Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the causative organism of AIDS. AIDS is the abbreviation for Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome. This is a disease affecting the immunity of an individual hence making him or her prone to several infections.
The disease is transmitted :
- Sexual intercourse
- Blood transfusions
- Needle prick injury
- Infected mother to child during pregnancy.
- Heterosexual transmission is the dominant mode of transmission and accounts for 85% of all HIV infection.
It is not transmitted by:
- Shaking hands
- Sharing toilets or at work place.
So it’s important not to stigmatize these individuals.
There are Two types of viruses HIV 1 which is more seen in USA,
HIV 2 is the one which is prevalent in Africa and this closely resembles the simian viruses.
Awareness about the disease is very important as countries in Asia mostly China, Indonesia and India contribute to 78% of the total new disease burden.
Andra Pradesh and Telangana, Bihar, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh account for 47% of total infections in our county. There has been a 32% decline in the newly infected cases due to the Awareness created so far.
In India children account for 7% of the HIV infection. About 22,000 new infected children are detected every year. Awareness about parent to child infection and recent treatments the numbers have scaled down. In spite of all these advances a large number of HIV infected children are born every year. Emphasis should be given at timely diagnosis and management of Tuberculosis and Anti Retroviral Treatment ( ART) initiation.
There are many treatments available to treat patients infected with HIV. Treatment is based on the stage of the disease, its progression and the individual by and large. There has to be more awareness about the availability of free ART and early start of treatment.
Substantial number of infected people fails to follow up while during treatment for various reasons which may include adverse effects of the drug itself, other drug abuse, mental disorders, socioeconomic status, literacy, social stigma.
Though till date the disease is not curable, it is certainly preventable, by adequate education to public and treatment can bring the affected person and family to normal social status.