07 August 2011

How to Help Women to Be HIV Free

Since HIV is such a lethal disease and more than that, it is still an incurable disease, therefore, prevention form HIV infection is the only option that we have on this day. HIV spreads through mainly three ways i.e. through seminal/vaginal fluids, through infected blood or syringes and from a mother to her child, during her pregnancy as well as through breast milk. The idea of prevention from HIV focuses around blocking HIV trespass through these modes. As it is protection for women are more or less the same as that of men. The following are some of the ways of prevention from HIV infection:

1. Sexual abstinenceUnprotected sex is one of the major reasons for spread of HIV at such a rapid rate. Therefore the best thing to do for you, if you do not wish to be infected with it is, to go for total abstinence from sexual activity, till you are married to a person who is tested free of HIV.

2. Monogamous relationship You always have the chances of getting infected with HIV, if you are having sex with a number of people. So, a monogamous sexual relationship with a person tested free of HIV, who is equally faithful to you; considerably reduces your chances of HIV infection.

3. Sexual protection measuresYou should never indulge in unprotected sex. Although condoms do not completely eliminate your chances of HIV infection; they surely do reduce your chances of infection by a considerable margin. If your partner is not using any barrier, then you always have the option of a female condom.

4. Avoid open cuts and woundsOpen cuts and wounds considerably increase your chances of contacting HIV. It is therefore advisable to refrain from open cuts and wounds.

5. Use sterilized needles If you do not wish to be infected with HIV; then in that case you should always use sterilized needles and disposable syringes. This too reduces your chances of infection by a significant margin. Avoid piercing and tattoos; and even if you do wish to get a tattoo or piercing job done, then make sure, that the needles are properly sterilized.

6. Blood transfusion basics In case of blood transfusion, you should always get the screening details of the blood. Similarly in case of organ transplantation screening would save you from getting infected with HIV.

7. Lesbian activityA number of sexual activities like fingering, as well as by way of sharing sex toys have reported to have caused HIV infection among lesbians.

Although HIV is growing at a very fast rate, you can always save yourself from getting infected with it. Therefore, save not just yourself, but others as well by sharing the above information.

Approved Vs Unapproved Home HIV Test Kits

HIV testing has a number of advantages. Firstly, it stops you from spreading the virus any further, if you have knowledge of your infection. Secondly, timely action can improve your life expectancy by a large margin. Results have shown a considerable development in this regard, where proper medication has actually slowed the progress of the virus; due to which, the life expectancy of the patients have increased by as many as five to six years. Also, if you are a pregnant woman, infected with the virus, you have chances of lowering the risk of infecting your unborn child. Also, you can stop the virus from spreading to your children by way of breast milk.

However, since most people are scared to go to a clinic for HIV tests, it has further worsened the condition, as far as spread of HIV is concerned. In order to address this problem, the HIV home test came into light. An HIV home test kit enables you to know the results, at your home. You will find a number of HIV home test kits in the market. Also, you can order for a home delivery.

There are basically two types of HIV home test kits, which are available in the market, i.e. FDA approved testing kits and non-approved testing kits.

Approved test kits contain several components, such as specimen collection, as well as specified mailing envelope to send the specimen to a designated laboratory. It basically relies on a finger prick system, in which, the user pricks his/her finger and deposits his/her blood on a designated paper. This paper is then sent to a laboratory with a personal identification number and usually takes around three days to get the result.
Approved tests are extensively examined by the FDA and results show, that they are capable of detecting HIV-1virus, in an effective way. Also, approved HIV home test kits provide pre and post testing counseling, which is very necessary, not only for providing emotional support, but for lowering the inhibition of going through the tests.

Unapproved home test kits on the other harm are not examined by the FDA and hence the results, which they show, are always under doubt. An unapproved kit may rely on a finger prick system or saliva test and claim to detect HIV antibodies within fifteen minutes or less. The mode of testing involves collecting the blood, or saliva sample on a designated paper and a solution is placed on it, to test the strains of HIV in it. The samples are not sent to a laboratory, for inspection.

As explained earlier, these tests do not guarantee any results. So, a user always has a chance of getting wrong results. Also, no pre or post counseling is provided by these kits, making situations worse, as a person could further spread the virus, unaware of his/her actual status.

Since, HIV is such a dreaded disease, it should therefore, never be taken in a callous manner. It is therefore, advisable, to opt for an approved HIV home test kit, to get a proper report.

06 August 2011

Steps To Follow Before And After Hiv Tests

Being asked by your physician to undergo an HIV test done may result in a lot of anxiety and stress. In many cases, patients may assume him/her to be infected, even before they actually go for the tests. Due to social as well as personal causes, a patient may feel insecure and go through a broad range of emotions. Most often people panic and refuse to go for the test, due to the fear of testing positive.

It therefore, becomes very important to take a few steps before the tests are conducted, in order to provide emotional succor to the person undergoing an HIV test. The following are a few steps which can be taken to do so:

1. Pre-test advice

a. The first thing that you need to do, before undergoing an HIV test, is to get mentally prepared fro it. This is because, unless and until you are mentally prepared for it, there are always chances of you getting panicked and refusing to go for the tests at the last minute.

b. You can go for a pre test counseling to overcome the wide rang of emotions that you may be going through. This would help you in going through the test without any mental fatigue. By giving a boost to your confidence level, a pre test counselor would ensure that you face the test with no or less anxiety and fear.

c. Another thing that you can do is to spend some time with your family and friends. Watch a movie with your buddies, or help in setting up a tree house for your kids. Such activities would help you a lot in lowering your stress level and help you in facing the test with full confidence.

d. You must always remember that, irrespective of what might be the outcome, you would always enjoy life the way that you did earlier, minus the risks that you had been getting yourself into.

2. Post-test advice

a. Even if your initial tests confirm you to be HIV negative, you must always wait for the second tests, which would typically happen after six months to the first tests. During this period, you need to get your self mentally prepared to face the results.

b. If you have been diagnosed with HIV, then in that case, you would definitely need a post-test counseling, to overcome the trauma that you might be going through. Such a session would help you realize the fact that all is still not lost and there is still a lot that you could do.

c. Along with this, you can get in touch with some healthcare provider, which would help you in getting information regarding proper medication and other facilities. As it is, you would get to know about the various antiretroviral drug therapies which are available to you.

Life is so beautiful, that it does not end with an HIV infection. All you need to do is realize this fact. Even if you are an HIV patient, there is a lot that you could do. The best thing is to spread awareness in regard to HIV. Also, you yourself can provide pre and post counseling sessions to those who are undergoing HIV tests and help them get out of the trauma.

How Hiv Virus Attacks Your Immune System

What makes HIV such a lethal virus, is the fact that it affects the immune system of the body, leaving you exposed to a number of diseases, with virtually no help of any kind from your immune system. Now, because the immune system of our body is responsible for warding off potential threat to the body, in the form of external threats (such as virus, bacteria and protozoa), therefore a weakened immune system would mean that even medicines would not work. This means that an HIV+ patient has little hope. This is because HIV is still an incurable disease till date; and though we have many scientists claiming to find a cure, we still lack conclusive evidence on their part.

So, how does the Human Immunodeficiency Virus actually affect your immune system? The answer lies in the complex nature of HIV. As it is, HIV is a part of the family of Retroviridae and is an RNA virus. Unlike the human cells, which store information in the form of DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid, HIV stores its information in the form of RNA or ribonucleic acid.

Now, once the virus enters the human body, it performs an unusual function of converting the RNA into DNA. This it does so, by entering a target cell and then converting RNA information into double stranded DNA by way of a reverse transcriptase, which is already present in the virus particle. Once this happens, the contaminated DNA is then integrated into the cellular DNA by way of integrase.

The primary focus of HIV is to infect vital cells in the immune system, such as CD4+ T cells and dendritic cells. This results in lowering of the levels of CD4+ T cells. With the CD4+ T cell count going below a critical level, the immune system of the body of the body weakens and you are vulnerable to a number of diseases and infections.

Now let us see how, does the virus lower your CD4+ T cell count. It does so, in mainly three ways. First, by inflicting direct damage to the cells, secondly, by increasing the rate of apoptosis (the rate of natural death of cells) in infected cells and thirdly, by way of killing infected CD4+ T cells.

A major difficulty in finding a cure for HIV is its genetic variability, which is very high. The main reason for this is variability is the fast replication cycle of the virus, which results in producing as many as with the generation of 109 to 1010 virions per day. Add to this a very high mutation rate and you have a lethal situation leading to the formation of many variants of HIV in a single infected patient in the course of one day. The situation gets more complex, in case if a single cell is simultaneously infected by two or more different strains of HIV.

Importance of Aids Education

HIV/AIDS has the potential to cause far more damage than any terrorist attack. It is a lethal disease and sadly, it still does not have any cure. As it is the only way to cure it is by way of prevention. A major cause of the spread of HIV at such a fast rate has been the lack of awareness. It therefore becomes very important for us to spread education in this regard. This is because; the higher the numbers of HIV positive people, higher are the chances of others to get infected by this disease.

Due to this reason, it is very important for us to spread education in this regard. Typically, AIDS education would help us in the following ways.

Prevention
Since HIV is still an incurable disease, therefore, prevention from HIV/AIDS is the only solution that we have, as far as curing the disease is concerned. By spreading AIDS education we can help in prevention of this disease.

The best way of prevention from HIV infection through sex, is to go for total abstinence from sexual activity. So, by staying away from sexual activity till a person is married to another person who is tested free of HIV; would save him/her from HIV infection via seminal/ vaginal fluids. Apart from this, many people indulge in unprotected sex. A condom can be an effective way to avoid HIV.

Apart from that, open cuts and wounds are another mode of HIV infection. Also, usage of sterilized needles and disposable syringes can also be an effective way of avoiding AIDS. In case of blood transfusion, it is always better to get the screening details of the blood. Similarly in case of organ transplantation screening would save a person from getting infected with HIV.

By spreading education about all the above modes of prevention, we can effectively stop the spread of the virus.

TreatmentTreatment is another area, where AIDS education can play a very vital role. This is because, although HIV is an incurable disease till date, various medications facilities are available which can help conditions from getting worse and delay the arrival of AIDS.

With the help of theses medications an HIV infected person can lead a fairly normal life for a considerably longer period of time. HIV medication helps in preventing the virus from spreading further for a considerably long time. It tries to stop the virus from growing further, as well as stopping it from infecting the unaffected cells. So, AIDS education can help an HIV positive person to live longer.

As it is, by way of spreading awareness, about HIV/AIDS, we can considerably lower the chances of it spreading further. Not just that, AIDS awareness can be an effective tool eradicating various myths and misconceptions regarding AIDS and help those affected with HIV, in leading a normal and healthy life.

Late Stage Symptoms of Hiv Aids

A person with HIV infection may look to be perfectly alright in initial stages. However, signs begin to show, with the onset of AIDS. Typically it takes eight to ten years for HIV to develop into full fledged AIDS. With effective medication available in the form of antiretroviral drugs, onset of AIDS may be further delayed by five to six years.

However, HIV will finally develop into AIDS and when this happens; you will suffer from a number of physical ailments. Although initial stages of AIDS may not show too many symptoms, but with AIDS severely damaging your entire immune system, you would come across a number of symptoms in the later stages.

Typically, an AIDS patient in the later stages would show a number of symptoms, some of which are as follows:

1. The most common symptom that marks the arrival of a later stage in AIDS is frequent exhaustion along with giddiness. Although such symptoms may be present in early stages as well, but conditions tend to get severe in the later stages.

2. Another common sign of the later stage arrival is distorted vision. This is a common feature among AIDS patient. However, all the patients may not show such symptoms.

3. Later stage symptoms, may also show severe numbness in the limbs along with constant weakening in the form of loss in muscular control and strength.

4. Continuation of high degree of fever, along with shivering is a common feature. Conditions begin to deteriorate with the passage of time and may even prevail for weeks. Since the immune system is already corrupted, there are few chances of getting rid of such conditions.

5. Women suffering from AIDS may suffer from acute vaginal infection along with swollen lymph nodes. Such situation may also be present in earlier stages as well.

6. Acute weight loss is another condition, which is a common feature in such stages. With frequent weight loss, the chances of revival are very low.

7. Another common feature in case of AIDS is infection of the ears, nose and the throat. Such infections are very common especially among children and may take a long time to heal. In some cases, they do not heal at all.

8. Appearance of white patches and rashes all over the body are some other common symptoms which may be present in such circumstances.

9. Several forms of cancer are also prevalent in the onset of the last stage of AIDS. Cervical cancer and Kaposi’s sarcoma are some of the most common cancers in such conditions.

10. Along with these, memory loss along with a loss of cognitive abilities may also be prevalent among the patients. In many cases, these symptoms are accompanied by personality as well as behavioral disorders.

AIDS states the onset of a very arduous and difficult journey. However, it definitely means you have to give up. We all know the end result in such conditions, but a true fighter never gives up; and as we say defeat never comes to you unless you accept it.

Aids Hiv Doctors and Treatment

AIDS is one of the most dreaded diseases of our times. The most dangerous aspect of HIV is the fact that it affects the immune system of the body, leaving you exposed to a number of diseases, with virtually no protection of any kind. Since the immune system of our body is responsible for warding off potential threat to the body, in the form of virus, bacteria and protozoa, a damaged immune system itself, leaves an HIV+ patient with little hope for recovery. This is because AIDS is still an incurable disease till date; and though we may have significant advancement in this regard, we still have a long way to go, before we are actually able to find a cure.

Therefore by the time we are able to come up with a cure, the best way to fight it of course is to save yourself from getting infected.

Doctors and medical practitioners are some of the most vulnerable people, as regards to HIV infection is concerned. This is mainly by virtue of the constant exposure to people with HIV. As it is, doctors and medical practitioners are at constant risk of getting infected by HIV. The following are some of the risks, which doctors and medical practitioners get exposed to:

1. Open cuts and wounds are an important cause of concern for many doctors and medical practitioners. Getting exposed to open cuts and wounds without proper protection can cause infection. It is therefore advised to get proper protection to those who are exposed to open cuts and wounds.

2. Accidentally pricking yourself with a syringe is another cause of concern as far as exposure to HIV is concerned. A number of cases have been reported, where doctors and medical practitioners were infected with the virus, when they accidentally pricked themselves with a syringe, which was earlier used to inject an HIV patient.

3. Blood transfusion is also another area of concern. Due to lack of proper screening facilities at many places, doctors and medical practitioners are constantly exposed to blood, which has been contaminated with HIV. As a result, this too poses a grave risk to them and exposes them to a dangerous situation, which can cause HIV infection.

4. Some scientists have even stated that unlike what is perceived, HIV can actually survive in the environment for a fairly long time. Although we do not have any conclusive proof in this regard; but if at all this theory is found out to be true, then in that case, medical practitioners are definitely under high risk of getting exposed to HIV/AIDS.

It therefore becomes all the more necessary for doctors and medical practitioners to take adequate steps of protection, in order to save themselves from getting exposed to HIV infection.

05 August 2011

Hiv Aids Infection Vaccine

As we see millions of deaths taking place, as a result of HIV infection, the need for an HIV vaccine is getting stronger and stronger, making it an absolutely indispensable necessity in recent times. Due to this very reason, many tests have been conducted, all across the globe. Although these results have failed to show any positive results so far, yet research work is under progress. As a matter of fact, it becomes all the more necessary to develop a vaccine with large number of undetected cases, moving around.

It is to be noted that a few vaccines have been developed in the past. However, these vaccines have been rendered useless due to the fact that HIV is a highly mutable virus. It is also the ability of the virus to thwart the pressure extended by humoral as cellular immunity system, which is making it difficult to develop a vaccine. Along with this, HIV isolates are also highly variable, which is degrading the situation further. Thus, any vaccine needs to be broad enough to deal with the highly variable characteristic of the disease, to be effective enough.

Currently, there are around 80 vaccine candidates undergoing tests in phase one trials, expectedly five in phase one/two trials and one in phase three trial. In most of these trials, focus lied on the HIV envelope protein; which resulted in the evaluation of at least ten different candidates belonging to the gp120 and gp160 categories, in tests, which were conducted by the AIDS Vaccine Evaluation Group.

An important development in this regard was the STEP study which kick started in 2004. As many as 3000 candidates were selected and the study was conducted by the HIV Vaccine Trials Network in association with Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases along with Merck & Co. which is a Pharmaceutical company. Merck & co. is known for the development of the experimental vaccine V520 which was supposed to stimulate cellular immunity, by advancing the growth of T cells that kill HIV infected cells.

However, V520 was soon found out to be ineffective, as it contained only three HIV genes. Apart from that, it also appeared that conditioned worsened in case of HIV1 infections. This lead to the discontinuation of trials, related to V520 in 2007. Latest development in this regard has been the development of Modified Vaccina Ankara. Trials suggested that it provided partial protection in some models.

Laboratories all across the globe are trying to find a vaccine for HIV. If at all a vaccine is developed, then it would be a great step in the direction of eradication of HIV/AIDS.

Confidential Hiv Aids Testing

HIV is one of biggest problems that we face today, causing millions of deaths all across the globe. Sadly, HIV still does not have any cure till date, which makes it a very difficult situation for us to handle. A major factor which has changed the situation from bad to worse is unawareness. As we see all around us, the world is filled with undetected cases of HIV infections. This is a potential danger. People most often, unknowingly infect others, who in turn pass the virus to someone else. This way, the cycle continues. More so, the number of undetected cases may be far more than what our rough estimates may suggest.

To deal with this situation, the HIV testing can be a safe bet. It can prove to be an important tool in stopping the disease from spreading further. As it is, HIV testing are confidential and names of those, who are found to be HIV positive are closely guarded secrets and are not revealed to anyone, except in situations, when the HIV patient is putting others to the risk of infection.

As it is, you can go for a confidential HIV testing via two modes.

Confidential HIV testing at an HIV testing centerAn HIV testing center is the best place to go for HIV testing. As it is HIV testing involves collection of your blood and saliva samples. Results are told personally, so no one except you knows about the outcome of the tests.

It has to be noted here that although you may have been infected by HIV, you may not show any visible symptoms and tests may even suggest that you are HIV negative. Due to this reason, a second test is conducted after six months to arrive at a valid conclusion. This because, it may take three to five months for HIV to grow up to detectable limits; after you have been exposed to it.

Confidential HIV testing with the help of an HIV Home testing KitAnother mode of confidential HIV testing is to go for a home HIV testing kit. In a home HIV testing kit, you are required to take samples of your blood and saliva at home, with the help of an HIV home testing kit and send them to an HIV testing center. Also, new kits are also available, which do not even require you to send your samples to a testing center. They would readily show you the results within a few minutes.

Although such kits are quite helpful in maintaining confidentiality; to arrive at a valid conclusion, you will have to go to an HIV testing center. This is because, most of these testing kits in the market are not approved by the FDA and may give you wrong information.

Confidentiality is an important aspect of HIV testing. This is done to avoid discrimination which can be meted out to the affected person. Therefore, Government has made strict rules regarding confidentiality.

04 August 2011

First Sign Of Hiv Aids Infection

According to a recent report more than thirty three million people across the globe today; are living with the HIV virus. A major reason for this widespread advance of HIV is that in most of the cases it is not actually accompanied by any visible symptoms in the initial stages.

So, a person may be infected with the virus and may still live a very healthy life for a very long time. However signs begin to show, once the immune system breaks down, and the person is on the verge of developing AIDS. By this time, it is already too late.

A person infected with HIV may show some or all of the following initial signs:

1. Sudden weight loss- This is a major symptom which is quite visible and hence should not be taken lightly. An infected person may lose weight drastically, often within a few weeks time. Therefore if you have lost weight drastically over a short period of time, it is better to get an HIV test done.

2. Bouts of extreme exhaustion- A person infected with HIV may suffer from extreme bouts of exhaustion, which are often unexplained. Such unnatural occurrences may happen any time and are warning signs for the patient. As it is, bouts of exhaustion may be due to other reasons, but whatever may be the reason, it is always better to consult a physician.

3. Fever- Fever or Pyrexia refers to a condition where a person suffers from increased body temperature i.e. a body temperature higher than 98.6 degree F. It is accompanied by an increased heart rate, muscle tone, as well as shivering. In case of HIV infection, the patient gets fever on a frequent basis.

4. Night sweats- Night sweats can be referred to as severe hot flashes which occur during the night, resulting in severe perspiration. At times patient gets totally drenched in sweat. Such a stage may last between 30 seconds to several minutes as well. Night sweats may occur due to a number of reasons, but if such a condition occur on a frequent basis, then you need to get your HIV test done.

5. Chronic Diarrhea- A person infected with HIV, may suffer from chronic diarrhea, which may last for a month or more. Such a condition is extremely critical and needs immediate action. In most circumstances, when medicines do not work in such circumstances, you must get your HIV test done.

6. Easy bruising- A person suffering from HIV may develop easy bruising on the body. This may happen any time and are often unexplained. As the immune system is already damaged, the bruises do not heal easily and may result in open wounds.

7. Chronic yeast infection or thrush- A person infected with HIV may develop chronic yeast infection and thrush, which is an infection of the mucous membrane of the mouth, caused by Candida (a fungal genus). Yeast infection may occur due to many reasons and are pretty common especially among women.

It is always better to get your self tested for HIV, so that you do not spread the virus to your loved ones. It is therefore; better, to get an HIV test done if you suffer from the above symptoms. It might be possible, that you may suffer from the above symptoms, without any HIV infection, but nevertheless, timely detection can improve the lifespan of the patient by a very great margin.

Blood Test For Hiv Aids Infection

HIV is one of biggest problems that we face today. As of it, HIV still does not have any cure, which makes it a very difficult situation for us to handle. As we see all around us, the world is filled with undetected cases of HIV infections. This is a potential danger. People most often, unknowingly infect others, who in turn pass the virus to someone else. This way, the cycle continues.

Along with the rising number of HIV cases in recent times, the need for HIV testing has raised manifolds. With a large number of deaths occurring due to HIV/AIDS, concrete steps became the need of the hour.
A number of steps were taken in this regard. For example a number of free HIV testing centers were set up in many places. This was an important step in this direction. However a lot was still needed as most people are scared to go to a clinic for HIV tests. This further worsened the condition.

There are a number of tests which are conducted to check whether a person is HIV positive or not. The most common amongst these tests is the blood test. In a blood test, detection of a number of substances in the blood are detected, such as HIV antibodies, as well as HIV proteins; which shows whether a person is infected with HIV or not and if yes, then to what extent. It may be interesting to note that, blood tests can be classified under a number of categories.

As it is, the following are some of the blood tests, which are most commonly used:

1. ElisaThis is the most common type of test, which is conducted and as it is, this is the first test to be conducted on the blood of the patient. This test is done to detect the presence of antibodies in the blood.

2. Western BlotIn case if the results from Elisa are negative, then the testing procedure stops. However, if results show presence of HIV antibodies, then the blood samples are send for a Western Blot test, for reconfirmation. In a Western Blot test, detection of the presence of HIV protein is carried out.

3. HIV PCRThis is another test which is carried out to reconfirm the results of the above two tests. These tests are conducted to detect the presence of contaminated DNA and RNA in the blood. The presence of theses corrupted DNA and RNA indicates the presence of HIV.

Blood testing is by far one of the moist reliable sources of HIV testing. It is one of the most common tests and is highly specific.

Hiv Aids Home Test

Along with the rising number of HIV cases in recent times, the need for HIV testing has risen manifolds. A number of steps were taken in this regard. For example; setting up of free HIV testing centers in many places. This was an important step in this direction. However a lot was still needed as most people are scared to go to a clinic for HIV tests. This further worsened the condition.

In order to address this problem, the HIV home test came into light. An HIV home test kit enables you to know the results on the spot. Although it may appear to be easier to go for a home testing Kit, yet it is not a very accurate testing system. This means that you will anyway have to go for an HIV test at the clinic to get a confirming report.

In many countries, it is illegal to sell HIV testing kits to the public, although there is some debate on whether they should be allowed to be sold in the market. However if you wish to go for an HIV home test kit, it is better to go for a kit which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration Department. It has to be mentioned here that like all anti body tests, these tests too need a period of at least six months for confirmation.

However, these kits have their share of advantages as well. As of it, these kits are easily available at local stores, or can be ordered on phone and through internet as well. Due to this reason, it is quite effective in case of people who do not have easy access to HIV testing centers. Apart from this the FDA approved HIV home kits are considered to give one of the most accurate results.

Despite this one can not ignore the fact that, there are many unapproved kits in the market as well. Due to this reason, the results can not said to be reliable. Not just that, it does not actually solve the purpose of anonymity, simply because, you will any way have to go to the store to buy the kit. This would reveal your identity. Also, if you choose to order it by phone, or through internet, then in that case, your identity is revealed as well. Apart from this there is no scope for counseling, which is available in case of an HIV testing center. Counseling is really important to help an infected person to deal with the after effects.

Along with the above demerits, it also has an additional disadvantage, that there is absolutely no scope for partner notification. An infected person may not share the information regarding his infection with his/her partner, exposing his/her to the risk of getting infected as well.

HIV home test kits have their share of advantages and disadvantages; and it is up to you to decide, which way to go.

Hiv Aids Cure and Prevention

Since HIV is an incurable disease and sadly does not have any cure till date; therefore, it becomes all the more important for you to take precautionary measure, so that you do not get infected by this fearful disease. It is worth noting that there are a number of ways which can prevent you from being infected with HIV.
The following are some of the ways of prevention from HIV infection:

1. Sexual abstinenceOne of the major reasons for spread of HIV at such a rapid rate is unprotected sex. Therefore the best thing to do for you, if you do not wish to be infected with it is, to go for total abstinence from sexual activity, till you are married to a person who is tested free of HIV.

2. Monogamous relationship You always have the chances of getting infected with HIV, if you are having sex with a number of people. So, a monogamous sexual relationship with a person tested free of HIV, considerably reduces your chances of HIV infection.

3. Sexual protection measuresIt may be so that you may not overcome the urge to have sex. However, you should never indulge in unprotected sex. Although condoms do not completely eliminate your chances of HIV infection; they surely do reduce your chances of infection by a considerable margin.

4. Avoid open cuts and woundsOpen cuts and wounds considerably increase your chances of contacting HIV. It is therefore advisable to refrain from open cuts and wounds.

5. Use sterilized needles If you do not wish to be infected with HIV; then in that case you should always use sterilized needles and disposable syringes. This too reduces your chances of infection by a significant margin. Avoid piercing and tattoos; and even if you do wish to get a tattoo or piercing job done, then make sure, that the needles are properly sterilized.

6. Precautions at the barber shopWhen you go to a barbers shop, then you need to take care of it that you do not get your shave done by a pre used razor blade. Although there are few chances of HIV infection by a pre used razor blade; you must always remember that precaution is better than cure and cure is not possible in case of HIV infection, therefore it is better to go for precaution.

7. Blood transfusion basics In case of blood transfusion, you should always get the screening details of the blood. Similarly in case of organ transplantation screening would save you from getting infected with HIV.

8. Precautions in case of pregnancy If you are pregnant, it is better to get an HIV test done. There are a few medication facilities, which considerably lower the chances of transfer of HIV from a mother to her unborn child. Also take advice from your doctor in regard to breast feeding, if you have been infected with HIV.

HIV is one of the biggest threats; mankind is facing in today’s date. It is therefore better to take precautionary steps to save yourself from it.

Hiv Aids Disease Treatment

Although HIV is an incurable disease till date, various medications facilities are available which can help conditions from getting worse and delay the arrival of AIDS. With the help of theses medications an HIV infected person can lead a fairly normal life for a considerably longer period of time. HIV medication helps in preventing the virus from spreading further for a considerably long time. It tries to stop the virus from growing further, as well as stopping it from infecting the unaffected cells.

It is to be known here that HIV belongs to a unique class of viruses which are not composed of DNA, but is composed of RNA. As such HIV medication can be broadly classified under the following categories:

1. Reverse transcriptase (RT) inhibitors
An important aspect, which makes HIV so much dangerous, is its genetic variability. As discussed earlier, HIV is composed of RNA. However, once the virus enters the body of an individual, it replicates itself into HIV DNA, with the help of Reverse Transcriptase, which is an HIV enzyme. To tackle this problem, RT inhibitors play a very important role. There are basically two main types of RT inhibitors.

(a) Nucleoside/nucleotide RT inhibitors are basically variants of DNA blocks, which enter the HIV DNA, while the RT is at work; and stop the HIV DNA chain from completion. This acts as a major inhibitor for the HIV from replicating itself; while the Nucleoside/nucleotide RT inhibitors are increasing your CD4 cell count. Examples of Nucleoside/nucleotide RT inhibitors are Azidothymidine, zalcitabine and dideoxyinosine.

(b) Non-nucleoside RT inhibitors  work in the same direction, by binding itself to RT and stopping the HIV RNA from converting itself into HIV DNA. Examples include Delavridine (Rescriptor) and Nevirapine (Viramune).

2. Protease inhibitors 
Protease inhibitors basically perform the function of dealing with the protease enzyme, which is used by the HIV for developing infectious viral particles. The most common drug in this category is Ritonavir (Norvir).

3. Entry and fusion inhibitors
Entry and fusion inhibitors are used for dealing with the ability of HIV to fuse into the cellular membrane, which helps in stopping it from entering into the host cell. An example of this category is Fuzeon.

4. Integrase inhibitors Integrase inhibitors are used for dealing with integrase, which is an enzyme used by HIV for incorporating its genetic material into its target host cell.

5. Multidrug combination products Apart from the above medication procedures, we also have the Multidrug combination products, which combine drugs from two or more categories to form a single medical category. This is because, HIV is a virus with high genetic variability and so, variants of it emerge quite easily, which are resistant to antiretroviral drugs. To deal with this multi drug combination products are used.

It is to be noted here that a patient may suffer from side effects arising from the use of these drugs, which may differ from person to person. Therefore, a patient undergoing treatment should be prepared for it. However, it is a very small charge, in comparison to what it actually gives you.

Aids Hiv Infection Testing

With millions of deaths all across the globe, HIV is one of biggest problems that we face today. As of it, HIV still does not have any cure, which makes it a very difficult situation for us to handle. Unawareness is another factor which has changed the situation from bad to worse. As we see all around us, the world is filled with undetected cases of HIV infections. This is a potential danger. People most often, unknowingly infect others, who in turn pass the virus to someone else. This way, the cycle continues.

To deal with this problem, the best solution that we have in our hand is HIV testing; which can prove to be an important tool in stopping the disease from spreading further.

Typically, HIV testing has a number of advantages. Firstly, it stops you from spreading the virus any further, if you have knowledge of your infection. This means that you can save your partner from getting infected with the disease, by taking necessary precautions.

Secondly, timely action can improve your life expectancy by a large margin. Results have shown a considerable development in this regard, where proper medication has actually slowed the progress of the virus; due to which, the life expectancy of the patients have increased by as many as five to six years, as the development of AIDS was delayed by as many years. This is a commendable thing, especially when it takes eight to ten years for HIV to develop into AIDS.

Thirdly, if you are a pregnant woman, infected with the virus, you have chances of lowering the risk of infecting your unborn child. Also, you can stop the virus from spreading to your children by way of breast milk.

As it is we have many HIV testing centers, where you can get yourself tested to avail the above advantages. The approved method of testing for HIV is the serologic test. The presence of antibodies, both HIV 1, as well as HIV 2 in a patient’s blood can be detected by this test. However, it is to be noted here, that there is a time gap between actual infection and the development of antibodies to detectable limits, which may range from a few weeks to as long as six months. Therefore, even if you have been tested negative in the first tests, you can not be sure until further tests are conducted after six months or so. In most of the cases of infections, antibodies show up by six months.

HIV is a very dangerous disease and timely intervention can stop it from spreading further. It is therefore better to go for a test in order to save others from getting infected.

03 August 2011

Hiv Aids Transmission

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the most dreaded disease of our times. Although the very first recordings of HIV have not been very long ago, yet it has been able to spread its tentacles at a very alarming rate, infecting millions of people all across the globe. Since it is spreading at such an alarming rate; it has become more and more difficult to fight with it. A major cause of HIV spreading at such a high rate is unawareness. Various myths and misconceptions add to the problem.

The most dangerous aspect of HIV is the fact that it affects the immune system of the body, leaving you exposed to a number of diseases, with virtually no protection of any kind. As you must be aware that; the immune system of our body is responsible for warding off potential threat to the body, in the form of virus, bacteria and protozoa. With the immune system itself being damaged, an HIV+ patient has little hope. This is because HIV is still an incurable disease till date; and though we have many scientists claiming to find a cure, we still lack conclusive evidence on their part.

There are many theories floated around the world, in regard to the modes of transmission of HIV from one person to another. However most of these theories are mere myths, with absolutely no scientific justifications of any kind. Till date, there are mainly three conclusive modes of transmission which is known to us; transmission through seminal/vaginal fluids, transmission through blood and transmission from a mother to her child, which also includes transmission through breast milk as well.

Transmission through seminal/vaginal fluidsTransmission through unprotected sexual activity is a major reason for the alarming growth of HIV, which has been responsible for a number of deaths, as well as millions of infections. HIV passes from one person to another by way of seminal/vaginal fluids, if they have unprotected sex. The danger of transmission increases manifold in case of anal sex.

Transmission through bloodAnother major reason for the growth in the number of HIV+ cases is transmission through blood. This may be in the form of infected syringes, organ transplantations, as well as blood transfusion, which is very rare nowadays. Exposure to infected blood, as well as mucous membrane increases the chances of infection. It is to be mentioned here that although HIV is present in blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, saliva, and tears in varying degrees, there have not been any recorded incident of transmission through saliva or tears. There has been just one recorded incident of transmission through deep kissing; that too occurring due to bleeding gums.

Transmission from mother to her childHIV can be transmitted from a mother to her child, during pregnancy, childbirth, as well as breast feeding. Although a significant improvement in this direction has been the development of such drugs, which lower the chances of transmission by this mode; there is still a long way to go.

HIV is a danger with huge potential danger and the only way of fighting it, till date is by way of spreading awareness; with the hope of finding a cure for it in future.

Aids : Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
HIV : Human Immunodeficiency Virus

02 August 2011

How to Cure Hiv Aids

With a recent spurt in the rise of HIV infection cases, the need to curb its growth is getting bigger every day. To address this critical situation many government and non-government organizations have taken some vital steps in this regard.

As it is, a number of steps have been taken to address the grave situation, which is there right in front of us, staring at our face. In the last few years many institutions have come up for the cause and many important steps were taken. Some of them are as follows:

1. Steps in regard to prevention
The basic idea is to increase awareness in relation to the spread of HIV/AIDS. This is a very effective step because, unawareness about HIV is adding to its spread. The following are some of the steps which have been taken in regard to prevention:

a. Increasing awareness
In order to increase awareness about HIV infection, how dangerous it is and what prevention measures can be taken; various public messages have been designed. Through print and electronic media these messages are brought to the notice of the average guy. So, when John reads the message in the newspaper, or watches the messages on television; he knows how dangerous unprotected sexual intercourse or sharing needles can be. He also knows how to protect himself from HIV.

Along with this, special seminars and awareness meets are being conducted on a regular basis both at the rural as well as the urban level. Such meets and seminars are also conducted at schools and colleges, to increase awareness among teens and young people. It would be interesting to know that, even private organizations are extending help for this cause.

b. Setting up of HIV testing centers
A majority of infections take place unknowingly, as people are not aware of their HIV status. As a result, they unknowingly pass on the virus to others. With a person being aware that he is HIV positive, he is less likely to transfer it to others.

c. Setting up of condom vending machines
Condom vending machines at workplaces, as well as public places, is also an important step in this regard. Easy access to such barriers lowers the chances of unprotected sex.

2.Steps in regard to rehabilitation and eradicating myths
Several myths and misconceptions in regard to HIV are responsible for the further spread of the virus. These myths are also addressed in the public messages featured in newspapers and television.

Also, steps in regard to guarantee equal status for HIV positive people have been taken, in order to avoid discrimination against them. As it is according to the rules and regulations in many countries, discrimination on the basis of HIV infection is a punishable offense.

Although such steps have been quite effective in our fight against HIV/AIDS, a lot more is still required to do. And even Tom, Dick and Harry can contribute to our fight against HIV/AIDS.

Aids : Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
HIV : Human Immunodeficiency Virus