By Nora El Hadidi
What is HIV/AIDS?
HIV stands for "Human immunodeficiency virus" HIV is a sexually transmitted disease that attacks the immune system making it difficult to fight off diseases. AIDS which is the disease that develops later in a person with HIV, causes an extreme loss in the body's cellular immunity.
HIV is transmitted from an infected person, to another person through blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. This virus could also be caused by unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex, as well as sharing needles.
- Extreme weakness or fatigue
- Rapid weight loss
- Frequent fevers that last for several weeks
- Heavy sweating at night
- Swollen lymph glands
- Minor infections that cause skin rashes and mouth, genital, and anal sores.
- White spots in the mouth or throat
- Chronic diarrhea
- A cough that won't go away
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, Make sure to see your family doctor, adolescent doctor, or gynecologist. The doctor will perform tests such as a blood test or a swab inside of your cheek. Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, but antiviral drugs and drugs that boost the immune system can help.
HIV attacks the CD4 helper lymphocyte cells which help the body fight infections. The virus destroys the bdy's ability to fight off diseases and infections. AIDS can disturb every body system. By not having enough CD4 cells can lead to certain cancers such as Lymphoma.
Since there is no cure for HIV/AIDS Prevention is extremely important. Here are some ways to prevent HIV.
- Abstaining from sex
- Always using latex condoms for all types of sexual intercourse
- Avoiding contact with the bodily fluids through which HIV is transmitted
- Never sharing needles