Miscellaneous on-site in vitro rapid test kits are very helpful in detection of different disease and health conditions. These small devices are easy to use and could save much time for either medical professional or private consumers. In this page we will also provide useful information about different dangerous diseases. And we start it from the HIV and AIDS.
What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Viruses are germs that cause infections such as the flu and chickenpox. HIV attacks the immune system. A healthy immune system protects the body from infections and some cancers. Over the course of time, HIV disables the immune system, interfering with its function. HIV is the only known virus that causes AIDS.
Who is at risk of becoming infected with HIV?
You canâ€™t become infected with HIV because of who you are. Instead, you may be at risk because of what you do. HIV can be passed from one person to another in 4 main ways. All involve coming into contact with bodily fluids.
â€¢ Having unprotected sex with an HIV infected person
â€¢ Sharing syringes or needles with an HIV infected person
â€¢ Being born to an HIV infected mother
â€¢ Breast feeding from an HIV infected mother.
A person cannot become infected with HIV through casual contacts such as shaking hands, kissing, or preparing food for another individual.
How can you keep from becoming infected with HIV?
The best way to prevent HIV infection is to avoid risky behaviors. Condoms should always be used, even during oral sex. Donâ€™t share needles with anyone. HIV infected mothers should not breast feed newborns. Finally, if you are pregnant, you should to talk to your doctor about using AZT or other drugs to prevent infecting your unborn child with HIV.
How do you know if you are HIV-positive?
A blood test is the most well-known way to know if you are infected with HIV. You should be tested if you are have had unprotected sex with an HIV infected person or someone whose status is unknown for you, or with someone who has shared needles. Likewise all babies born to HIV infected mothers should be tested. Your doctor or public health clinic can perform the test in a confidential manner. You can also use OTC blood test kit, which used only identification number instead of names to protect your privacy.
What is AIDS?
Although HIC causes AIDS, being positive doesnâ€™t mean that a person has AIDS which stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. A person can be HIV positive for many years before developing AIDS. A person who is HIV positive may feel completely healthy while someone with AIDS may suffer from fatigue, infections and cancer. With AIDS, the immune system has been damaged and does not defend the body properly against germs and cancer.
The changes from being HIV positive to having AIDS is often described in stages.
â€¢ The first stage is called primary infection. This occurs just after infection with HIV virus. It may include flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. Unfortunately, many patients think they just have the flu and donâ€™t see their doctors. As a result, they donâ€™t know that they are infected.
â€¢ During the second or asymptomatic stage, of HIV disease, the person has no symptoms and feels completely healthy. Even though an HIV positive person feels normal, the virus is constantly making copies of it and interfering with the immune system. This stage may last for years.
â€¢ Next, is the symptomatic stage. During this period, the HIV positive person begins to become easily tired, may loose appetite, experience some weight loss, and have night sweats. In addition minor infections that the person has never had before begin to appear and recur.
â€¢ AIDS is the last stage of HIV disease. At this stage of disease, the immune system is almost completely destroyed and the HIV positive person develops many severe infections and cancers. The infections that may occur are called opportunistic infections. This is because the germs take the â€œopportunityâ€ offered by the damaged immune system to cause infection. Opportunistic infections can usually be prevented by taking certain antibiotics on a continuous basis.
Sources of information about HIV and AIDS include:
- Project Inform 1-800-822-7422
- Gay Menâ€™s Health Crisis 1-212- 337-1950
- National Minority AIDS Council 1-202-482-6622
- National Association of People with AIDS 1-800-828-3280.
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