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HIV WHAT IS IT?

Preparing Heroin Dose

In the beginning it was thought that HIV/AIDS was a Gay/Homosexual disease. As the studies and treatment progressed, it was quickly realized that this wasnot true. if you are dabbling in drugs, you could be dabbling with your life. It has been determined that it can be transmitted through intravenous drug use.It is truly tragic the way that it has spread all over the country and infected and killed so many people. There was a time when the infection was consideredan automatic death sentence.

"Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)"

is a lentivirus (a member of the retrovirus family) that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome(AIDS), a condition in humans in which the the immune system begins to fail, leading to life threatening opportunistic infections. Infection with the virusoccurs by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virusparticles and virus within infected immune cells.

HIV infection in humans is considered pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The diagnosis of AIDS in a person infected with the virus is based on the presence of certain signs or symptoms. Since June 5, 1981, many definitions have beendeveloped for epidemiological surveillance such as the Bangui definition and the 1994 expanded World Health Organization AIDS case definition.

The four major routes of transmission are unsafe sex, contaminated needles, breast milk, and transmission from an infected mother to her baby at birth.Screening of blood products for virus has largely eliminated transmission through blood transfusion or infected blood products in the developed world.

Complacency about the virus may have played a key role in virus risk. From its discovery in 1981 to 2006, AIDS killed more than 25 million people. The virus infects about0.6% of the world's population. In 2005, AIDS claimed an estimated 2.4--3.3 million lives, of which more than 570,000 were children. A third of these deathsoccurred in Sub-Saharan Africa, retarding economic growth and increasing poverty.

It spreads readily through heterosexual sex in Africa.The transmission route is particularly relevant to intravenous drug users, hemophiliacs andrecipients of blood transfusions and blood products. Sharing and reusing syringes contaminated with infected blood represents a major risk for infection.

Needle sharing is the cause of one third of all new infections in North America, China and Eastern Europe. The risk of being infected with the virus from asingle prick with a needle that has been used on an infected person is thought to be in 1 in 150. Post-exposure prophylaxis with anti-virus drugs canfurther reduce this risk

This route can also infect people who give and receive tattoos and piercings. Universal precautions are frequently not allowed in both Sub-SaharanAfrica and much of Asia because of both shortage of supplies and inadequate training.

Go From HIV To Tuberculosis

SEXUAL CONTACT

The three main transmission routes of the virus are sexual contact, exposure to infected body fluids or tissues, and from mother to fetus or child perinatalperiod. It is possible to find HIV in the saliva, tears, and urine of infected individuals, but there is no recorded cases of infection by these secretions,and the risk of infection is negligible.

Anti-retroviral treatment of infected patients also significantly reduces their ability to transmit HIV to others, by reducing the amount of virus in their bodily fluids detectable levels.

The majority of virus infections are acquired through unprotected sexual relations between partners, one of whom has HIV. The primary mode of virus infection worldwide is through sexual contact between members of the opposite sex.

During the sexual act, only male or female condoms can reduce the risk of infection and other STDs. The best evidence to date indicates thattypical condom use reduces the risk of heterosexual HIV transmission by approximately 80% over the long term, though the benefits is likely to be higherif condoms are used correctly on every occasion.

The male latex condom, if used correctly without oil-based lubricants, is the single most effective available technology to reduce the sexual transmissionof the virus and other sexually transmitted infections. Manufacturers recommend that oil based lubricants such as petroleum, jelly, butter, and lard not be usedwith latex condoms, because they dissolve the latex, making the condom pourous.

Female condoms are commonly made from polyurethane, but are also made from nitrile and latex. They are larger than male condoms and have a stiffenedring-shaped opening with an inner ring designed to be inserted into the vagina keeping the condom in place, inserting the female condom requires squeezingthis ring.

Studies on couples where on partner is infected show that with consistent condom use, HIV infection rates for the uninfected partner are below 1% per year.Prevention strategies are well known in developed countries, but behavioral studies in Europe and North America suggest that a substantial minority ofyoung people continue to engage in high-risk practices despite virus knowledge, underestimating their own risk of becoming infected

Controlled retrials have shown that male circumcision lowers the risk of virus infection among heterosexual men by up to 60%. It is expected that this procedure will be actively promoted in many of the countries affected by HIV, although doing so will involve confronting a number of practical, cultural, and attitudinal issues. However, programs to encourage condom use, including providing them free to those in poverty, are estimated to be 95 times more cost effective rhan circumcision at reducing the rate of virus in Sub-Saharan Africa.

BODY FLUID EXPOSURE

Health care workers can reduce exposure to HIV by employing precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to contaminated blood. These precautions include barriers such as gloves, masks, protective eyeware, or shields, and gowns or aprons which prevent exposure of the skin or mucous membranes to blood borne pathogens.

Frequent and thorough wasing of the skin immediately after being contaminated with blood or other bodily fluids can reduce the chance of infection. Finally, sharp objects like needles, scalpels and glass, are carefully disposed of to prevent needlestick injuries with contaminated items. Since intravenous drug use is an important factor in HIV transmission in developed contries, harm reduction strategies such as needle-exchange program are used in attempts to reduce the infections caused by drug abuse.

TUMORS

Patients with infection have substantially increased incidence of severasl cancers. This is primarily due to co-infection with an oncogenic DNA virus, especially Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) (also known as human herpesvirus-8 (HHV-8), and human papillomarvirus (HPV).

Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is the most common tumor in virus-infected patients. The appearance of this tumor in young homosexual men in 1981 was one of the first signals of the AIDS epidemic. Caused by a gammaherpes virus called Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV), it often appears as purplish nodules on the skin, but can affect other organs, especially the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and lungs.

High grade B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), and primary central nervous system lymphoma present more often in virus-infected patients. These particular cancers often foreshadow a poor prognosis. When they occur in an virus-infected patient, KS and aggressive B cell lymphomas confer a diagnosis of AIDS.

Invasive cervical cancer in virus-infected women is also considered AIDS-defining, it is caused by human papillomarvirus (HPV).

In addition to the AIDS-defining tumors list, HIV-infected patients are at increased risk of certain other tumors, notably Hodgkin's disease, anal and rectal carcinomas, hepatocellular carcinomas, head and neck cancers, and lung cancer. Other contributing factors include exposure to carcinogens (cigarette smoke for lung cancer), or living for years with subtle immune defects.

The incidence of many common tumors such as breast cancer or colon cancer, does not increase in HIV-infected patients. In recent years, an increasing proportion of these deaths have been from non-AIDS-defining cancers.

ORIGIN

Genetic research indicates the virus originated in west-central African during the latenineteenth or early twentieth century. AIDS was recognized by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1981.

AIDS is now pandemic. As of 2009, AVERT estimated that there are 3.3 million people worldwide living with HIV/AIDS, with 2.6 million new HIV infections per year and 1.8 million annual deaths due to AIDS.

Although treatment for AIDS and HIV can slow the course of the disease, there is no known cure or vaccine. Antiretroviral treatment reduces both the morbidity of virus infection, but these drugs are expensive and routine access to antiretroviral medication is not available in all countries. Due to the difficulty in treating virus infection, preventing infection is a key aim in controlling the AIDS pandemic, with health organizations promoting safe sex and needle-exchange programs in attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

TREATMENT AND ANTIRETROVIRAL DRUG

There is currently no publicly available vaccine or cure for HIV or AIDS. The only known methods of prevention are based on aviding exposure to the virus or, failing that an antiretoviral treatment directly after a highly significant exposure, called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP has a very demanding four week schedule of dosage. It also has very unpleasant side-effects including diarrhea, malaise, nausea and fatigue.

Current treatment for the infection consists of highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART. This has been highly beneficial to many infected individuals since its introduction in 1996 when the protease inhibitor-based HARRT initially became availale.

Current optimal HARRT options consist of combinations ("cocktails") consisting of at least three drugs belonging to at least two types or "classes," of antiretroviral agents

Go From HIV To Hepatitus

Go To AIDS Denialism

Go To Diseases

Go To HIVII, THE CURE