HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is one of the most common sexually-transmitted diseases in the world today, affecting several millions of people all over the globe.
How is HIV transmitted?
The most common way to transmit HV is through having sex with an infected person. Once the vaginal fluid or semen of an HIV-positive individual enters the body of another individual, the latter gets infected with the virus as well. This is why it is important to always practice safe sex by using condoms. Also, having multiple sex partners puts somebody at higher risk of getting infected with HIV as he or she may not have the power to know the sexual activities of his or her other sex partners.
It is also strongly advised to be careful when using needles and syringes. Never share used needles and syringes or use used needles and syringes. That paraphernalia may have been used by an HIV-positive person so if you also use those, you will contract the virus and get infected.
It is necessary that you only undergo blood transfusions in legitimate and reputable clinics and hospitals. HIV-infected blood may have sneaked in and it may find its way into your body without anyone knowing it.
Pregnant mothers who are infected with HIV may transmit the virus to her unborn or baby upon childbirth or through breastfeeding. They should undergo treatment while they are still pregnant in order to lessen the chances of passing the virus on to their child.
What treatments are available for HIV?
Drugs are usually used to treat HIV. They, however, create several side effects that are undesirable such as nausea, vomiting, headaches, and much more.
The Antiretroviral drugs can sometimes cause complications that affect the metabolism. They can also cause bone loss. Because of these, patients are made aware of these side effects before they start with the treatment. Doctors are also alert at keeping track of the patient’s progress, especially if he or she is responding negatively to the medications.
Having HIV is a big challenge and obstacle that any person can face. It is a terrible time in a person’s life. It affects a person’s body, as well as his or her mental and emotional states. HIV patients tend to be scared and worried because their lives are in danger. It is important for them to have friends or family to lean on during this trying time.
There are HIV support groups and counseling available for any HIV patient who wants to cope with the difficulties of having the disease. Many governments and non-government organizations such as the World Health Organization support these programs.