(1) The life cycle of the HIV virus.
What changes are made by the HIV virus in the human body? The immune system is affected when the HIV virus enters the human body. HIV virus attacks the various cells of the human body but mainly it attacks C.D.-4 cells of a body which are highly important for the immune system.
(2) The immune system of the human body.
The human body has a strong immune system & when any germs, bacteria or virus attacks the body, the body resists to destroy it in a proper way thereby protecting the body against the diseases. This is the main function of the immune system. C.D.-4 cells are useful for protection against many diseases. The HIV virus attacks the C.D.-4 cells & reduces its strength in a body. HIV virus is stronger than C.D.-4 cells. Normally the strength of C.D.-4 cells is 400-1500. It goes on reducing after the attack of the HIV virus. C.D.-4 cells are reduced to less than 200 within 8-10 years & this increases the chances of diseases like cancer & T.B. This situation is termed as AIDS.
(3) Stages of HIV infection.
If one is HIV infected & does not accept any treatment, he is vulnerable to AIDS. If the treatment is not made even after AIDS, death is sure within two years. AIDS can be cured with proper medicines but HIV can never be cured.
The good news is that presently available Retroviral Therapy is very effective. It can reduce the virus of HIV up to more than 99% which results in sustaining the immunity & thereby preventing the other diseases & protecting against AIDS.
The stages of HIV are as under. The occurrence of a stage depends on various factors. The occurrence of a stage varies from patient to patient.
Symptoms of viral fever are observed within 2 to 4 weeks of HIV infection. It includes fever, swelling on the lymph gland, throat swelling, skin infection, muscular & joint pain, excessive fatigue, headache, etc. This stage is known as Acute Retroviral syndrome or primary HIV infection.
In this stage, the chances of infection through the sexual relations & needles are very high as the number of virus in the blood is as high as millions in 1 ml of blood.
This stage is known by various names like, Clinical Latency or Asymptomatic HIV infection or Chronic HIV infection in
which no symptoms or troubles of HIV are seen. This stage can continue for 8 to 10 years. In this stage the number of virus is less than that in the zero stage & growth of virus is also very slow. Generally, the number of C.D.-4 cells of a body reduces by 35-50 every year.
In this stage also HIV infection can be transferred from HIV positive to HIV negative. The infection can occur even if the treatment is on but the chances are very less.
If treatment is not started in this stage, the virus shall go on growing & C.D.-4 cells shall go on reducing. After that the symptoms of HIV shall be seen.
In this stage, various symptoms of HIV shall be seen but the number of C.D.-4 cells is more than 200. In this, the patient suffers the same disease frequently or no treatment cures the disease. In this patient suffers fever, loss of appetite, loss of weight, skin infection, frequent cold & cough, urine infection, venereal diseases.
STAGE THREE aids
When the number of C.D.-4 cells is reduced to less than 200, the chances of infection of serious diseases are high which is known as an opportunistic infection. Thus, the combination of reduced C.D.-4 cells, presence of HIV virus & the presence of opportunistic infection is known as AIDS. If the patient is not given any treatment even in this stage, the death is believed to be sure within 2 years. If the treatment is started after AIDS, there exists a chance of cure & healthy life but if the treatment starts at the early stage of HIV, the AIDS can be prevented & one can live a healthy & long life.
(4) Factors for prevention or growth of the disease.
The time for the change in the stage of the disease differs from person to person. It depends on various factors like heredity, the health of a person before HIV infection, the detection period after the infection, the time for starting the treatment after detection, the regularity of the medicines & consultation the routine & habits of a patient, etc.
Factors reducing the period between HIV infection & AIDS.
Type of HIV
Irregular medicinal intake
Factors increasing the period between HIV infection & AIDS.
Regular & punctual medications.
Follow the guidelines of a doctor
To take care of own self
Keep away from addiction
Regular blood tests.
By suitable decisions & obeying the rules, one can prevent AIDS in spite of HIV infection.
As mentioned earlier, by regular Retroviral Therapy, the number of HIV virus can be reduced to less than 99% & damage to the cells C.D.-4 related to immunity of a body can be minimized. By proper treatment, diseases combined with AIDS can be abolished but one cannot be free of HIV. Important thing is that by timely detection & early treatment one can have a healthy & long life. The slogan “Early detection, healthy & full life” is worth remembrance.
But every person may not be lucky to have early detection of HIV. Some are detected to have HIV in its last stage i.e. in the stage of AIDS. This means that he had HIV infection till now & the detection is delayed. At this stage, the damage caused by the HIV virus has reached its maximum. Such people need to have immediate treatment.
(5) Treatment of HIV
HIV treatment cannot be availed with any general doctors. HIV treatment can be obtained from HIV experts, some M.D. doctors or some skin specialists. If your Family doctor does not provide HIV treatment, you should consult specialists.
Every person suffering from HIV has the right to have a healthy & full life with proper treatment. All hospitals, doctors provide proper treatment to HIV patients without any differentiation. If such patients need to go to other doctors for some other treatment, they must inform the doctor regarding the on-going treatment of HIV to facilitate the proper decision of treatment & medications. This will not affect the on-going treatment of HIV.