HIV/AIDS

By: Caitlin Dougherty

History

History:

HIV Originated in the Republic of Congo in 1920 when it crossed from chimpanzees to humans.

What part of the body does it affect?:

HIV infects the cells in the immune system.

How does the disease affect the body?:

HIV destroys the ability of the infected cells to do their job in the immune system. The body then loses the ability to fight many infections.

Forms or types of the disease:

HIV-1 (Most common)

HIV-2 (Most common in West Africa)

Causes

How is the disease transmitted?:

HIV is spread mainly by having sex or sharing needles with someone who has HIV. Only certain fluids, such as: blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV.

Incidence

How many people does HIV affect?:

36.9 million people were living with HIV globally, 2 million people became newly infected, and 1.2 million died of HIV-related causes at the end of 2014.

Does it affect a certain age group?:

1 in 4 cases of HIV are kids between the ages of 13-24.

Does it affect a certain ethnic group?:

HIV is most common with young African American males.

What is the Mortality Rate?:

In 1988–1995, 78 percent of the deaths were caused by AIDS. From 2005-2010 that fell to 15 percent. At its peak in 1992, AIDS-related mortality reached a rate of 11 per 100 person-years and then plummeted to 0.144 by 2006.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever (this is the most common symptom)
  • Swollen glands
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches and pains
  • Headache

Diagnosis

What tests do doctors run to determine whether a person has the disease?:

  • Home Test:swab fluid from your upper and lower gums. If the test is positive, you need to see your doctor to confirm the diagnosis and discuss your treatment options. If the test is negative, it needs to be repeated in three months to confirm the results.
  • Blood Test

Treatment

What are the treatment options?:

Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART)

Is there a cure?:

ART isn’t a cure, but it can control the virus so that you can live a longer, healthier life and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.

Prevention

Are there any ways to prevent this disease?:

  • Get tested and know your partner’s HIV status.
  • Have less risky sex.
  • Use condoms
  • Limit your number of sexual partners.
  • Get tested and treated for STDs.
  • Talk to your health care provider about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • Don’t inject drugs.