Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is a virus that weakens the immune system by destroying the cells that fight off disease or infection. The progressive destruction of the CD4 cells, which are the primary infection-fighting cells of the immune system, making it progressively difficult for the body to fight off infection. Eventually, opportunistic infections and cancers may arise, evidencing the progression from HIV to AIDS, also known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. There is currently no cure for HIV, and without proper treatment, HIV can lead to AIDS.
It is vital to understand that HIV is not transmitted through air, water, saliva, sweat, tears, insects, or sharing toilets, food, or drink. Instead, it is transmitted through HIV infected bodily fluids, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. Sexual activity, childbirth, breastfeeding, and shared needle syringes are well-known methods for spreading HIV. Appropriate strategies to prevent HIV include abstinence, limiting the number of sexual partners, never sharing needles, and using condoms correctly.
Symptoms of HIV and AIDS, the diagnostic process, as well as the treatment options, will be discussed in the following series. Stay tuned tomorrow for the next installment. If you believe you are at the risk for HIV, talk to online doctor for consultation at home.