Aids refers to Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is caused by HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus). Aids is a sexually transmitted infection. It can spread by having multiple sexual partners, from pregnant mother to the fetus during childbirth, or from mother to child by breastfeeding. The disease can be detected by an Enzyme-linked immunodeficiency sorbent assay test, nucleic acid test, and antigen screening test.
How Does The Virus Enter The Body?
The human immunodeficiency virus can spread by seminal or vaginally secretions of the infected person. It enters the person through unprotected coitus, anal sex, or oral intercourse. The virus can also enter by the usage of contaminated needles and syringes. Infected mothers are carriers of Aids as the virus can pass to the developing fetus through the amniotic fluid and blood. Many hospitals restrict the transmission of HIV during blood transfusions by detecting the presence of HIV antibodies. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome can be transmitted through infected tattoos and piercing needles as well.
Signs and Symptoms For Detecting AIDS
Acute or Primary Infection Stage
Initially, when the virus enters the body of a person, it produces symptoms similar to flu. The symptoms include a fever that can last from several months to years, headaches that reduce concentration levels, lethargy, fatigue and tiredness, swelling of the lymph nodes. The sudden appearance of rashes on the body, development of ulcers in the mouth and genital region, chronic diarrhea, oral thrush, sore throat, and pain in the muscles and joints.
Clinical Latent Infection Stage
The human immunodeficiency virus is present in the body during this stage but fails to show symptoms in certain patients. This stage can last for several years but does not imply that the virus is expelled out of the body.
Presence Of Heightened Symptoms In The Final Stage
The virus weakens the immune system of the body by attacking the CD4 glycoprotein. This is present on the surface of T-lymphocytes, monocytes, and macrophages of the body. The virus enters the CD4 cells and replicates itself using reverse transcriptase enzymes to produce multiple copies of its kind. They cause a progressive decrease in the number of T-helper cells leading to the weakening of the immune system. In such a case, the person shows chronic symptoms including a rapid increase in the body temperature, fatigue, and dizziness that restricts the infected individual to carry out day-to-day activities, sudden weight loss, nausea, vomiting, the presence of shingles, and pneumonia.
According to the Centre for Disease Control And Prevention (CDC), the virus at the final stage badly affects the immune system of the people. This makes it prone to opportunistic infections. Excessive sweat, chills, prolonged unusual lesions, unexplained exhaustion while working, persistent skin rashes, swollen lymphatic glands, and intermittent fever are some of the symptoms that occur in the final stage of infection. Yeast and bacterial infections are common in infected women.
Look For These Signs
Some other signs and symptoms of Aids include bleeding from anus, vagina, or mouth, progressive lack of control over bodily reflexes and voluntary muscular movement, swelling in the throat, armpit, or groin, presence of bruises, the occurrence of deep and dry cough, and deposition of white coat on the tongue.
Development of itchy, red, painful rashes on the face, hands, and feet are common in Aids along with bumps on the skin. HIV fever is persistent and recurrent for an initial three to four weeks in the infected person. Aids fever is generally accompanied by tiredness and swelling in various body parts. The fever may range from 99.8°F to 100.8°F in infected individuals. One of the major symptoms to screen out Aids in the early stage is the presence of swollen lymph glands in the throat, armpit, and groin region of the infected person. Infected women may experience problems like vaginal candidiasis and tuberculosis.
In certain cases, depression, memory loss, mental confusion, and various neurological disorders have also been detected as signs of Aids. Aids cause increased breakouts of other sexually transmitted infections such as human papillomavirus (genital warts), gonorrhea, and syphilis. It may also lead to pelvic inflammatory diseases that cause infections in the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Infections That Commonly Occur During Aids
As mentioned, Aids causes vaginal candidiasis that leads to inflammation of the vaginal parts. It is a potential cause of a fungal infection- pneumocystis pneumonia. As the virus weakens the immune system, the infected person can catch cytomegalovirus. It causes damage to the digestive tract, respiratory tract, and eyes.
The virus causing Aids can only transmit from the infected person through fluids. Such as blood, semen, breastplate, anal mucous, and fluids of the vagina. It does not spread through the air, touching the infected person, or possible exposure of sweat, tears, sneeze, cough, and urine of the infected person. Also, only limited fluids can cause potential transmission of Aids. Looking for early symptoms such as fever, diarrhea, fatigue, swelling in lymph nodes, and other signs can help in the early treatment of the disease.