HIV and AIDS are two diseases that are related to each other. Both attack a person’s immune system, thus impairing a person’s ability to fight off other threatening viruses and bacteria.
Let us briefly take a look at HIV first, and then at AIDS in order to understand how they are connected to each other.
HIV is the acronym for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a sexually-transmitted disease that can affect any one of us. It is caused by a virus that causes the weakening of the immune system.
Once a person contracts HIV, he or she will go through various stages of the infection. Each stage of HIV is characterized by a group of symptoms that may vary per person. Oftentimes, once the virus infects a person, it may take some time for its symptoms to appear. This is called the incubation period of HIV and may take a few weeks to months. Once an HIV victim is past the stage, he or she will move on to the next stage of HIV that will occur with the appearance of visible symptoms. A couple more stages of HIV happen before a person reaches the final stage of HIV, which is AIDS.
AIDS is the acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is feared by everyone because it has no known cure as of the moment. It has already taken the lives of millions of people all over the world, and it threatens to victimize some more until an effective treatment is discovered.
To protect yourself from HIV or AIDS, the best thing to do is to know what causes them and how they are spread.
First of all, do not have sexual intercourse with a person who is infected with HIV or AIDS. If you have no idea whether your sex partner has HIV or AIDS or not, you should always practice protected sex every time you have sex with them.
It is also discouraged to use already used needles, injections, syringes, and other similar paraphernalia. There is a possibility that those things had been used by an infected person and are contaminated.
Always be careful when receiving blood transfusions. There have been cases of blood transfusions wherein the blood donor was infected with HIV or AIDS, and the receiver was infected with the disease as well.
The right information and awareness should be spread regarding HIV and AIDS so that people will know how to keep themselves safe from these fatal diseases.