A person can be HIV positive for years without developing illnesses that are associated with the A.I.D.S. disease. HIV is characterized by a gradual deterioration of the immune system. Cells known as T-Helper cells are disabled and killed during the course of the infection. These cells play an important part in the human body because they signal other cells to perform their special functions.
Getting HIV means you have it for life. The virus immediately begins attacking the cells in your body called T-cells or CD4 cells. These cells are used by the body to fight infections and diseases. When the HIV virus attacks these cells, they duplicate themselves. Most people are not even aware that they are infected with the HIV virus for long periods of time, sometimes even years.
About a month after being infected, a person develops a viral infection. The viral infection is similar to the flu and causes fever, fatigue, weight loss, and swollen glands. These symptoms usually subside, and a person may not develop AIDS for up to 10 years after being infected with HIV. During this time, the HIV virus continues to multiple and destroys cells of the immune system. A person is diagnosed with AIDS when the immune system is so deteriorated by HIV that it can no longer fight off certain infections and diseases known as "opportunistic infections."
The next phase of the disease is symptomatic infection. During this time symptoms will reveal themselves and often opportunistic infections, but AIDS has not developed yet (Masur H, 2007). The final phase is AIDS. The patient’s CD4 T-cell count is below 200 cells/mm3 and the patient is starting to have severe immunodeficiency. Patient begins to have severe opportunistic infections an... ... middle of paper ... ...cers that affect the blood such as Kaposi’s sarcoma.
AIDS is a disease which breaks down the human immune system causing the body to become very susceptible to infection. The disease is brought about by the HIV-1 virus. HIV-1( Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can remain dormant for years and then begins to attack the bodies T- cells and white cells which help fight off infection. Full-blown AIDS occurs when a person is in the last stages of his or her battle for life. It is a fatal disease not because of the disease itself but because of the fact that other infections attack the body and it has no way to recover from it.
These are the immune cells that normally protect us from disease. The hallmark of HIV infection is the progressive loss of a specific type of immune cell called T-helper or CD4 cells. As the virus grows, it damages or kills these and other cells, weakening the immune system and leaving the individual vulnerable to various opportunistic infections and other illnesses, ranging from pneumonia to cancer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines someone as having a clinical diagnosis of AIDS if they have tested positive for HIV and meet one or both of these conditions: They have experienced one or more AIDS-related infections or illnesses; The number of CD4 cells has reached or fallen below 200 per cubic millimeter of blood (a measurement known as T-cell count). In healthy individuals, the CD4 count normally ranges from 450 to 1200.
Since 1981 this monster has plagued our streets ruining life after life, destroying everything in its path. This haunting disease comes in the form of a virus that has killed 21.8 million people thus far, of which almost 20 percent were children under the age of fifteen. Yet there are still millions of individuals who still don't believe they can be affected by Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, the AIDS virus. For this reason and many more the number of infected HIV/AIDS persons have grown to approximately 40 million. Ignorance and denial is also a big helper when is comes to promoting HIV.
When the AIDS virus enters the bloodstream, the body's immune system produces antibodies to battle the microorganism. Blood tests can detect these antibodies and therefore can indicate exposure to the virus. Sometimes these tests give false readings and can only begin to give accurate results within two weeks to three months after infection. During that time an infected person may pass the virus to others. Scientists are still uncertain how the AIDS virus damges the immune system.
There are new things to invent, cures for many diseaeses, including an immunization and cure for aids. The result of this disease is the destruction of the patient's immune system. Since the infected person has no ability to fight off any infection because the virus is destroying the cells that normally fight infection, the person then becomes susceptible to all other diseases. I understand first hand what one goes through while fighting this disease. My Uncle Dale, passed at the age of thirty-eight.
The cause, HIV, is an STD. Human immunodeficiency virus attacks the T-cells, part of the immune system, and uses it to duplicate itself and spread. When the number of immune cells in one cubic milliliter of blood is less than 200, the infection is referred to as AIDS. The amount of time it takes for the cell count to fall so low varies from person to person, sometimes because of certain drugs or because the immune system is naturally less resistant to the disease (“Learn about HIV/AIDS.”). AIDS can cause a lot of different complications in the body.