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  • DISEASE OF THE WEEK...HIV (HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS.

DISEASE OF THE WEEK...HIV (HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS.

WHAT IS HIV- HIV is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome better known as AIDS, if the virus isn’t treated. The human body for some reason can’t get rid of HIV completely even if treated, unlike some other viruses that can. Once contracting HIV, you have it for life.

HIV attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), these cells help the immune system fight off infections. When untreated HIV greatly reduces the number of these cells in the body, increasing the chances of the person getting other infections or infection-related cancers. In time the virus can attack so many of these vital cells so that the body can’t fight off disease and infections. There are three stages of the disease, acute HIV infection, clinical latency (inactivity or dormancy) and AIDS.

TREATMENT AND CURE- There is no current effective cure for HIV, but with proper medical care and early diagnosis HIV can be controlled. There is a medicine used to treat HIV and it is called antiretroviral therapy, or ART. If it’s taken right away and every day, the medicine can substantially prolong the lives of many people infected with the virus. It can keep them healthy and really lower their chances of infecting others. Before ART was introduced in the 90’s, people who had HIV could progress to AIDS in just a few short years, whereas today someone with HIV with treatment can live for nearly as long as someone without the virus.

 

 

Say safe everyone and remember to keep your sexual health tests up to date.

 

 

 

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