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HIV-AIDS

HIV-AIDS

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HIV-AIDS
HIV-AIDS

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Published by: Dan Alexis Morco Arinzana on Aug 15, 2013
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HIV/AIDS
Human immunodeficiency virus infection
/
acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
(
HIV/AIDS
) is adiseaseof the humanimmune systemcaused by infection withhuman immunodeficiency virus(HIV).
 During the initial infection, a person may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness.This istypically followed by a prolonged period without symptoms. As the illness progresses, it interferes moreand more with the immune system, making the person much more likely to get infections, includingopportunistic infectionsandtumorsthat do not usually affect people who have working immune systems. HIV istransmitted primarily via unprotectedsexual intercourse(includinganaland evenoral sex), contaminatedblood transfusions,hypodermic needles,andfrom mother to childduring pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.
 Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV.
 Prevention of HIV infection, primarily throughsafe sexandneedle-exchange programs,is a key strategy to control the spread of the disease. There is no cure or vaccine;however,antiretroviral treatmentcan slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy. While antiretroviraltreatment reduces the risk of death and complications from the disease, these medications are expensiveand may be associated with side effects.Genetic researchindicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the early twentieth century.
 AIDS was first recognized by theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) in 1981 and itscause
 — 
HIV infection
 — 
was identified in the early part of the decade.
 Since its discovery, AIDS hascaused nearly 30 million deaths (as of 2009).
 As of 2010, approximately 34 million people are livingwith HIV globally.
 AIDS is considered apandemic
 — 
a disease outbreak which is present over a largearea and is actively spreading.
 HIV/AIDS has had a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source of discrimination.Thedisease also has significanteconomic impacts.There are manymisconceptions about HIV/AIDSsuch as the belief that it can be transmitted by casual non-sexual contact. The disease has also become subject tomanycontroversies involving religion. 
HIV-Positive without Symptoms
Many people who are HIV-positive do not havesymptomsof HIV infection.
Often people only begin tofeel sick when they progress toward
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
. Sometimes people living with HIV go through periods of being sick and then feel fine.While the virus itself can sometimes cause people to feel sick, most of the severe symptoms and illnessesof HIV disease come from the
opportunistic infections
that attack a damaged
immune system
. It isimportant to remember that some symptoms of HIV infection are similar to symptoms of many other common illnesses, such as the flu, or respiratory or gastrointestinal infections.
Early Stages of HIV: Signs and Symptoms
As early as 
 after exposure to HIV (but up to
3 months later
), people can experience an acute
illness, often described as “the worst flu ever.” This is called
acute retroviral syndrome (ARS)
, or 
 primary HIV infection
, and it’s the body’s natural response to HIV infection. During primary HIV infection, there

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