In 1981, AIDS emerged in the USA and over time, it became a worldwide epidemic, spreading everywhere at any time. The distinction between the terms AIDS and HIV is that AIDS is a disease caused by HIV, which is shortened from human immunodeficiency virus, which again exterminates the ability of the body to fight other infections, especially sexually transmitted ones like chlamydia and gonorrhea, which, if untreated, can be a threat to your life. These infections are called opportunistic infections, because they use your weakened immunity system to attack your body.  More than 900,000 cases of people infected with HIV have been reported in the USA since its discovery and appearance on the worldwide health scene. CDC says that more than a million Americans are probably infected with this sexually transmitted disease, and most of them are not even aware of it. HIV can also appear to be dormant for years before it gets triggered and evolves into a proper disease that we know as AIDS. Population that gets infected the most are men aged 18 to 25, children and African Americans and Hispanic population, probably because of poor health environment that they live in.

 

Cause, Symptoms And Transference

 

As we already stated above, HIV is a human immunodeficiency virus that attacks your body and infects it. It primarily attacks your immune system causing your body to deteriorate rapidly, and people feel vulnerable to other infections out there. As HIV virus can’t live long outside the body, like most viruses, it needs the host to develop properly. On the other hand, it can’t be transmitted by shaking hands, or sitting on a toilet seat, or kissing. It can only be transferred from one person to another through direct sexual contact, vaginal, anal or oral. The virus is usually found in blood, semen, or other bodily fluids of the person who is infected by it, and you can be infected if you practice unsafe sex with that person, or people who have different and multiple partners, then through shared needles if you use drugs, if you have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or syphilis, and if you have hepatitis or malaria for example.

 

Testing, Treatment And Prevention

 

The two most used tests for discovering HIV are the so-called ELISA and the Western blot. Both of them are blood tests, where the doctors take the sample of your blood and test it accordingly, but these tests can’t detect HIV in someone who has been recently infected, meaning within one to three months of the contact. As far as the treatment is concerned, HIV can be treated with antiretroviral drugs, which are really aggressive, but they only suppress the virus, which in turn gives the infected person a chance to live healthier lives. The experts are still working on finding new and more effective treatments for this disease, but what you can do as an individual to prevent it is to practice safe sex, do not have multiple partners, and test yourself regularly.a