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AIDS

AIDS 101- what you absolutely need to know by: Mansi Gupta  


Due both to the stigma and the awareness program attached with it, now AIDS has become a common household term. There are very less people who actually know that the exact word is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS in short. Because of the morbidity and mortality attached and also because of the ignorance about it there are lots and lots of myths against this deadly disease.

This alone shows the anxiety and concern of the general mass. HistoryThe virus for this disease is thought to have transmitted from simian monkeys in the forests of Africa to humans and from there it traveled to USA and different countries. It was brewing in the bodies till in 1981 in USA the Center for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) recognized it for the first time and reported that there was an unexplained occurrence of an unusual pneumonia in a few homosexuals. Soon the disease was to be found in intravenous drug users.

But it was only in 1983 that the causative virus was isolated from a patient and then further classified. Obviously because of the ignorance initially the information was confined to only certain specific institutions in the early 1980s. Then as the disease became more prevalent and showed its mortality pattern more and more people became aware of this disease.

Today it’s a topic of concern for every type of doctor be it a family physician, obstetrician, dentist, dermatologist or any other field. HIV and AIDS AIDS is a disease, as the name suggests, in which the person over a period of time loses his power of immunity to fight infections and hence he is a prey to a host of infections which otherwise wont have occurred.

The causative organism is a virus called the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. On gaining entry into the body of a subject through another patient’s body fluids such as blood, blood products, semen, etc. the virus remains in the lymphatic system and gets replicated. Then over a period of years it reduces the body’s immune system. The problem is so severe that according to CDC, till 2003 the number of AIDS cases in USA are 1.2 million and the number are still increasing and 40,000 new cases get infected each year in whole of USA. There are many different diseases associated with this disease ranging from all types of bacterial infections to viral infections and other protozoal and helminthic infections.

Management

The disease is managed by a whole lot of drugs because of the inability of the scientists to develop a vaccine against it. The drugs against it are basically divided into two types. One type prevents against the possible development of the potential bacterial, viral and helminthic infections and the other group helps in the killing and preventing replication of HIV. The first group has drugs such as trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole, clarithromycin, amphotericin, fluconazole, etc. The latter group has antiviral drugs such as zidovudine, didanosine, saquinavir, indinavir, enfuvirtide, etc. Prevention Till there are no effective vaccines available prevention is the best cost effective treatment available.

Adherence to universal precautions meaning that every body fluid from a patient is considered to be infected from HIV until proven otherwise should be practiced. Also there are various institutions and organizations both governmental and non-governmental involved in creating awareness throughout the world.

About the author:

Mansi gupta writes about aids topics. Learn more at http://www.aidsbriefing.com.

 

 

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