The AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is the late stage of infection due to HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV infection is chronic, so it is not curable.
The cells contain two types of nucleic acid, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA (ribonucleic acid). These two nucleic acids differ in structure and functions.
Among the main differences are:
- It contains the genetic information
- It consists of a double helix
- It contains deoxyribose sugar
- The nitrogenous bases that contain are Adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine
- It consists of a single propeller
- It contains the sugar ribose
- The nitrogenous bases are adenine containing, uracil, guanine and cytosine
- It is present in different forms, each specializing in a certain function, messenger RNA (mRNA), transcription of RNA (tRNA), ribosomal RNA (rRNA)
The HIV is a retrovirus, or is a virus that, for genetic material, but has the RNA, to complete the infective cycle, must transform the RNA into DNA, through a process known as reverse transcriptase.
After infection HIV attacks and weakens the immune system rapidly multiplying in the blood stream and, therefore, in the lymph nodes. When the body begins to react to the infection, symptoms of an influenza-type. For a period more or less along the antibodies manage to cope with the infection but, with the passing of time, the immune system is weakened and no longer able to fight the virus. The infection late stage sees the decline of CD4 lymphocytes that are no longer able to defend the body from certain types of infections and diseases.
How is HIV transmitted?
HIV is a sexually transmitted virus. The infected body fluids are potentially infectious, including:
- Vaginal secretions
- Breast milk
The infection can occur:
- By sexual contact, unprotected sex potentially put at risk of infection;
- By blood, through the exchange of syringes, not sterile medical instruments, blood transfusions, etc.
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What are the most common symptoms of HIV?
The most common symptoms are:
- Fever (high temperature)
- Burning throat
- Articolar pains
- Muscle aches
- Enlarged axillary lymph nodes, groin and other body areas
- Weight loss
- Recurring fever or profuse night sweats
- Extreme fatigue and unexplained
- Oral ulcers and / or genitals
- Chronic diarrhea
- Recurrent infections
- Memory loss, depression and other neurological disorders
It should specify that, those described above, are common symptoms in various clinical conditions, and not only to HIV.
Initial symptoms may disappear for several years. During this time, known as asymptomatic HIV infection, the virus continues to be active, causing a progressive damage to the immune system. This process can take about 10 years, during which the individual appears healthy.
A diagnosis precoc and treatment specific to HIV can prevent serious deterioration of the disease.
The symptoms of HIV vary, depending on the individual and at what stage of the disease you are:
- Initial phase
- Phase of clinical latency
- Late phase (full-blown AIDS)
About two weeks after infection, 80% of cases, you may experience flu-like symptoms ( as interconversion illness ). They are a sign that the immune system is putting up a fight against the virus. The subject is called”HIV positive”.
The phase of clinical latency of HIV
After the initial phase of HIV infection, the disease is directed toward the “phase of clinical latency” (chronic HIV infection) during which the HIV virus is active but you play slowly. The phase of clinical latency of HIV infection may be asymptomatic and may last for a decade or more, or a few months.
Already the phase of clinical latency provides a treatment called anti-retroviral therapy, or ART. The medications for HIV treatment will help keep the virus under control.
It is important to remember that the subjects in clinical latency, even if asymptomatic, can transmit HIV to other individuals.
The late phase (full-blown AIDS)
The HIV-infected patients who do not undergo antiretroviral therapy are at high risk of developing the AIDS, the late stage of infection with HIV, the virus kills so many CD4 to allow opportunistic infections to hit the body that is not more capable of fighting even trivial infections.
“How do I know if I have HIV?”
The only way to know if you have been infected with HIV is to get tested. Who presents the symptoms and at the same time, thought to have been at risk of HIV infection in recent weeks, should undergo the specific test for HIV.
Living with HIV
The phase of clinical latency of HIV infection may be asymptomatic and may last several years, during which the subject can live normally. In this period, however, the person can infect other individuals and, therefore, must use the proper precautions for the prevention of the infection to other people.
The symptoms associated with AIDS, is not very simple to deal with. In any case, it is the asymptomatic early stage or late stage (far more serious condition), subjects infected and unaware of their condition can be exposed to a higher risk in relation to mental illness.