HIV by decree

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									                                            HIV
What is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the immune system, making it
difficult for the body to fight infection and disease.
HIV is the same virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which
increases a person's risk of developing certain cancers and infections. AIDS is the last and
most severe stage of the HIV infection. However, having HIV does not mean you have AIDS.
The good news is that people who are being treated for HIV are living longer than ever
before with the help of drugs that slow the rate at which HIV infection progresses to AIDS.

What causes HIV?

The infection is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Most people get HIV by having unprotected sex with someone who has HIV. Another
common way of getting the virus is by sharing needles with someone who is infected with
HIV when injecting drugs. HIV cannot be spread by casual contact such as kissing or sharing
drinking glasses with an infected person.
Once HIV enters the body, it infects a type of white blood cell called CD4+ cells. These white
blood cells are an important part of the immune system that helps your body fight infections.
As HIV attacks and destroys CD4+ cells, the immune system weakens and becomes less
able to fight off disease.

What are the symptoms?

Early symptoms of HIV are often mistaken for the flu (influenza) or mononucleosis. These
symptoms include fever, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and joint pain. A skin rash
may develop, along with abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. However, many
people have no early symptoms of HIV.
The incubation period—the time between when a person is first infected with HIV and when
early symptoms develop—may be a few days to several weeks. The early symptoms usually
disappear on their own within 2 to 3 weeks.
After you recover from symptoms of the initial HIV infection, you may not have symptoms
again for many years. However, as HIV progresses, symptoms reappear and then remain.
These symptoms usually include fatigue, unexplained weight loss, fever, night sweats, and
swollen lymph nodes. A health professional may first suspect an HIV infection only when
symptoms persist for no other reason.

Symptoms

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) progresses in stages. These stages are based on your
symptoms and the amount of the virus in your blood.

Initial stage

Flulike symptoms often appear within 3 to 6 weeks of initial exposure to the virus, although
symptoms can develop within just a few days. This first stage is called acute retroviral
syndrome. Symptoms of acute retroviral syndrome are often mistaken for symptoms of
another viral infection, such as influenza or mononucleosis, and may include:

       Abdominal cramps, nausea, or vomiting.
       Diarrhea.
       Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin.
       Fever.
       Headache.
       Muscle aches and joint pain.
       Skin rash.
       Sore throat.
       Weight loss.

These first symptoms can range from mild to severe and usually disappear on their own after
2 to 3 weeks.

Established stage

After you become infected with HIV, you may go many years without any other sign of
illness. When symptoms come back, they may be vague and hard to describe (although
some people complain of feeling fatigued or achy all over). A health professional may
suspect HIV if symptoms persist or if a cause (such as influenza) of the symptoms cannot be
identified. HIV may also be suspected when several of the following symptoms are present:

       Confusion
       Diarrhea or other bowel changes
       Difficulty concentrating
       Dry cough
       Fatigue
       Fever
       Loss of appetite
       Mouth sores
       Nail changes
       Night sweats
       Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, and groin
       Pain when swallowing
       Personality changes
       Repeated outbreaks of herpes simplex
       Shortness of breath
       Tingling, numbness, and weakness in the limbs
       Unexplained weight loss
       Yeast infection of the mouth (thrush)

Additionally, HIV may be suspected when a woman has at least one of the following:

       More than 3 vaginal yeast infections in one year that are not related to the use of
        antibiotics
       Recurrent pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
       Abnormal Pap test or cervical cancer

Children with HIV often have different symptoms (for example, delayed growth or an
enlarged spleen) than teens or adults.

Late stage

During the last stage of HIV infection, the disease progresses to AIDS. Some of the
symptoms of AIDS include fatigue, weight loss, diarrhea, fever, night sweats, and thrush
(infection in the mouth). During this time, it also becomes easier for you to develop certain
infections or illnesses, such as some types of pneumonia or cancer, which are more likely to
develop when you have a weakened immune system.
If HIV goes untreated, AIDS develops in most people within 12 to 13 years after they first
become infected. With treatment for HIV, the progression to AIDS may be delayed or
prevented.
A small number of people who are infected with HIV develop AIDS within about 3 years if
they do not receive treatment. It is not known why the infection progresses faster in these
people.

CD4+ cells

CD4+ cells are part of the immune system and are a type of white blood cell (white blood
cells protect the body against infection). CD4+ cells are also called T-lymphocytes, T-cells, or
T-helper cells.

HIV invades and destroys CD4+ cells. However, the body continues to produce new CD4+
cells to fight the HIV infection. If the infection is not treated with medications, the body
gradually loses the ability to produce enough CD4+ cells to replace the number that are
being destroyed by HIV. As the number of CD4+ cells in the blood drops, it becomes more
difficult for the immune system to fight infections.

CD4+ counts are measured every 3 to 4 months in people who are infected with HIV. The
CD4+ count is an important measurement of the effect that HIV is having on your immune
system and can help you decide when to begin treatment for HIV or when you need to try a
different medication.



There are two types of HIV:

       HIV-1, which causes almost all the cases of AIDS worldwide.
       HIV-2, which causes an AIDS-like illness. HIV-2 infection is uncommon in the United
        States.

How the disease is spread

HIV is spread when blood, semen, or vaginal fluids from an infected person enter another
person's body, usually through:

       Sexual contact. The virus may enter the body through a tear in the lining of the
        rectum, vagina, urethra, or mouth. Between 75% and 80% of all cases of HIV are
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        transmitted by sexual contact.
       Infected blood. HIV can be spread when a person:
            o Shares needles, syringes, cookers, cotton, cocaine spoons, or eyedroppers
                used for injecting drugs or steroids.
             o   Is accidentally stuck with a needle or other sharp item that is contaminated
                 with HIV.

It is now extremely rare in the United States for HIV to be transmitted by blood transfusions.
Blood donors are screened for risk factors. All donated blood is screened for HIV antibodies,
and most blood products are heat-treated to kill any HIV virus that may be present.

Health care workers are no longer considered to be at high risk of exposure to HIV. Policies
are in place in health facilities that require protection from accidental exposure. Sharp objects
must be properly disposed of, along with wearing protective gloves, gowns, and eye and face
protection ("universal precautions"). These measures have proven effective in protecting
health care workers from HIV.

Spread of HIV to babies

A woman who is infected with HIV can spread the virus to her baby during pregnancy,
delivery, or breast-feeding.

       Most children younger than 13 who have HIV were infected with the virus by their
        mothers.
       The risk of a woman spreading HIV to her baby can be greatly reduced if she takes
        the medication zidovudine (ZDV, formerly AZT) during pregnancy and if she does not
        breast-feed her baby. The baby should also receive ZDV after it is born.

Ways HIV cannot be spread

HIV does not survive well outside the body. Therefore, HIV cannot be spread through casual
contact—such as sharing drinking glasses or by casual kissing—with an infected person. HIV
is not transmitted through contact with an infected person's saliva, sweat, tears, urine, or
feces, or through insect bites.

Prevention

You can keep from getting HIV by avoiding behaviors that might result in contact with
infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids.

       Practice safe sex to prevent HIV. Always use a condom during sexual activity, unless
        you are in a long-term relationship with one partner who does not have HIV or other
        sex partners.
       Do not have sex, including oral sex, with anyone who is infected with HIV. If you
        choose to continue to have sex with someone who has HIV, it is important to practice
        safe sex and to be regularly tested for HIV.
       Reduce your number of sex partners, preferably to one partner.
       Ask your sex partner or partners about their sexual history. Find out whether your
        partner has engaged in high-risk behaviors.
       Avoid alcohol and drugs, which can impair both your judgment and your immune
        system. People who know and understand safer sex practices may not practice them
        when they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
       Do not share intravenous (IV) needles, syringes, cookers, cotton, cocaine spoons, or
        eyedroppers with others if you use drugs.

What Increases Your Risk

Most people get HIV by having unprotected sex with someone who has HIV. Another
common way of getting the virus is by sharing needles with someone who is infected with
HIV when injecting drugs.

You have an increased risk of becoming infected with HIV through sexual contact if you:

       Have unprotected sex (do not use condoms).
       Have multiple sex partners.
       Are a man who has sex with other men.
       Have high-risk partner(s) (partner has multiple sex partners, is a man who has sex
        with other men, or injects drugs).
       Have or have recently had a sexually transmitted disease, such as syphilis.

People who inject drugs or steroids, especially if they share needles, syringes, cookers, or
other equipment used to inject drugs, are at risk of being infected with HIV.
Babies who are born to mothers who are infected with HIV are also at risk of infection.

Contagious and incubation period

The incubation period—the time between when a person is first infected with HIV and when
early symptoms develop—may be a few days to several weeks.
It can take as little as 2 weeks or as long as 6 months from the time you become infected
with HIV for the antibodies to be detected in your blood. This is commonly called the "window
period," or seroconversion period. During the window period, you are contagious and can
spread the virus to others. If you think you have been infected with HIV but you test negative
for it, you should be tested again within 6 months.
Once you become infected with HIV, your blood, semen, or vaginal fluids are always
infectious, even if you receive treatment for the HIV infection.

Stages of HIV

Most people go through the following stages after being infected with HIV:

       Acute retroviral syndrome, which is a flu-like illness. This often develops within a few
        days of infection, but may occur several weeks after the person is infected.
       HIV without symptoms (asymptomatic). It may take years for HIV symptoms to
        develop. However, even though no symptoms are present, the virus is multiplying (or
        making copies of itself) in the body during this time. HIV multiplies so quickly that the
        immune system cannot destroy the virus. After years of fighting HIV, the immune
        system starts to weaken.
       HIV with symptoms (symptomatic). Once your immune system starts to weaken, you
        are more likely to develop certain infections or illnesses, such as some types of
        pneumonia or cancer, which are more common when you have a weakened immune
        system.
       AIDS, which occurs during the last stage of infection with HIV. If HIV goes untreated,
        AIDS develops in most people within 12 to 13 years after the initial infection. With
        treatment for HIV, the progression to AIDS may be delayed or prevented.




Treatment Overview

The most effective treatment for HIV is highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)—a
combination of several antiretroviral drugs that aims to control the amount of virus in your
body. Other steps you can take include keeping your immune system strong, taking drugs as
prescribed, and monitoring your CD4+ (white blood cells) counts to slow the multiplication of
the virus in your body. If HIV is not treated, it eventually progresses to AIDS, the last and
most severe form of HIV. People with AIDS are more likely to develop certain illnesses—
infections (such as tuberculosis) and some cancers—that are common in people who have
weakened immune systems.

www.webmd.com
                               HIV Article Worksheet

Name______________________                                       Period _______

  1. HIV stands for _______________________________________.
  2. AIDS stands for ______________________________________.
  3. HIV attacks what bodily system?
         a) Digestive system
         b) Endocrine system
         c) Immune system
         d) Circulatory system
  4. How do most people get HIV?
         a) Kissing
         b) Sharing needles
         c) Unprotected sex
         d) Breathing infected air
  5. What cells does HIV attack and destroy?
         a) Red blood cells
         b) White blood cells
         c) CD4+ cells
         d) HD43 cells
  6. Early symptoms usually arise in an infected person within 12 hours. T or F?
  7. Which of the following is NOT an early symptom of HIV?
         a) Fever
         b) Diarrhea
         c) Dementia
         d) Abdominal cramps
  8. Initial stage symptoms are typically flue like and appear within-
         a) 3-6 months
         b) 2-6 weeks
         c) 1-3 weeks
         d) 3-6 weeks
  9. These initial symptoms usually disappear within _____ to _____ weeks.
  10. The established stage carries symptoms described as fatigue and achy all over.
      When does this stage usually appear?
         a) 2-6 years
         b) Many years after the initial stage
         c) 6-12 months
         d) 5-10 years
  11. During the late stage of HIV the disease progresses to AIDS. T or F?
  12. Which of the following symptoms is not commonly found with AIDS?
         a) Muscle cramps
         b) Fatigue
         c) Fever
         d) Thrush
13. Without treatment AIDS usually develops within ____ to _____ years.
14. HIV invades and destroys CD4+ cells, which makes it difficult for the body to
    _________________ _____________________.
15. What are three main ways HIV is spread?
       a) ___________________________________________________
       b) ___________________________________________________
       c) ___________________________________________________

16. What are two ways HIV CANNOT be spread?
        a) ____________________________________________________
        b) ____________________________________________________
17. Which of the following are ways to prevent getting HIV (more than one)?
        a) Practice safe sex by using condoms
        b) Avoid talking to HIV infected people
        c) Reduce your number of sex partners
        d) Don’t travel to highly infected regions of the world
        e) Avoid metropolitan areas
        f) Don’t use drugs or alcohol
        g) Stay away from dentists
        h) Don’t give blood or receive blood transfusions
18. The 2 week to 6 month period in which HIV antibodies don’t appear in the blood
    is known as the-
        a) Contamination period
        b) Window period
        c) Sickly window
        d) Deadly era
19. Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) is a combination of several
    antiretroviral drugs that aims to control the amount of virus in your body and
    cures the disease. T or F?
20. People with AIDS are more likely to develop serious illnesses and infections
    because they have a _________________ _________________ ____________.

								
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