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AIDS – Treatment and Prevention of AIDS

AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome which is a serious condition that weakens the body’s immune system. The causative organism is the Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV). AIDS is the last stage of this viral infection. This disease includes a number of infections and illnesses resulting in severe weight loss and diseases that affect the brain and the central nervous system. Till date there is no known cure for this fatal disease but now the scientists have developed many drugs to treat HIV/AIDS and other infections that occur during the course.

Treatment

The treatment is focused in achieving the maximum suppression of the symptoms.They include:

  • The main focus is to fight the virus and reduce its adverse effects.
  • Anti-retroviral drugs are group of drugs which help in reducing the symptoms.
  • The doctor may prescribe these drugs depending on the severity of the disease.
  • The treatment is measured by the viral load.
  • Viral load is measured before starting the treatment and then every three to four months.
  • In some cases, this test is conducted more often.

Prevention

There is no vaccine to prevent HIV infection and presently there is no cure for AIDS but its easy to protect yourself and others from infection. Here is how HIV infection can be prevented. This includes :

If you are HIV- negative,

The following measures can help you from being infected

  • Educate yourself and others about the ways of transmission of HIV and teach your children about HIV.
  • Know the HIV status of your partner and don’t engage yourself in unprotected sex.
  • Use condoms every time you have sex, though they don’t eliminate the risk of contracting HIV.
  • Don’t share needles to inject drugs and if you are using then use sterilized needle.
  • The blood products should be handled very carefully especially in the case of blood transfusions.
  • If you are a women, get a pap test done every year.
  • If you have had sex with multiple partners, get yourself tested for HIV annually.

If you are HIV- positive,

The following guidelines can help protect others:

Follow safe-sex practices

  • The only way to prevent others from getting infected is to avoid practices that expose them to blood, semen or vaginal secretions.
  • A new latex condom can be used every time you have vaginal or anal sex .
  • A dental dam, condom or a plastic wrap during an oral sex.
  • Never share sexual devices with others.
  • Avoid having unprotected sex with other HIV- positive people because there is a risk of passing the drug-resistant strain of the virus.

Tell your sexual partners you have HIV

  • Its important to tell the person with whom you had sex that you are HIV.
  • They should also know their HIV status for further medical care

Other ways to prevent HIV includes:

  • If you use intravenous injections never share used needles and syringes.
  • If you are HIV positive, never donate blood or organs.
  • Do not share toothbrushes or razor blades.
  • If you are pregnant and HIV positive, you may pass the infection to your baby and to avoid this get medical care immediately.

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