large sub-continent then what meets the eye at first glance.
The AIDS virus has been silently threatening all of Asia. Its spread is rapid and deadly. One in four new infections occur in Asia every day. 1,500 persons effected with the virus die here every day. What is extremely alarming is that the disease has already spread into several provinces of the world’s most populated country – China. India too is not far behind; it’s name and presently the top in the list of Asia’s affected countries.

The UN estimates that 8.2 million people are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Asia. And about 5.1 million of them are from India. The Chinese government in a report said that there are as many as 840,000 patients in China suffering from the infection. These figures are staggering when we look at them worldwide. Approximately 39 million people have HIV/AIDS, including 25 million in sub-Saharan Africa.

In Asia, the AIDS epidemic is still mainly affecting the vulnerable groups such as injecting drug users, the sex workers and the homosexuals. However, it is now slowly finding its way into the general population.

=>EPIDEMIOLOGY:
---------------

"AIDS is an epidemic disease, a potentially preventable, deadly infection for which there is no cure, no vaccine, and it is not under control."
More than 40 million people worldwide, are infected with HIV/AIDS and more than 3.1 million AIDS-related deaths occurred worldwide each year. Women are more affected by the virus than men. The Incidence of AIDS is higher in South Africa and the World AIDS Day campaign (December 1st) is aimed to raise awareness about AIDS. AIDS is the clinical manifestations or disease symptoms occurring due to HIV infection. Immune compromised stage of the infected person manifests this end stage.

=>SPREAD OF HIV VIRUS:
--------------------

The HIV virus can spread through:

>Sex with HIV infected person.
>Blood
>Shared needles
>HIV positive mother to her child

Some people infected with HIV may not develop AIDS for ten years or longer, but during this period, the infected person might not feel sick but can still pass the virus to other people.

=>DISEASE PROGRESSION:
-------------------

The course of HIV infection and disease progression may span for a decade.

>Stages of HIV infections include:

1) Primary infection
2) Dissemination of virus to lymphoid organs
3) Clinical latency
4) Induction of HIV expression
5) Clinical disease
6) Death

>The duration between primary infection and progression to clinical disease averages about 10 years.

>Death usually occurs within 2 years after the onset of clinical symptoms.

>Following primary infection, viral replication occurs and the virus in blood (viremia) is detectable for about 8-12 weeks.

>Virus is widely disseminated throughout the body during this time, and the lymphoid organs become affected.

=>SYMPTOMS:
----------

>Stage 1:
No Symptoms - In the first stages of HIV, the symptoms don't show up People can live with AIDS for years without knowing it Blood tests will show antibodies after they form to fight the AIDS virus, but it takes the antibodies three months to appear.

That means that if you take a blood test right after you have sex, the virus won't show up for another three months

>Stage 2:
Mild Illness - At this stage, the virus grows within the white blood cells and destroys them.

When most of the cells are destroyed, the immune system is destroyed and the body weakens.
Some symptoms they might have include

1) Feeling tired
2) Weight Loss
3) General symptoms of - cough, diarrhea, fever, or sweating at night

>Stage 3:
Severe Illness - By this time, the AIDS virus has nearly destroyed the body's immune system
The body has great difficulty fighting off germs.
Also, patients can develop a rare type of cancer called "Kaposi's Sarcoma".
AIDS doesn't kill anyone, but other infections and cancer do.

=>CLINICAL MENIFES:
------------------

AIDS is characterized by a pronounced suppression of the immune system and the development of unusual neoplasms and wide variety of severe opportunistic infections.

The more serious symptoms in adults are often followed by diarrhea and dwindling that can induce:

1) Fatigue.
2) Malaise.
3) Weight loss.
4) Fever.
5) Shortness of breath.
6) Chronic diarrhea White patches on the tongue (hairy leukoplakia, oral candidiasis)
7) Lymphadenopathy.
8) Disease symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus to the colon are common.
The period between primary infection with HIV and the first appearance of clinical disease is usually long in adults, averaging about 10 years.
Death occurs about 2 years later after clinical appearance of disease.

=>DIAGNOSIS:
------------

Isolation and Identification of Virus:
The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) can be used to detect HIV, DNA and RNA virus in test samples.
HIV can be cultured from lymphocytes in peripheral blood. The number of circulating infected cells varies with the stage of diseases.
Higher titers of virus are found in the plasma and in peripheral blood cells of patients with AIDS.

HIV can be grown in lymphocyte cultures containing abundant CD4-reactive larger cells. Primary isolates of HIV grow very slowly compared with laboratory-adapted strains.

Viral infection is quantified by:

1. Reverse transcriptase assay, which measures the enzyme activity of released HIV particles.

2. Indirect Immunofluoresence assay, which measures the percentage of infected cells

3. Cell fusion assay, which measures the capability of the virus to produce cell fusion and subsequent cell death.

>Serology/ Blood Test:
Test kits are commercially available for measuring antibodies by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).
>Immunofluoresence
>Radio-immunoprecipitation assays
>Western blot techniques - in which antibodies to HIV proteins of specific molecular weights can be detected.
>Antibodies to viral core protein p24 or envelope glycoproteins gp41, gp120, or gp160 are most commonly detected.

=>TREATMANT:
------------

Treatment strategy for AIDS virus involves the following principles:

1. To have an effective drug that kills the HIV virus once it enters the body.

2. To create a vaccine that would prevent the disease.

3. To educate people world wide about the dangers of AIDS and how to prevent the HIV infection.

On these principles current treatment against AIDS aims at:

>Anti-HIV (also called antiretroviral) medications are used to control the reproduction of the virus and to slow the progression of HIV-related disease.

>Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) is the recommended treatment for HIV infection.

> HAART combines three or more anti-HIV medications in a daily regimen.

>Anti-HIV medications do not cure HIV infection and individuals taking these medications can still transmit HIV to others.

=>DRUGS FOR AIDS:
----------------

.Zidovudine
.Amantadine
.Indinavir
.Abacavir
.Lamivudine
.Stavudine

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