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."
Among young women aged 15-24, the occurrence rate of HIV is at least three times that of young men” (amfAr Making Aids History, 2011). “In the United States, Women account for (25%) of all HIV diagnosed cases and deaths caused by Aids” (amfAr Making Aids History, 2011). The number of Aids diagnosed cases involving women has more than tripled since 1985. Most of the women diagnosed with HIV contracted the virus through heterosexual sex. “African Americans women are leading in the nation with 64 percent of all women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2009” (amfAr Making Aids History, 2011) .Young girls ranging in age from (13-19) were responsible for 43% of AID... ... middle of paper ... ...rg/hivaids/upload/6089_05.pdf Martin, M. (2009, October 28).
Most people are not even aware that they are infected with the HIV virus for long periods of time, sometimes even years. The symptoms of HIV often start with flu-like symptoms such as swollen glands, fever, sore throat, rash, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, and headaches. This is called “acute retroviral syndrome;” it is the body’s natural reaction to contracting the HIV virus. The symptoms can last from days to weeks. Many people who are infected with HIV do not even show signs for 10 years or more.
In second stage or Established Stage a person can go many years with out any other signs. HIV is suspected when several symptoms are present such as: confusion, diarrhea, dry cough, mouth sores, night sweats, shortness of breath, yeast infection of the mouth, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, nail changes, pain when swallowing, and weight loss ( 4 ). In the final or Late Stage HIV progresses to AIDS. In other words AIDS is the last stage of HIV. This stage increases a person's risk of developing serious illnesses such as certain cancers and neurological disorders.
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.
A great deal depends on how long this phase will last such as, how fast the HIV virus replicates and how the patient’s body deals with the virus. Some patients can stay in this phase for almost 10 years without any signs or symptoms. Persistent generalized lymphadenopathy is when the lymph nodes become infected and enlarged. The HIV affected patient can endure swollen glands during any stage of the disease. The next phase of the disease is symptomatic infection.
A minute has gone by; has anything changed? You may not see a sudden change but in that minute, six children became infected with HIV, which totals 8,500 children and young people becoming infected with HIV a day. HIV stands for Human immunodeficiency virus. A person who has HIV is susceptible to many different diseases and viral infections, because the virus gradually destroys the immune system. Once a person becomes infected with HIV, they will eventually enter the deadly last stage called AIDS.
By killing or damaging cells of the body's immune system, HIV progressively destroys the body's ability to fight infections and certain cancers. People diagnosed with AIDS may get life-threatening diseases called opportunistic infections, which are caused by microbes such as viruses or bacteria that usually do not make healthy people sick. More than 790,000 cases of AIDS have been reported in the United States since 1981, and as many as 900,000 Americans may be infected with HIV. This epidemic is growing more rapidly among minority populations and is a leading killer of African-American males ages 25 to 44. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), AIDS affects nearly seven times more African Americans and three times more Hispanics than whites.
HIV/AIDS has become an extensively spread virus that affects the human immune system. South African black women continue being one of the population greatest at risk for HIV infection, various health behaviours contribute to these women being at risk. HIV is perceived to be more prevalent in South Africa than anywhere else worldwide with 5.6 million people living with HIV, and 270,000 HIV correlated deaths recorded in 2011. Approximately 12.2% of the South African population are living with HIV/AIDS; when excluding children, that percentage of people affected with HIV/AIDS rises to 18% (UNAIDS, 2013b). According to Shisana, Rehle, Simbayi et al., (2012), HIV prevalence amongst 20-34 year-old black African women appears to be higher than all women of other age groups and race – the prevalence is 36%.
The disease alters the immune system, causing exposure to infections and illness far more dangerous for those positively infected. HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person such as semen, breast milk, vaginal fluids and blood. Contaminated or “used” hypodermic needles are a common source of infection. The virus is passed from one person to the next by blood-to-blood or unprotected sexual contact. Additionally, a pregnant women who is infected can pass HIV to her babies during pregnancy, delivery, even breast feeding.