HIV and AIDS

Topics: AIDS, HIV, Immune system Pages: 3 (1022 words) Published: October 14, 2013
Kristina Nguyen
HIV and AIDS
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Auto Immune Deficiency Disease (AIDS) are one of the leading killers around the world. Statistics provided by the Joint United Nations Program approximate that over 33 million people have been infected with HIV and AIDS. Of those 33 million, 1.1 million of those carriers are in the United States and even more shockingly, a fifth of those carriers are unaware that they have been infected. The World Health Organization estimated that annually, 2.7 million individuals contract the virus and 2 million die from the diseases. There is a common misconception between HIV and AIDS. Because the two diseases are usually grouped together when discussed, many believe that they are one and the same. However, the most significant difference between the two is that HIV attacks and lowers the immune defense of the organs while AIDS attacks the immune system’s cells. In addition, HIV usually gives way to AIDS. However, there are many HIV carriers who can go their whole lives without developing AIDS by undergoing intense and continuous treatment. In order to be diagnosed with AIDS, one has to meet a certain criteria. According to the Mayo Clinic, patients who contract HIV first have flu like symptoms. Following the flu symptoms, it typically takes about 10 years to develop into AIDS. When AIDS first develops, a person becomes susceptible to what is known as opportunistic infections. Opportunistic infections are infections that would not normally bother a person with a healthy immune system. Symptoms that follow are, “soaking night sweats, shaking chills or fever over 100 F (38 C) for several weeks, cough and shortness of breath, chronic diarrhea, persistent white spots or unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth, headaches, persistent, unexplained fatigue, blurred and distorted vision, weight loss, skin rashes or bumps,” (Mayo Clinic). HIV can be transmitted to from one individual to another by...

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