Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is the full form of AIDS. It is a virus transmitted disease that causes the body to lose its natural immunity against infection. AIDS is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and is the last stage of HIV infection.
The AIDS epidemic began in the United States in the 1980s. The World Health Organization (WHO) Trusted Source estimates more than 35 million people have died from the condition.
AIDS Full-Form | What is the full form of AIDS?
Effects on the immune system
HIV results in weakening of the immune system by attacking host T cells (also known as CD4 cells), certain White Blood Cells and reduces the body’s resistance towards a disease.
HIV tends to multiply inside the host cells, destroying them. A CD4 count indicates the fitness level of one’s immune system. A CD4 count between 500-1500 is an indicator of a healthy immune system. If the CD4 count of an HIV infected person falls below 200, the person is likely to experience symptoms of illness. With no medical treatment, HIV could lead to stage 3 HIV or AIDS.
Transmission of HIV
HIV is transmitted through the exchange of certain bodily fluids with an HIV infected person, such as:
- During sexual contact, HIV can be transmitted through the exchange of certain fluids like blood, semen, anal and vaginal secretions or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
- Needles and syringes used by a person with HIV may contain the virus. This virus can be transmitted if this equipment comes in contact with any person.
- The virus can be transmitted to an infant before or after birth by the mother having HIV, during pregnancy, at the time of delivery or breastfeeding.
AIDS may be prevented by avoiding transmission of the virus through the ways mentioned above.
Symptoms of AIDS
- Rapid weight loss
- Repeated fever or profuse night sweats
- Extreme fatigue with no valid reason
- Prolonged swelling of the glands
- Diarrhea lasting for more than a week
- Sore throat
- Rashes on skin
- Memory loss, depression, and other neurologic disorders
Each of these symptoms may be related to other illnesses. The only way to ensure if one has HIV is to get tested by using either a blood or an oral specimen.
Treatment for AIDS
At present, there is no cure for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (Full form of AIDS). The current antiretroviral treatment helps people living with HIV to prevent its progression and to live normal life spans.
With no HIV medicine, people with AIDS survive about three years. Once someone is suffering from dangerous opportunistic illness, life expectancy without treatment falls to about one year.
The time between infection with HIV and the onset of AIDS can vary widely between individuals. Majority of HIV infected people develops symptoms of HIV-related illness in 5-10 years or shorter. The period between acquiring HIV and the onset of AIDS is usually ranged between 10-15 years or longer.