HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS

Signs and symptoms of HIV

Initial infection may cause minor illness or none at all. These early symptoms can typically include:

 Flu like symptoms

 Generalized lymph node enlargement

 Fatigue and dizziness

How is HIV transmitted?

The HIV virus can be found in blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. Sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal and oral) is the most common mode of transmission is vaginal intercourse but in the US, Canada and UK, HIV is more commonly spread among gay men. Contaminated blood and blood products – before compulsory screening was introduced for donated blood, after the virus had been identified in 1981, thousands of people with hemophilia became infected with HIV. Routine screening in many countries has made this much rarer.

 From mother to child-Transmission can occur either in the womb via the placenta, during birth or through breastfeeding.

 Contaminated needles- Intravenous drug-users often share needles; this route to infection is a common one in the US and Europe.

 Needle stick injuries- healthcare workers can become infected with HIV if they accidentally injure themselves on a needle contaminated with HIV positive blood from patients.

 Tattoo- some tattooist may use the same needle for several customers, which could result in the infection.

HIV infection typically progresses through three stages:

1. In the first stage, when a person has just been infected, the virus starts to reproduce rapidly. Some people experience flu-like symptoms for a week or two at this time others have no symptoms at all. It can be weeks or sometimes up to a year before testing can be made sure of due to the amount of HIV antibodies in the system.

2. In stage two, there is an asymptomatic period(no symptoms). This may last for around 10 years. Further deterioration in the immune system generally follows, due to falling level of white blood cells.

3. The third stage often called “AIDS defining conditions.” Is a person reached full blown AIDS, most HIV positive people go on to develop AIDS but a few do not. Although there is no permanent cure for HIV or AIDS, there are medications that can significantly delay the progression of this condition. If you have had many sexual partners and or think you might be a possible candidate for this disease, you should not take it lightly. You should consult your doctor or anyone from Dr. Paul’s clinic for a confidential testing.

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