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Friday, December 1, 2017

Know to prevent AIDS

Today is World AIDS Day

"It is estimated that by the end of 20th century there were 40 million people infected with HIV all over the world and India has been leading with highest number of cases (ranging from 10-20 million). We may not be infected but will definitely be affected indirectly by it. Hence it is a duty of every citizen of India to have detailed knowledge about this disease".

Due to lack of knowledge about AIDS people have fear in their mind against the victims of this disease. Because of fear of social boycott, AIDS patients and their relatives hide their HIV status. Many doctors (due to fear of getting infection) also refuse to treat these patients. There is danger of AIDS for everybody and only thing that can save us is to be completely informed.


"AIDS, Difficult to get, Impossible to cure but, Easy to prevent"

AIDS is
Acquired – must do something to contract
Immune – ability to fight off infectious agents
Deficiency – lack of
Syndrome – cluster of symptoms that are Characteristic for a disease

HIV is:
Human – isolated to the human species
Immuno-Deficiency – Lacking the ability to fight off infectious agents
Virus – a disease causing agent

How Hiv infect
AIDS is caused by HIV, a very fragile RNA type of retrovirus, which like any other microorganism lives inside the living cells of the body. Outside body it doesn’t survive for more than half and hour.

There are two types of HIV virus, i.e. HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is present all over the world and in India more than 80% people are affected by it. HIV-2 is mainly found in Africa and also presents in India. Some people are infected with both the viruses. People only infected with HIV-2 live longer than those infected with HIV-1 and chances of transmission of HIV-2 from mother to child are very rare.

Once in body, HIV attacks CD4 type of White Blood Cells (WBCs) in blood and gradually kills them.

These CD4 type of WBC helps us to fight against various infections.

Once they are destroyed our body’s resistance to fight infections goes down and person suffers from lots of infections.

This end stage of HIV infection is called AIDS. It takes many years for AIDS to develop and till that time infected person usually remains healthy.

HOW DOES HIV SPREAD
Infected person’s blood, semen, vaginal fluid are rich in HIV. However tears, saliva, sweat or urine do not pose any danger?

HIV is transmitted by:
Unprotected sexual intercourse with infected person (either heterosexual or homosexual)
Transfusion of infected blood or blood products
Infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, birth process and through breast – feeding

Use of infected needles and instruments without sterilization or sharing of needles and syringes by HIV drug addicts

HOW HIV IS NOT TRANSMITTED
There is no risk of contracting HIV infection in daily routine activities and by casual contact with HIV positive person.

AIDS virus is not transmitted through:
Embarrassing or kissing (social)
Touching hand shaking or hugging
Sharing bathroom or toilet
Coughing, saliva or sneezing
Eating together or sharing utensils
Swimming pools
Sharing clothes
Mosquito bite, Insect bite or houseflies
Patient caring

WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF AIDS
An HIV infected person initially looks normal and perfectly healthy. The symptoms of AIDS develop after few years and include: -

Long standing, unexplained fever ( > 1 month)
Unexplained diarrhoea (> 1 month)
Persistent cough (> 1 month)
Persistent unexplained fatigue and weight loss of more than 5 kg within short period
White blotches in the mouth or on tongue

HOW HIV CAN BE DETECTED
You can not tell by looking at person’s face whether he or she is infected with HIV. The infected person looks perfectly healthy and feel well for years. The infection can only be detected by doing a blood test i.e. ELISA HIV antibody test. If someone is found to be positive by ELISA and confirmed by second test (done on different blood sample and by different method) the person is said to be seropositive.


SPOT TEST:
This is simple rapid test for finding out the HIV status of a person in which the result can be given to the patient within half an hour. Rarely there are chances of a false positive report and hence a positive report should be confirmed by doing ELISA test.

WESTERN BLOT (WB) TEST:
Specialized and costly confirmatory test for HIV. Done only to confirm a positive ELISA or SPOT test report. Ever since the standard of ELISA and SPOT test has improved the role of this test seems to be very little in diagnosis of HIV infection.

CD4 AND VIRAL LOAD TESTING:
Very costly tests and done only in those affording patients who are willing to start anti-HIV (antiretroviral) drugs.

It is mandatory to do pre-test and post-test counselling of all the patients before and after the test respectively.

CARE OF HIV / AIDS PATIENT

GENERAL CARE:
Sympathetic attitude, family and public support
Patient should be advised to take adequate rest and diet rich in proteins and vitamins
Patient should be advised not to donate blood or organs
Patient should be advised to use condom with any sexual partner
As far as possible patient should avoid eating outside food
Patient should be encouraged to give up all habits i.e. smoking, alcohol or chewing pan or tobacco
Patient should drink boiled water
Patient should be advised to do regular exercise or yoga
If patients follow above general care tips they can live 1-2 year longer.

SYMPTOMATIC TREATMENT:
Early treatment of common problems like fever, cough, diarrhea etc. from family doctor
Early detection and treatment of opportunistic infections like TB etc.

SPECIFIC ANTI-HIV TREATMENT:
Many new anti-HIV drugs which prevent the spread of the virus and can postphone various complications are now available at selected places in market and few of them are also manufactured in India e.g. AZT, 3TC, D4T, Saquinavir, ddc, nevirapine etc. But these medicines are very costly and in India 90% of HIV patients cannot even think of them. One year expenses of good comminations of these drugs and blood testing comes to around 1.5 to 2.5 lacs. These medicines can prolong the life of the patient but not cure him.

HOW CAN HIV BE PREVENTED

PRVENTION IS THE ONLY CURE FOR HIV / AIDS
Prevention is simple easy and the only answer we have got today unless we find some cure. HIV can be easily prevented by adopting simple measures such as:

SAFE SEX:
The only safe sex is ‘no sex’; all other practices like masturbation, cuddling, hugging, rubbing, sticking to one partner or using condom if one cannot avoid multiple partners are safer sex practices.

SAFE BLOOD:
Judicious use of blood and use only pretested HIV free blood or blood product.

SAFE NEEDLES:
Insist your doctors and nurses to use sterile or disposable needles and instruments.

SAFE MOTHERHOOD:
Before taking any major step in life like marriage or having child ascertain that you are HIV free.

SAFE RAZOR AND BLADE:
Never share your shaving blades with anyone and also ask your barber to use properly cleansed razor and new blade during shaving or hair cut. (Although the risk of getting infection from a saloon is minimal)

CARE OF HIV / AIDS PATIENT

GENERAL CARE:
Sympathetic attitude, family and public support
Patient should be advised to take adequate rest and diet rich in proteins and vitamins
Patient should be advised not to donate blood or organs
Patient should be advised to use condom with any sexual partner
As far as possible patient should avoid eating outside food
Patient should be encouraged to give up all habits i.e. smoking, alcohol or chewing pan or tobacco
Patient should drink boiled water
Patient should be advised to do regular exercise or yoga
If patients follow above general care tips they can live 1-2 year longer.

SYMPTOMATIC TREATMENT:
Early treatment of common problems like fever, cough, diarrhea etc. from family doctor
Early detection and treatment of opportunistic infections like TB etc.

SPECIFIC ANTI-HIV TREATMENT:
Many new anti-HIV drugs which prevent the spread of the virus and can postphone various complications are now available at selected places in market and few of them are also manufactured in India e.g. AZT, 3TC, D4T, Saquinavir, ddc, nevirapine etc. But these medicines are very costly and in India 90% of HIV patients cannot even think of them. One year expenses of good comminations of these drugs and blood testing comes to around 1.5 to 2.5 lacs. These medicines can prolong the life of the patient but not cure him.

CONCLUSION
Remember AIDS does not discriminate caste, creed, race, religion, educational or social status. Prevention of AIDS is our joint responsibility. Education and awareness is the only weapon in our hand. Let us accept the challenge to fight against AIDS. We must support and care for the people with HIV / AIDS with compassion and understanding.

Source of information

Thanks for your VISITs

 
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