Information on Aids
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a set of symptoms and infections resulting from the damage to the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).This condition progressively reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and leaves individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections and tumors.Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a set of symptoms and infections resulting from the damage to the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).This condition progressively reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and leaves individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections and tumors. HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, and breast milk.
As an independent AIDS organisation founded in 1986, AVERT has taken a keen interest in the ongoing debate about what causes AIDS. As well as investigating the consensus position, we have followed and carefully considered the arguments of the dissident minority who claim that HIV is harmless or even that it might not exist. This topic is vitally relevant to how our organisation works to prevent people developing AIDS and to help those who are suffering.
Severe symptoms of HIV infection and AIDS may not appear for 10 years. And for years leading up to that, a person may not have symptoms of AIDS. The amount of time it takes for symptoms of AIDS to appear varies from person to person. Some people may feel and look healthy for years while they are infected with HIV. It is still possible to infect others with HIV, even if the person with the virus has absolutely no symptoms. You cannot tell simply by looking at someone whether he or she is infected.
In the 25 years since the first reports of the disease, AIDS has become a global epidemic. Worldwide, an estimated 38.6 million people are living with HIV, nearly half of them women and girls between the ages of 15 and 24. And though the spread of the virus has slowed in some countries, it has escalated or remained steady in others. In 2005, more than 4 million people were newly infected with HIV; 25 million have died of AIDS since the epidemic began.
A virus is a germ that requires a host cell to survive and reproduce.
Viruses are highly adaptable, with the potential of remaining alive in their
host cells for long periods of time. HIV is a highly adaptable virus capable of mutating quickly, and may require vigilent attention on the part of the host to keep it it check.
AIDS clinical trials evaluate experimental drugs and other therapies for adults and children at all stages of HIV infection -- from patients who are HIV positive with no symptoms to those with various symptoms of AIDS. As the main dissemination point for federally approved HIV treatment and prevention guidelines, AIDS info provides information about the current treatment regimens for HIV infection and AIDS-related illnesses, including the prevention of HIV transmission from occupational exposure and mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy.
Sexual transmission of HIV has been described from men to men, men to women, women to men, and women to women through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The best way to avoid sexual transmission is abstinence from sex until it is certain that both partners in a monogamous relationship are not HIV-infected.Because the HIV antibody test can take up to 6 months to turn positive, both partners would need to test negative 6 months after their last potential exposure to HIV. If abstinence is out of the question, the next best method is the use of latex barriers.