HIV is a harmful virus that damages the entire immune system by killing the white blood cells responsible for fighting off infections. Eventually, the immune system will become weaker and prone to diseases, leaving the entire immune system impaired.
Based on the latest statistics from 2018, around 37.9 million people deal with AIDS/HIV around the world, 1.7 million of them are children younger than 15. Even though in the past, this virus was deadly, now, the life expectancy of a person with HIV is the same as those without the virus.
However, these effects can only be achieved with proper treatment and adequate medications.
Read More: Signs and Symptoms of HIV and AIDS
How is HIV Transmitted?
Specific fluids like semen, vaginal, rectal, seminal, blood, or breast milk can spread the virus. Here are the most common forms of transmission through these fluids.
During Sexual Intercourse
The main way of transmitting this virus is via intercourse. Plenty of bodily fluids will come in contact with the reproductive organs. During unprotected sex, the risk of the infection is the highest.
Anyone who uses needles, typically drug users, will exchange needles, syringes, or other equipment they use for injections. This is another way they can transmit the virus.
From a Mother to a Newborn Child
A woman with HIV can transmit the virus to her child while in labor or when pregnant. However, breastfeeding is another form of transmission that can be passed onto the child after it has been born since breast milk contains the virus. The chances of transmission are from 15%-45%.
Typical Symptoms Associated With HIV
HIV is categorized in different stages, three to be exact (acute, chronic, and AIDS). If a person avoids treatment for an extended amount of time, the symptoms will get gradually worse.
Some often mistake them for the flu and don’t get tested in time. According to statistics, out of more than a million people infected with HIV in the U.S., 14% of them didn’t get the right diagnosis because they were unaware they were infected.
As a result, it’s important to recognize the symptoms and seek help immediately. These are the most common HIV symptoms:
- Pain in the muscles
- Neck pain
- Rash on the torso
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Sore throat
Read More: HIV Symptoms
It may take a month before HIV is detected for someone who has recently been infected. The tests for HIV are considered reliable; however, there are certain cases where they might show incorrect results. So, it’s paramount that people get tested multiple times to get a proper diagnosis.
There are no medications, antibiotics, or any form of treatment that can completely cure the HIV virus. But, with the help of modern medicine, proper medications and therapy can help manage the condition, and aid individuals live a normal life as much as possible.
Read More: Modern Treatment of HIV
How to Prevent HIV
Using a condom during intercourse is the main way of protection, even during oral and anal intercourse. Different medicines are available for those who believe they might have been exposed to the infection. It’s a treatment that lasts four weeks and reduces the risk.