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HIV/AIDS - Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Precautions And Home Remedies

Last Updated: Jun 25, 2021

What is AIDS?

AIDS known as the Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a life-threatening condition which is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This is an autoimmune disease which damages the immune system, and thus interferes with the body's ability to fight the organisms that causes disease.

HIV is a virus that focuses on infecting the immune system thereby increasing the risk of the body being thrown to several other infections and diseases and intensifies the impact of existing infections as well. Without proper treatment, the infection might progress and attain an advanced stage, which is AIDS. Once the HIV infection develops into this stage, then the person is at greater risk.

This particular virus breaks down the cells present in the immune system thereby making it weak. Without treatment, the HIV infection will easily develop into AIDS who given the fact that the immune system gradually loses its strength. HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). By the end of 2015, the people who have been infected with HIV has been reported to be 1,122,900. The figures from 2016 show an estimate of 18,160 being diagnosed with AIDS. As of now, there has been no cure identified for AIDS and the research is under progress.

What are the Symptoms of Aids?

Mostly, infections given by other viruses, bacteria, fungi or any other parasite might cause symptoms that are more severe to that of HIV. These conditions usually improved further with people suffering from HIV then and in the individuals who have a healthy immune system.

If the immune system is properly functioning, then it would automatically protect the body against the advanced effects of such infections while the people suffering from HIV will have the HIV virus disrupting the good deeds of the immune system.

What is the difference between AIDS and HIV?

HIV also called human immunodeficiency virus invades the immune system of the body and if not treated at an early stage, it develops into AIDS.

However, AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is an umbrella term for the disorder that occurs because of the non-treatment of HIV. The symptoms and disorders stay life long and are life-threatening.

Can a person be HIV positive and not have AIDS?

Yes, it is possible to be HIV positive and not have AIDS as it is caused by the progression of HIV. Because there is no cure, HIV stays in the body forever, even if it does not develop into AIDS.

Is HIV Another name for AIDS?

HIV is not another name for AIDS. HIV or human immunodeficiency virus infects the body’s immune system and develops into AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome which is an umbrella term for all the disorders that occur because of the virus and weakened immune system.

What is the Cause of AIDS?

HIV is usually caused by a virus, which might spread through blood, sexual contact, breastfeeding, childbirth or from a mother who has HIV to her child during pregnancy. In order for a person to be infected with HIV, the infected semen, blood or vaginal secretions must have entered the body. This could happen in several ways including sexual intercourse, blood transfusions, sharing needles or pregnant and childbirth. HIV is usually transmitted only in these ways.

Coming into contact with the person who is suffering from HIV does not necessarily mean the virus will be transmitted to the another. Mostly, sexual intercourse and sharing of needles used by one already are two common methods with which the HIV is transmitted. Once the virus is transmitted to another person by any of the above-mentioned ways, it starts reducing the power of the immune system to protect the body from any kind of infection or cancer.

How Does Hiv Aids Spread?

  • Engaging in anal or vaginal intercourse with an infected person without wearing a condom.
  • Sharing syringes and needles with someone who already has hiv aids.
  • Being punctured with a surgical instrument or a needle which is contaminated with HIV infected blood.
  • Sharing syringes and needles with someone who already has HIV aids.
  • Babies can develop HIV aids from their mothers who have already been infected during breastfeeding or birth.
  • Hiv aids cannot be transmitted by hugging, sharing drinking glasses or kissing.
  • Babies can develop HIV aids from their mothers who have already been infected during breastfeeding or birth.


What are the Universal Precautions of HIV AIDS?

If the OIs can be prevented, general life expectancy can be improved for people who suffer from late-stage HIV. Apart from the management of the HIV virus with the help of medication, the person is expected to take some precautions. Wearing condoms can help prevent STDs.

The vaccinations must be taken for potential OIs, which can be discussed with your physician. The patient must be able to understand that the germs that Surround the environment it could only worsen the situation. The person must limit their exposure and take relevant precautions with protective gloves especially when they are changing the litter. The foods that are already at risk of contamination should be strictly avoided. The patient must ask their physician regarding their vacation activities to make sure they limit their exposure to potential OIs.

What are the Diagnostic Criteria for AIDS?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that one in every 7 all diagnosed with HIV in America and are unaware of the status. It is important for the patient to understand their HIV status to ensure that they come in the treatment at the earliest and try preventing the development of the virus that will lead to severe immune difficulties and other infections.

HIV can be detected with a specific blood test. The blood is again tested before a positive result is confirmed. Retesting is necessary to make sure that is a definite diagnosis. If the people have the risk of infection with the last six month then the immediate test will be taken and another test will be conducted after a few weeks.

What are the Different Treatment Available for AIDS?

As of now, no cure is available for HIV or AIDS. There are treatments that can stop the progression of the problem and help most people suffering from HIV to have the opportunity to live a longer and sometimes a healthy life.

Starting the tests early during the progression of the virus is important to improve the quality of life and it is likely to improve the life expectancy and reduces the risk of transmission. The treatment methodologies have evolved to be more effective and tolerant to make sure that the AIDS-infected patience lives the quality lifestyle.

Home Remedies for Treatment of HIV AIDS

There are no such home remedies that can be taken as a treatment for AIDS. However, the doctor might suggest eating healthy foods including fresh fruits and vegetables and improvising the protein content to make sure of the strong and healthy lifestyle. This will help the person gain the energy to support the immune system to fight back.

Raw meat, eggs, and uncooked food must be avoided given the fact that foodborne illnesses are common for people who have been infected with HIV. Some herbal remedies are also being considered as alternative forms of medicine and as a natural way to treat AIDS.

What are the Last Stages of AIDS?

AIDS is already an advanced stage of HIV infection and it usually happens when the CD4 T-cell Number drops down to 200 and less. There are chances that the patient will be diagnosed with AIDS in case they are suffering from the illness is that define HIV AIDS such as Kaposi’s Sarcoma or Pneumonia.

In case the patient does not have an idea that they have been infected with HIV already, then being weary all the time, night sweats, unintentional weight loss, swollen lymph nodes, long-lasting diarrhoea and unexplained bleeding are to some reasons to take up the HIV test.

What are the 4 stages of HIV infection?

The 4 stages of HIV infection are:

  1. Stage 1:Infection, at this stage the virus starts replicating inside the body after the infection. the progression of septic abortion may also include flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat, rash. At the first stage of HIV infection, the body also starts to make antibodies against it, called ‘seroconversion’
  2. Stage 2:Asymptomatic, this is the stage of HIV infection in which there are no excellent symptoms of the disease. The patient looks and feels healthy, however, at the same time the virus is weakening the immune system. This page will last for several years (approximately 9 to 10 years), and without a proper HIV test the patient won’t even know that they are infected.
  3. Stage 3:Symptomatic, at this stage the immune system is completely damaged by the virus. The symptoms also start to appear, they may be mild in the beginning and usually stimulated by an opportunistic infection such as TB, PCP, kaposi sarcoma. The symptoms include weight loss, thrush, fatigue, mouth ulcers, diarrhoea.
  4. Stage 4:The progression of AIDS.

Can HIV be cured at an early stage?

In some studies, it has been found that rapid treatment after the diagnosis of AIDS may be enough to ‘functionally cure’ about the 10th of people diagnosed early with HIV.

About 14 people who underwent the study were able to function normally and their body could control the virus after their early diagnosis of the disease.

Is HIV the first stage of AIDS?

HIV is a virus that infects and weakens the immune system and at its last stage advances into AIDS. Thus, HIV is not considered the first stage of AIDS.

Who is most at risk for HIV?

HIV affects anyone regardless of race, age, gender sexual orientation, ethnicity, or geographical location. According to the CDC, the groups with a high risk of HIV infection are:

  1. Risk by sexual orientation
    • HIV and Gay and Bisexual Men
  2. Risk by gender
    • HIV and Pregnant Women, infants, and Children
    • HIV and Men
    • HIV and Transgender People
    • HIV and Women
  3. Risk by age
    • HIV and People Aged 50 and Older
    • HIV and Youth
  4. Risk and substance use
    • HIV and People Who Inject Drugs


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Written ByDr. Rlv Phani Kumar Diploma in Diabetes,MD,MBBSInternal Medicine
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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