NOTE: This health information was not created by the University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) and does not necessarily reflect certain UMHS practices. For medical advice regarding your personal condition, please consult your doctor. Medical experts recommend testing the blood of anyone diagnosed with HIV for this drug resistance. Footnote 7 This information will help your doctor know which medications to use. The most effective treatment for HIV is antiretroviral therapy (ART), a combination of several medications that aims to control the amount of virus in your body. For more information, see Medications. Many important end-of-life decisions can be made while you are active and can communicate your desires. More information can be found in the topic End-of-life care. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body`s immune system. If HIV is left untreated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Support groups are often good places to share information, problem-solving tips and emotions related to HIV infection. HIV is spread when blood, semen or vaginal secretions from an infected person enter another person`s body, usually through sexual contact, by sharing needles when injecting drugs or from mother to baby during childbirth. HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread through contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. Without medication, it can take years for HIV to weaken your immune system to such an extent that you have AIDS. And studies have shown that if you`re not infected with HIV, taking antiretroviral drugs can protect you from HIV. Footnote 12, Footnote 13, Footnote 14 But to keep your risk low, you should always use safer sex practices. The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary depending on the phase of infection. The human body cannot get rid of HIV and there is no effective cure for HIV. So once you have HIV, you have it for life. AIDS was first observed in the United States of America in 1981.
HIV infection is thought to originate from non-human primates in West Central Africa and has been transmitted to humans. If you are HIV-positive (HIV-infected) or have had sex or shared needles with someone who may be infected with HIV, take precautions to prevent the infection from spreading to others. HIV is not transmitted through saliva (sputum), so you can NOT get HIV by kissing, sharing food or drinks, or using the same fork or spoon. HIV is also not transmitted through hugs, hands, coughing or sneezing. And you can`t get HIV from a toilet seat. When people living with HIV are not receiving treatment, they usually go through three stages. But HIV drugs can slow or prevent the progression of the disease. With advances in treatment, progression to stage 3 is less prevalent today than it was in the early days of HIV. If your test is positive, your doctor will have a medical history exam and a physical exam. To keep your risk low, you should always practice safe sex even while taking the drug. Once your immune system weakens, you are more likely to get certain infections or diseases called opportunistic infections. Examples include certain types of pneumonia or cancer that are more common when you have a weakened immune system.
HIV is caused by a virus. It can be spread through sexual contact or blood, or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. HIV destroys CD4 T cells – white blood cells that play a huge role in fighting the disease. The fewer CD4 T cells you have, the weaker your immune system becomes. Your doctor may recommend a consultation before and after the HIV test. It is usually available at the hospital or clinic where you are tested. This gives you the opportunity: the actual duration of the HIV virus really varies from person to person. Usually, in a year or two, the phases of HIV service are determined. At this stage of the victims` lives, they would have progressed to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
This status is established when one or more diseases have accumulated in the victim system. .