Everything we need to know about the HIV virus, the status of AIDS and people with it

How does AIDS develop?
AIDS can occur some time after the introduction of the HIV virus (human immunodeficiency virus) into the body, provided that conditions are favorable. This interval, between the introduction of the HIV virus into the body and the possible occurrence of the condition of AIDS, may sometimes last up to ten years, or even more.

The HIV virus attacks the immune system after entering the body, the target of which is a type of white blood cell that is called CD4 cells and is responsible for protecting the body against the onset of microorganisms, opportunistic infections and cancers.

In general, the lower the number of CD4 cells in the blood, the immune system becomes weaker. If the number of CD4 cells in each ml of blood reaches less than 200, it is said that the condition of the AIDS has occurred.

The condition of the AIDS has two phases: primary (acute) and secondary (chronic):
1. Primary infection (acute HIV)
Most people, one to two months after the introduction of the HIV virus, show symptoms similar to those in the cold, with symptoms like fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, rash, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes (mostly in the lower abdomen). It should be noted that the first and foremost sign of the HIV virus is swollen lymph nodes, but it should also be noted that swollen lymph nodes are not always due to the presence of the virus in the lymph fluid and may have other causes.

It is also worth reminding that it may sometimes be mild symptoms, but at the same time, the number of viruses in the blood is high, which is the reason why the virus is rapidly increasing in the blood. Because there is no serious symptom, no therapeutic action is taken and the virus is rapidly reproduced in the blood.

2. Stable clinical infection (chronic HIV)
This stage shows some people with swollen lymph nodes. But in general, this stage of the AIDS situation has no clear sign. At this stage, the HIV virus is infecting white blood cells. Since the task of the white blood cells is to defend the body against infections, the immune system is weakening in this situation. With the continued weakening of the immune system, it shows a new stage in the state of AIDS.

The onset of infection or cancer is due to the weakening of the immune system by the HIV virus
As the immune system becomes weaker, the body may become infected in different parts of the body, including mucous membranes in the oral area, or symptoms such as fever, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, and weight loss.

Due to the weakness of the immune system, the occurrence of some infections and cancers may lead to death. Here, it is important to note that AIDS is not considered a disease itself, but rather a stage between the introduction of the HIV virus into the body and then the occurrence of some infections and cancers. The performance cycle of this virus is as follows:

The entry of the HIV virus into the body
Immune System (AIDS)
Infection and cancer
Death
How is HIV released?
To get infected with the HIV virus, blood, semen or vaginal discharge should be brought into your body from someone infected with the HIV virus. This transfer may occur in the following ways:

Oral, anal, or vaginal sex with an infected person, as the blood, semen, or vaginal fluid of an infected person is transmitted to your body.
Receiving blood from an infected person in the process of blood transfusion in the hospital
The use of a commonly infected syringe, people who inject drugs or drugs, if they use a syringe or needle infected with the HIV virus, will be transmitted to their bodies.
Transmission from mother to child, mothers infected with HIV during pregnancy or breastfeeding can transmit the virus at different stages, pregnancy, delivery, lactation, their fetus or their baby.
Important tips about the spread of AIDS in the body
People infected with HIV will significantly reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus, and similar viruses that are transmitted as ping pongs, if they use condoms when they have sex. Infections caused by microorganisms such as the HIV virus (the agent of HIV), the HCV virus (the agent of hepatitis), the gonococcal bacterium (a causative agent of gonorrhea infection), which can be transmitted through sexual intercourse to a sexual partner, the so-called ping pong. Therefore, using a condom to minimize the transmission of these microbial agents is very effective.

Today, given the precise testing of blood donations in blood transfusion centers, the likelihood of using contaminated blood for blood-borne individuals is minimal.

Mothers who are infected with HIV during pregnancy or breastfeeding, if they are under medical care during this period, will not transmit the HIV virus to their fetus or infant. Therefore, women infected with the HIV virus can be pregnant and give birth to a healthy baby under the supervision of a doctor.

In general, HIV transmission is not limited to sex, age, race, or sexual orientation. However, the transmission of this virus to gay men may occur more than other groups. Also, the likelihood of getting infected with the virus increases in people who have more than one partner.

People who have a wound in the genital area (due to some infections) are at risk of being infected. In fact, the wound, like the open door, opens the way the virus enters the body. Studies have also shown that in men who have not circumcised, the risk of transmission of HIV is higher.

Who will not get the HIV virus?
Having regular relationships with people infected with the HIV virus, such as talking, hanging, hugging, kissing, and exercising.

References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/17131.php

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Sara Khani

Sara Khani

کارشناس میکروبیولوژی

Microbiology expert