Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the well-known virus human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This virus will weaken the way someone can fight off infection. HIV leads to AIDS when someone with HIV gets severe infections that lower their T-cell count. Not everyone who contracts HIV will get AIDS, but AIDS is more of a concern as it is a more advanced stage of HIV. With AIDS, you have more of a chance of developing severe and possibly fatal infections as your immune system is extremely poor by this point. AIDS was first diagnosed in 1981 and since then 1,051,875 have contracted AIDS with about 583,298 deaths from AIDS.
How to Get HIV
To know more about the advanced stage of the virus called AIDS, it is important to note how you get HIV. You cannot get AIDS without first contracting the HIV virus. HIV is given to someone through an infection that is passed to them through blood or sexually-transmitted fluids including semen or vaginal fluids. Men and women can spread HIV through intercourse and other ways of passing the fluids as well as from shared blood. Another common ways of getting HIV is by sharing a needle for injecting illicit drugs, though unprotected sex is the most common way to get HIV. You cannot get HIV or AIDS by sharing cups or utensils with someone who has HIV, nor can you get it in a shared bathroom, swimming pool, or by touching or hugging them. A woman who has HIV or AIDS can pass on the virus to their child during birth.
There are some signs and symptoms to watch out for if you have HIV and are concerned you are developing AIDs. This includes rapid weight loss, oral thrush, sweating during sleep, a persistent fever that doesn’t leave, extreme fatigue not caused by lack of sleep or stress, swollen neck, groin, or underarm glands, and feeling ill the majority of the time.
Infections Caused by AIDS
If you have indeed contracted AIDS from HIV, you are at high risk for a variety of infections that can be fatal if not treated. It is important to note than HIV and AIDS are not curable but they can be treated. Since you have a poor immune system with both HIV and AIDS, you will get infections easily. Some of the conditions you may get from infections from AIDS include skin tumors called Kaposi’s sarcoma, tumors in the brain that cause headaches, shortness of breath, severe malnutrition, dementia, and chronic diarrhea.
There is no cure for HIV or AIDS but it can be treated in order to lengthen your life. A combination of drugs and other therapies are used when you have HIV in roder to slow the process and hopefully avoid getting AIDS. If your HIV virus has led to AIDS, the main course of treatment is medications that will block certain infections.