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The Basics of HIV and AIDS Prevention!

Dr. Ajay Kumar Pujala 92% (141 ratings)
FHM Fellowship In HIV Medicine, MD, MBBS
HIV Specialist, Hyderabad  •  20 years experience
The Basics of HIV and AIDS Prevention!

AIDS also termed as Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome is a serious condition affecting people worldwide. Caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), the retrovirus is known to attack the CD-4 cells (T-cells) wreaking havoc on the immune system. As a result, the body's ability to fight various diseases (including the HIV infection) gets affected.

An important point to be noted is that HIV infections do not always result in AIDS. The virus triggers an HIV Infection that gradually develops into AIDS. In fact, an HIV infected person can lead a normal life (AIDS do not occur) through timely diagnosis and treatment. In this article, we will discuss the essential steps that can play a pivotal role in HIV prevention.

HIV and AIDS Prevention
For an effective preventive measure, one should first understand the mode of spread of the HIV infection and AIDS.

For the transmission of the HIV infection, certain fluids such as the semen, vaginal secretions, or the blood of the infected person must enter the body of a healthy person. This transmission can take place in many ways, the most common of which include:

  • Transfusion of the infected blood into a healthy person.
  • Having unprotected sex with an HIV infected person.
  • From the infected mother to the fetus or from the lactating mother to the baby (through breastfeeding).
  • Sharing of needles can also play a pivotal role in the transmission of the HIV infection.

Having mentioned the various modes of transmission of the HIV infection, a little alertness and certain precautionary measures can work wonders to prevent the spread of this life-threatening disease.

  • No matter how much you trust and love your partner, never go for unprotected sex. In addition to preventing unwanted pregnancies, condom also acts as a protective shield safeguarding one from the HIV infection and other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Also if you are suffering from HIV infection or AIDS, make sure your partner knows about the same. Keeping them in the dark will only complicate things further.
  • It is a safe practice to get the donor blood tested before a transfusion.
  • Always ensure that the needle you are using is new or properly sterilized.
  • A pregnant woman should be extra careful. A small negligence can cause her and the baby dearly. Be in regular touch with your attending physician and get all the necessary medications and treatments done.
  • For some people who are more susceptible to the HIV infection, a drug known as TRUVADA ( a combination of emtricitabine-tenofovir) can be highly effective. However, the drug is not advisable for people with Hepatitis B or renal problems. A person already HIV- infected may also not benefit from this drug.
  • An HIV- infected should undergo regular health checkups and screenings to avoid any further complications and aggravation of the condition.

An HIV or AIDS patient is a normal human being like us. Don't isolate them or treat them as untouchables. Let them also live with dignity and pride. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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