What is AIDS?
AIDS is a fatal disease caused by a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. It stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is the final stage of an HIV infection. People who suffer from AIDS are those that started out with the HIV infection.
The first case of AIDS was reported in the United States in 1981. It was believed to be a disease exclusive for homosexuals only. However, after cases of straight men and women infected with AIDS showed up, the belief was debunked.
What are the common misconceptions about AIDS?
The following are some of the most common beliefs about AIDS:
- AIDS is spread through normal physical contact.
- AIDS can be acquired by kissing, coughing, and sneezing.
- AIDS can be contracted by sharing telephones, towels, toilets, and other utilities.
All the things mentioned above are not true!
How is AIDS transmitted?
AIDS can be transmitted in various ways:
- Through sexual contact – blood or semen from an infected person
- Use of contaminated syringes, razors, and needles
- Having unprotected sex
- Organ transplant
- Artificial insemination
What is the incubation period of AIDS?
People who acquire the Human Immunodeficiency Virus undergo an incubation period of between 15 and 27 months. The average time period is 28 months.
How is AIDS diagnosed?
There are several methods to diagnose AIDS, as well as HIV. The most commonly used is called the ELISA test. A person who wants to get tested for HIV or AIDS can visit the nearest STD clinic or hospital in his or her area and undergo an ELISA test. Alternatively, they can also ask for a Western Blot test which is also efficient in diagnosing AIDS and HIV.
For people who value their privacy so much, and do not want to go out in the public and be seen by others when they walk in STD clinics for an AIDS test or HIV test, they can try the home HIV test kits that you can buy over the counter or from online stores. These HIV/AIDS test kits are FDA approved so you are assured of reliable results. While the chances of getting false positive results are low, it is still recommended that potential patients undergo an ELISA test or Western Blot test which most doctors use for diagnosing HIV and AIDS.
How is AIDS treated?
There is no known treatment for AIDS at the moment. No vaccines or medications are available to cure this disease. The best you can do to not acquire AIDS or HIV is to abstain from sex, always use condoms when having sex, and refrain from sharing needles, razors, or syringes with other people.