The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is one of the most serious, deadly diseases in human history. HIV is a type of virus called a retrovirus. HIV causes a condition called acquired immunodeficiency disease syndrome (AIDS). HIV is one of the most deadly and serious diseases in human history. Viruses such as HIV cannot grow or reproduce on their own. In order to do so they need to infect the cells of a living organism in order to make new copies of themselves. A person’s immune system usually finds and kills viruses rapidly. However, HIV attacks the immune system itself. HIV destroys a certain type of defense system. This defense system is known as CD4 helper lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are part of the body's immune system. Once HIV destroys the lymphocytes the immune system becomes weak. Generally people can get serious infections that they normally wouldn't.
Each year there are thousands of cases with teens and adults becoming infected with this virus. HIV can be transmitted from an infected person to another person various ways. The way a person gets HIV is when an infected person's body fluids (blood, semen, fluids from the vagina or breast milk) enter his or her bloodstream. The virus can also enter the blood through linings in the mouth, anus, or through broken skin. Both men and women can spread HIV. Although a person may be infected with HIV and feel okay they still can give the virus to others. Pregnant women with HIV also can give the virus to their babies. Doctors have labeled some transmissions of HIV as “high risk behaviors”. These high risk behaviors include having unprotected oral, vaginal, or anal sexual intercourse. As well as sharing needles, such as ones to inject drugs, steroids, and other substances and sharing needles used for tattooing. Other risk factors include people who have another sexually transmitted disease (STD) (such as syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydia, or gonorrhea) are at greater risk for getting HIV during sex with infected partners. If a woman is infected with HIV while pregnant, her newborn baby can catch the virus. The newborn can catch it from the mother before birth, during the birthing process, or from breastfeeding. A person can not get HIV from touching or hugging someone who is infected, public bathrooms or swimming pools, or sharing cups, utensils, or telephones with someone who is infected. Anyone can get HIV if they engage in certain activities some are just at more risk than others. "TeensHealth." HIV and AIDS. Web. 29 May 2012. .
Many people do not develop symptoms after getting infected with HIV. A person may have flu-like illness several days to weeks after exposure to the virus. Common symptoms are a fever, headache, tiredness, and enlarged lymph glands in the neck. These symptoms generally disappear by themselves within a few weeks. The progression of disease varies widely among individuals. This state may last from a few months to more than 10 years. Continuously the virus multiplies actively and infects and kills the cells of the immune system. Once the immune system weakens, a person infected with HIV can develop the following symptoms: Lack of energy, weigh loss, frequent fevers and sweats, persistent or frequent yeast infections, persistent skin rashes or flaky skin, short term memory loss and or mouth, genital or anal sores from herpes infection. AIDs is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. Some of the common symptoms at this stag include: Lack of energy, seizures and lack of coordination, difficult or painful swallowing, mental symptoms such as confusion and forgetfulness, severe and persistent diarrhea, fever, vision loss, nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, weight loss, extreme fatigue, severe headaches with neck stiffness, and or coma.
HIV does affect the body in many ways. A healthy body has CD4 cells. These cells help the body’s immune system function normally and fight off certain kind of infections. CD4 cells fight off certain kinds...
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