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What is AIDS?

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is a condition characterized


by a combination of signs and symptoms caused by HIV contracted from another person and
which attacks and weakens the body’s immune system making afflicted person susceptible to
other life-threatening infections (definition given in the Republic Act #8504.

Cases of person with AIDS in Philippines

The Philippine’s Department of Health has recorded an 84% increase in the number of
HIV/AIDS cases since it began monitoring in 1984, causing some officials to express concerns
about the increasing prevalence of the disease in the country.

How does HIV cause Aids?

HIV destroys a certain kind of blood cell (CD4+ T cells) which is crucial to the normal
function of the human immune system. In fact, loss of these cells in people with HIV is an
extremely powerful predictor of the development of AIDS. Studies of thousands of people have
revealed that most people infected with HIV carry the virus for years before enough damage is
done to immune system for AIDS to develop.
However, sensitive test have shown a strong CD4+ T cells and the development ofAIDS.
Reducing the amount of virus in the body with anti-retroviral therapies can dramatically slow the
destruction of a person’s immune system.

Some signs and symptoms of a person with AIDS

1. White spots in the mouth


2. Persistent dry cough
3. Diminished appetite
4. Extreme tiredness and contrast fatigue without apparent reasons
5. Unexplained rapid weight loss
6. Swollen lymph glands in the neck, underarm, and groin area
7. Skin blotches
8. Diarrhea
9. Recurrent fever, chills, and severe night sweats

It would do well that if a person has a strong suspicion of having some of the above symptoms or
any of which that lasts more than one month, consult a physician the soonest time possible.

Why AIDS is fatal?

1. Once infected, a person will remain infected for life with the risk of infecting others.
2. There is no cure and no known cure will be available in the foreseeable future.
3. There is no anti-HIV vaccine and no vaccine will be available in the foreseeable
future.
4. The incubation is very long. HIV infection progresses to AIDS after many years.
The following steps are recommended for al people to reduce their chances of becoming
infected with the virus that causes AIDS.

1. The best protection against sexual transmission of HIV and other transmitted diseases
is to abstain from vaginal, oral or anal intercourse.