AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is an incurable but preventable infection caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
HIV attacks and weakens the body’s immune system. This virus is known to multiply incredibly fast.
How is AIDS diagnosed?
In order to determine if a person infected with HIV has AIDS, a medical expert performs a CD4 count which measures the number of CD4 cells in one cubic milliliter of blood. When an individual’s CD4 fall drops below 200 cells/mm3, they are definitely infected with AIDS. The CD4 count of a healthy person ranges from 500 to 1600 cells/mm3.
AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. People infected with HIV become too weak and are unable to fight off the many opportunistic infections. It may cause death if it’s not treated early enough with medications for aids.
If HIV is not treated early in time, it can advance to AIDS. Usually, HIV takes approximately 7 -10 years to advance to AIDS. AIDS develops faster in children than in adults.
People infected with AIDS are vulnerable to opportunistic health conditions such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, fungal infections, thrush, and many other opportunistic diseases. They are also vulnerable to other life-limiting conditions such as cancer and brain disorders.
HIV is transmitted from one person to another through unprotected sex, transfusing unscreened blood , sharing of contaminated needles and syringes and mother-to-child during pregnancy , childbirth and breastfeeding.
HIV/AIDS is not transmitted through coughing, sneezing, shaking hands or hugging. Poor feeding habits in persons infected with AIDS contribute to the onset of symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, fever and body wasting.
All persons infected with AIDS need to undergo early medical-nutrition therapy. Besides, they need to consume a well-balanced diet to strengthen the body’s immune system.
Currently, HIV/AIDS is incurable but with the early treatment, proper diet and nutrition, guidance and counseling, a person living with AIDS can live a very long and healthy life.