prevent AIDS

Prevention of AIDS is not just about following rules, it’s about knowing when to act in order to protect yourself and others from the deadly infection. It requires an informed, holistic approach which allows you to understand the dynamics of the diseases and ways to prevent it. Read on to discover some effective ways for HIV prevention.

Be sure to practice safe sex and get tested for AIDS before starting a new sexual relationship. Use a condom every time you indulge in a physical contact, prefer using a water or silicone-based lubricants. never share syringes or needles of anybody. You can also consider taking prevention medication if you are at high rise of getting the disease. Get the treatment right away and avoid breastfeeding during pregnancy in order to prevent transmission of the disease from an infected mother to her baby.

AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which destroys the immune cells that fight off infection. Once the immune cells are destroyed, it becomes difficult for your body to fight off the infection. Without treatment, an HIV infection can progress to AIDS, where your body’s defence system get damage which ultimately leads you to get opportunistic infections (several severe illness including certain types of cancers). HIV transmit through contact with body’s fluids, like blood, vaginal fluids, semen, breast milk, or rectal fluid from an infected person. However, most people in the united states get the virus through unprotected sex or sharing needles with someone who is infected.  the deadly virus can also spread from a mother to her child during pregnancy, while breastfeeding or at the time of childbirth. Although a sharp decline has been noticed in HIV/AIDS cases since recent last few years, it is still a topic of concern as thousand of new cases being introduced every year. But don’t lose hope, there are things you can do to protect yourself from this life-threatening disease.

Ways to prevent HIV or AIDS

  1. Practice safe sex- The one best and completely effective way of preventing AIDS is refraining yourself from anal, oral, or vaginal sex. Since this might not be possible for everybody, the next best bet would be taking measure to protect yourself when you are sexually active. Condoms are considered most effective at protecting you from the HIV/AIDS.
  2. Avoid sharing medical equipment’s- Sharing needles or other injecting equipment’s can put you at increased risk of getting HIV. If you are addicted to drugs, quit the habit and talk to a health care provider to discuss options for substance abuse.
  3. Consider preventive medication- Preventive medications can help lower the risk of HIV if you at high risk.
  4. Get tested for HIV during pregnancy- If you have conceived, then you should get tested for HIV. IF you get diagnosed with the deadly infection, taking the appropriate medications can reduce your risk of transmitting the infection to your baby.
  5. Avoid blood contact- Avoid getting anyone’s blood to come in contact with your open wounds or cuts you have on your skin. Also protect your eyes, mouth and nose.
  6. Limit sexual partners- Having more sexual partner increases the risk of risk of getting infected with HIV/AIDS. Being in a mutual relationship with someone who is HIV free is your best bet.

Also Read: List of Skin Conditions Related to HIV/AIDS

Hiv in Children

The diagnosis of HIV in infants and children is based on special blood tests. Infected Children who undergo HIV drug therapy can live to adulthood. The little ones are treated with the same HIV medications as adults.

HIV in young children

HIV or human immunodeficiency virus is a viral infection that progresses to damage certain white blood cells and causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).  HIV is caused by the virus HIV 1 and HIV 2 and in young children get the virus from their mother at the time of birth. HIV symptoms in children include slow growth, development delay, enlargement of lymph nodes in several areas of the body, lung inflammation, and bacterial infections that tend to appear again and again. In infants or young children, the deadly virus is nearly acquired from the mother. More than 95% of HIV infected children get the virus from their mother around the time of birth, a data suggests. The remaining population of children living with AIDS acquired the infection from sexual activity. With improved safety regarding the use of blood and blood products and in recent years, no reports of infection from the use of blood and blood products in the USA have resulted. The risk of HIV transmission increases in mothers who acquire HIV infection during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, who are severely ill, or have any viruses in their bodies.

The virus can also be transmitted through Breast milk, and it happens when the mother has a high level of virus in her body including those who acquired the virus during the time which they were breastfeeding their infant.

In adolescents, the mode of transmission is the same as in adults, and that is having unprotected sex or sharing infected needles.

Diagnosis of HIV in Children

An HIV infected child diagnosed with AIDS when his/her immune system becomes severely damaged due to the virus or other types of infection occur. In order to determine the presence of HIV in your child’s blood, your doctor will perform a variety of blood tests. An early diagnosis can take place by testing your child’s blood for the presence of antibodies to HIV.  These HIV antibodies are not too high to detect by standard blood tests until 1 to 3 months following the life-threatening infection and sometimes may take as long as six months. When an antibody test is negative in people who are likely to get an infection, a test for the detection of HIV itself must be performed. An antibody test is recommended later when antibodies to HIV are more likely to develop.

A child born to an infected mother may not test positive at the time of birth, and it is essential that the child undergo a variety of blood tests for HIV detection during the first six months of the baby’s life at regular intervals.

Also Read: Here are the Early Signs of HIV in Men

Guidelines for the diagnosis of HIV Infection

Generally, the diagnosis of HIV infection in children includes prenatal screening, blood tests, followed by frequent monitoring. Through a routine prenatal screening, an HIV infection can be identified in pregnant women. Rapid tests for detecting HIV can be done during the period of labour and delivery. These tests are necessary and can provide results in minutes and hours.

For children 18 months of age and adolescents, the same blood tests are performed for diagnosis of HIV in adults. These blood tests are generally performed to look out for the presence of antibodies and antigens.

For HIV infected children under 18 months of age, the standard tests for HIV antibodies or antigens don’t work. This is because the infant born to an infected mother always contain HIV antibodies transmitted through the placenta even if the infant is not infected. So, for a definite diagnosis, special tests called nucleic acid amplification tests (NATs) are done. This test helps to confirm the presence of genetic material from HIV in the child’s bloodstream. This special test should be performed at frequent intervals in the first two weeks of birth. The frequent testing helps identify the most HIV infected infants by six months of age.

Once all necessary tests are done, the doctor will meet you and discuss the results and recommend the best treatment options for your baby.

HIV

Around 40 percent of sexually active women in the age bracket of 18-59 report sexual problems at some point in their lives. Chronic health conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary instability etc. have been linked up with impaired sexual functioning. These chronic diseases lead to sexual abnormality, but this behaviour is more prominent in the women infected with STDs. STD term denotes ‘Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ or diseases transmitted through sexual contact with an infected individual. There are various types of STDs but one transmitted via HIV virus is lethal, therefore it is always compulsory to use protection during sex. Females infected with HIV show dramatic changes in their immune-hormonal system, not only their immunity system is at risk but also their hormone system acts abnormal. Such women exhibit sexual dysfunction more commonly, it is because of the imbalances in their sex hormones that include oestrogen and progesterone. In a study conducted by Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), it was revealed that women living with HIV report greater sexual problems compared with women not infected with HIV. Continue Reading