VIRUS CAUSING HIV/AIDS INFECTIONS
Varieties of infections and viruses
Viruses and infections happen in the form of tiny germ/bacteria. These viruses are made up of genetic material inside a protein coating. These viruses become a likely cause of infectious diseases. These are in the form of flue, common colds, skin diseases, warts etc. Also, viruses cause severe diseases such as Coronavirus pandemic with variants changing (Presently Omicron). The virus could also cause HIV, AIDS, Ebola etc. In case of AIDS, if HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is not cured within shortest period of time, it could lead to AIDS.
ATTACK OF VIRUS ON THE NORMAL CELLS OF OUR BODY
The viruses attack the normal cells of living beings and while in inside the body of the carrier produce other viruses and even multiply these viruses thus making the carrier sick. These viruses attack certain organs of our body such as lungs and respiratory system, liver, kidney etc. After entering our body, these viruses attack our immune system. If our immune system is robust, these viruses cannot have much effect on our system. Proper treatment and some protective norms of behavior could ameliorate the health condition of the person concerned. This protective system could be in the form of vaccines (in fact different for different vaccines).
This time, my write up is basically on HIV & AIDS.
ORIGIN OF AIDS (ACUIRED IMMUNODEFICIENCY SYNTROME)
Information has been gleaned that HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus also known as Simian Immunodeficiency Virus SIV) was transferred from chimps to humans in 1920 from Democratic Republic of Congo. Factually, HIV virus leads to AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), This virulent infection is one of the most dangerous epidemics globally. This virus was detected in USA in 1981 and came to understand that it was caused due to HIV. We all are aware that HIV infection targets the immune system thus weakening the defence against myriad of infections and other dangerous diseases such as cancer, heart related ailments etc.
CELEBARTION OF WORLD AIDS DAY
Every year, on 1st December World AIDS day is commemorated around the world. We all are aware about the spread of AIDS and it spreads because of unawareness about the cause and effect like unsafe sex etc. of this hazardous infection. Wherein people around the world become about some of the pointers mentioned below:-
(a) AIDS impacts globally on the health and wellness of the people.
(b)This virus has claimed millions of lives and continue to do so unabated.
(c) As per the empirical data given by World Health Organization, there were estimated 37.3 million infected people of which two thirds were in African regions only (as given in 2020 WHO data).
(c) The HIV/AIDS infections are increasing since much of the emphasis is being given to Coronavirus pandemic infection thus slowing public health.
(d) General masses should know that certain cancers, influenza, lung disease, persisting fever, cereberovascular diseases etc could manifest and complicate their effects thus becoming a cause of death due to AIDS virus.
(e) HIV could be transmitted by exchange of body fluids in the form of blood, breast milk semen and vaginal secretions. from infected persons.
(f) AIDS does not infect with day-to-day contact such as handshakes, hugging or through sharing food and water for consumption etc.
CAUSES OF HIV/AIDS VIRUSES
Through breathing or inhalation. When a person with viral infection sneezes or coughs, we can breathe in droplets of that virus.
Through Injection of food and drinks: Secondly, these viruses could enter our system while we are taking food and drinks which are infected with viruses.
Through Injection of injection of infected fluids. The viruses could enter our body through insects and also by animals.
Through infected needles. The viruses could enter our body by infected needles and injections.
Through transfusion of infected blood. The transfusion of infected blood to the healthy body these viruses could enter our system.
WHEN WE PICK UP HIV OR AIDS
In essence, we become infected HIV/AIDS carriers when we have vaginal, anal or oral sex with an infected person whose blood, semen or vaginal secretions enter our body after intercourse. This virus could enter our body through mouth sores which develop in the vagina or rectum during our intercourse. The virus can enter our body through mouth sores or small tears that sometimes develop in the rectum or vagina during sexual activity. This infection could also happen when we have infection ridden needles, injections or also due to blood transfusion.
SOME MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT AIDS
There are some misinformation and dogmas prevailing in the society on HIV and AIDS which makes the lives of the infected people difficult in the society. Need is to spread the message or awareness drive so that people take precautionary measures so as to avoid acquiring the virus. Need is also to remove the half-truths about HIV/AIDS since this infection is even more dangerous than Coronavirus pandemic if care and caution is not exercised. Here the dictum, ‘Prevention is better than cure’ since there are almost no credible cure for HIV/AIDS. People should also know that HIV infection happens due to unprotected sex with the infected person, sharing infected syringes and other injectable equipment and infected blood transfusion without proper check.
AWARENESS ABOUT AIDS/HIV
It is a travesty of fact that there are some misinformation with regard to AIDS which if not highlighted could make the lives of more than seven million around the world difficult because of this half truths. These misconceptions are enumerated as under:-
(a) HIV virus is not transmitted through social kissing with somebody having HIV infection. In other words it is not transmitted through the medium of saliva.
(b) HIV infection is not spread through casual contact like sharing utensils, drinking glasses, toilets seats or holding hands. It is also not spread through tears, saliva, kissing or sweat etc.
(c) With proper and regular treatment the people with HIV infection could live their normal lives with antiretroviral therapy (ART).
(d) People have the notion that that people having AIDS could be identified mrely by looking at the infected persons. People with fever, malaria and other types of infections could also signs of weakness on their facial complexion.
(e) People who lead their lives taking into account ethical and moral as their standpoint should not worry about AIDS infection as this virus is transmitted through fluid transmission from infected persons.
(f) The misconception that a HIV infected woman cannot have children without transferring the infection to her baby is also been negated if she begins ART treatment. Intake of HIV medicines under the care of expert medical treatment during her pregnancy period and thereafter for sometime could prevent transferring the infection to the baby.
(g) There is a basic misconception that HIV always leads to AIDS but empirically it is not so. If HIV is detected at an early stage, it could prevent it to graduating to AIDS.
(h) If preventive risk, care and caution are taken, HIV could meaningfully be treated and prevented from turning to AIDS and the person concerned could live a normal life.
(i) The myth that those who are having test negative could have unprotected sex. This misconception is false since it has been seen that they could have HIV infection after three months of their unsafe sex.
(j) The misconception that both the HIV partners could have unhindered sex is also misplaced since anyone could transfer some other strain to the other person and thus worsen the health condition.
(k) The virus is not transferred in air or water or trough casual contact with the infected person.
AIDS IS INCURABLE
When preventive measures are undertaken including care and caution besides medical attention, the HIV leading to AIDS could be prevented. It is also a fact that till present times, there is no credible medicine or virus which can ensure complete cure for AIDS yet persons with this infection could lead normal lives with some ailments here and there.
It is a fact that antiviral drugs available presently aim at slowing viral replication by giving the immune system to work to eliminate the infection.
In general, it’s very hard to cure viruses without help from the host’s immune system. There are not a lot of antiviral and anti-bacterial drugs available presently, and what there are don’t work very well; most of them aim at slowing viral replication, to give the immune system a better chance at eliminating the infection.
It is also a fact that some viruses mutate at a fast rate. These could escape the drug through mutation. That is anti-viral against HIV & AIDS, the immune system may find it difficult to eliminate the HIV virus. Only the person’s immune system could produce response to cure the diseased person.
PREVENTION IS THE ONLY CREDIBLE CURE FOR AIDS INFECTION
While there is almost no credible medicine or vaccine available in the market for a total cure for HIV or AIDS, the only cure is through adoption of preventive measure. This could be adoption of safe sex, testing and counselling for HIV and then provision of medicine available such s use of antiretroviral drugs and finall elimination of mother to child transmission of infection.