Get the Basic Understanding of HIV/ AIDS and Its Impact on Health by Gail Barouh

What are HIV and AIDS? Are they fatal? What are the symptoms seen in an HIV positive person? We are bombarded with such questions whenever the topic of HIV/AIDS is highlighted. This was once considered an avoidable topic and no one wanted to discuss it. The people diagnosed positive were avoided like a plague.

But with the developments in the medical field and the mindset of people, many professionals like Dr. Gail Barouh LIAAC are trying to find a way to eradicate this issue. Nowadays, we have institutions to help prevent the effects of HIV/ AIDS on health. The awareness about the problem is not able to spread across wide, leading to the development of various myths. To avoid this there needs to be a proper understanding of HIV/AIDS. Below are some basic information that we must have about HIV/AIDS:

  • What are HIV and AIDS?

While HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus and AIDS means acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV is a fatal virus that attacks the nervous system and destroys the CD4 cells of our body making it prone to health diseases and cancers. If not treated on time it could cause serious harm to the nervous system and lead to the advanced stage which is AIDS. 

  • How does the HIV spread?

The HIV virus majorly spreads if we make contact with the body fluid of the HIV positive person. The fluids basically include blood, semen, breast milk, vaginal fluid, pre-seminal fluids, and rectal fluids.

The spread of HIV from one person to another is called transmission. The HIV can even spread from a woman having HIV to her child either during birth, pregnancy or breastfeeding.

There are many myths attached to the transmission of HIV as well. One should expect that a person can never get HIV by shaking hands or hugging the HIV positive person. He is unlikely to attract the HIV virus by making contact with toilet seats, dishes or doorknobs of the affected person. 

  • What are the symptoms of HIV/AIDS?

If you are infected with HIV than within 2 or 4 weeks of infection, you might experience flu-like symptoms like fever, rashes or chills and this might last for a few to several days.

At the initial stage, the virus multiplies but at a slower rate. Severe symptoms of HIV like the infections or cancer might not incur for many years. And without proper treatment, this might advance to AIDS in 10 years or longer. Though in some it may advance early.

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