SYMPTOMS AIDS WHAT IS HIV/AIDS? Everything
There must be enough virus; even when HIV is present, it is the concentration of HIV that is important. In blood, for example, the virus is very concentrated. A small amount of blood is enough to infect someone. But the same amount of other fluids (such as vaginal fluid) would not allow transmission because HIV is much less concentrated in those fluids. Also, as of today, we know that people who take treatment and have an undetectable viral load lose the ability to transmit the virus to another person.
HIV must enter the bloodstream; it is not enough to have been in contact with an infected fluid to contract the virus. The skin does not allow HIV to enter the body. HIV can enter only through direct injection of blood containing the virus or through mucous membranes.
-SEXUAL TRANSMISSION: Sexual intercourse without a condom with people living with HIV: vaginal and anal and, to a lesser extent, oral. Semen and vaginal fluids are other fluids that transmit HIV infection. Of the different forms of sexual intercourse, not all have the same risk:
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AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and defines the series of symptoms and infections that are associated with acquired immune system deficiency. HIV infection is considered the underlying cause of AIDS. The level of immunodeficiency and the occurrence of certain infections are used as indicators of whether HIV infection has progressed and caused AIDS (see question 4).
HIV infection causes progressive depletion and weakening of the immune system. This leads to increased susceptibility of the body to infections and cancers and can lead to the development of AIDS (see questions 2 and 4).
AIDS is identified on the basis of certain infections. Stage I HIV disease is asymptomatic and is not considered AIDS. Stage II (includes mild candidiasis and frequent upper respiratory tract infections), stage III (includes chronic unexplained diarrhea persisting for more than one month, various bacterial infections and pulmonary tuberculosis) and stage IV HIV disease (includes cerebral toxoplasmosis, candidiasis of the esophagus, trachea or lungs and Kaposi’s sarcoma) are used as indicators of AIDS. Most of these conditions are easily treatable opportunistic infections in healthy individuals.
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This is an obligate intracellular parasite that has a complex life cycle in which man (along with other animals: pigs; birds; sheep…) participates as an intermediate host; the cat and other felines being the definitive host.
Coinciding with the primary infection, there is an acute phase of the disease where the parasite divides rapidly (the so-called tachyzoites) and triggers the activation of the immune system, which, if effective, will control the infection with the consequent formation, in the affected tissues, of cysts containing very slowly dividing parasites (the so-called bradyzoites). This is the chronic phase.
HIV-positive persons are particularly at risk of contracting the disease. Pregnant women should also be cautious because of the serious effects that the disease can have on the fetus.
Immunosuppression: In most cases it is a reactivated infection and there are usually general symptoms and especially those of the central nervous system such as hemiplegia, hemiparesis, gait and balance disorders… sometimes fatal.
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Infection can only occur when a sufficient amount of the virus found in the blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk of affected persons enters the bloodstream through wounds, punctures, skin lesions, vaginal mucosa, anal mucosa or oral mucosa. HIV survives only a short time outside the body, so it must enter the bloodstream of the exposed person. Moreover, this transmission requires a minimum amount of virus (threshold) to cause infection. Below this threshold, the organism manages to free itself from the virus and prevents it from becoming established.
There must be enough virus; even when HIV is present, it is the concentration of HIV that is important. In blood, for example, the virus is highly concentrated. A small amount of blood is enough to infect someone. But the same amount of other fluids (such as vaginal fluid) would not allow transmission because HIV is much less concentrated in those fluids. In addition, we now know that people who take treatment and have an undetectable viral load lose the ability to transmit the virus to another person.
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