The Science and Symptoms of AIDS or HIV
The symptoms of AIDS are characterized by weakening of the immune system, making people more vulnerable to infections and diseases. It is the result of different organ failure due to decrease of blood cells called CD4 and T cells.
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is one of the most life threatening health risk today. AIDS is not a single disease but a set of diseases called syndrome. This disease is developed due to HIV (Human Immune deficiency Virus).
The earlier you have HIV diagnosed and start treatment, the better your likely long term health. Without proper treatment, average survival time of the person after infection with HIV is estimated to be nine to eleven years, depending on the HIV sub-type.
HIV often gets transmitted from people who simply don’t know they are infected.
This disease process is characterized by a group of symptoms . Symptoms of AIDS or HIV are similar to simple viral infection. Symptoms of AIDS differ from person to person. Some people may not get any symptom of AIDS at all for many years.
People infected with HIV may take seven to ten years to develop AIDS although the symptoms of AIDS will be seen before that. It is the advanced stage of infection with HIV. Sometimes it take longer for symptoms of AIDS to occur. You don’t need to have any signs of disease yet.
Naturally the symptoms of AIDS begins six weeks to three month after the infection.
A person’s diagnostic changes from HIV to AIDS is when either their CD4 cells falls below two hundred or they developed infection. Early symptoms of AIDS or infection maybe mild and easily dismissed.
Mode of Transmission
- By unsafe sexual intercourse
- Contact with blood of an infected person.
- Blood transfusion
From mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
The virus is transmitted through blood, sperm, vaginal fluid, pre-seminal fluid, breast milk.
Symptoms of AIDS or HIV are of four stages
Stage one(sero conversion period or Acute primary infection)
After initial infection one can feel the symptoms of AIDS such as flu and swollen glands while some are asymptomatic. It’s during this time that it’s crucial to identify if HIV is the cause. In this stage your viral load is very high which greatly increases the risk of passing it on. At this patient the virus is moving into blood stream and starting to replicate in large numbers.
Stage two(The asymptomatic stage)
Once the sero conversion stage is over, many people start to feel better as the virus may not reveal any symptoms of AIDS or HIV for up to ten or fifteen years. However, the virus will still be active. Over time this will cause a lot of damage to your immune system without showing any symptoms of AIDS.
When the immune4 system has been so badly damaged that it can no longer fight off serious infections and diseases. At this point you are more likely to get serious infection or bacterial and fungal diseases that you would otherwise be able to fight off. These infections are referred to as opportunistic infection.
Prolonged diarrhea, excessive weight loss, Tb in lungs and other serious infections like meningitis.
Besides serious infection, the nervous system may be affected which can result in motor loss or AIDS related dementia.
When you have HIV virus, but aren’t symptomatic yet, you are sero positive. That means there are HIV antibodies in your blood.
The Common Symptoms of AIDS are
- Rapid weight loss with unknown cause
- Recurring fever(with raised Tp)
- Wide fluctuations in the body temperature
- Profuse night sweats
- Profound unexplained fatigue and lethargy (sometimes it can make you feel winded while walking or generally feel out of breath. Fatigue can be both an early and later symptoms of AIDS or HIV.)
- Sore throat and difficulty in swallowing
- Dry cough (that can last for weeks to months without seeming to resolve even with antibiotics and inhalers is a typical symptom of AIDS or HIV) and shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Body rash
- Muscle ache
- Joint pain
- Head ache
- Light sensitivity
- Pain in abdomen
- Swollen lymph glands in neck, armpits, groin
- Seizure and lack of coordination.
- Susceptibility to allergies and contagious diseases
- Diarrhea that lasts for more than a week, due to damage to intestinal flora
- Dysentery, Gastritis
- White spots or unusual blemishes on tongue, in the mouth or throat
- Genital ulcers
- Red ,brown ,pink or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth ,nose or eyelids
- Yeast infection in mouth
- Signs of fungus in the nails
- Memory loss ,depression ,Delirium and other neurological disorders
- Bronchial disorders ,often leading to Tb of lungs
- Loss of concentration or forgetfulness
Additional Symptoms of AIDS in females
- Severe premenstrual syndrome
- Cervical cancer
- Pelvic inflammatory disease.
The symptoms of AIDS in both male and female are almost similar.
These symptoms of AIDS are associated with immune system’s natural defense agent HIV .These symptoms of AIDS are sometimes called as acute retroviral syndrome (ARS).
There’s a big difference between the symptom of HIV and symptom of AIDS (advances HIV).
In the phase of recent HIV infection, the immune system tries to defend. This causes some people to have symptoms of AIDS but other don’t. No symptoms of AIDS for a long time result in damage of the immune system (Natural defense system of the human body) which leads the body vulnerable to various health issues.
The symptoms of AIDS (advanced HIV disease) are the symptoms of other infections and diseases. As such the list of possible symptoms of AIDS is highly varied. They are not symptoms of HIV itself.
If you have one or more symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are symptoms of AIDS or HIV, many common diseases can cause one or more symptoms that can be that of the symptoms of AIDS.
If you have any of these symptoms Of AIDS and think that there is even a slightest chance that you might have exposed to HIV, consult a doctor
The Importance of getting tested
Many HIV positive people are unaware that they are infected. The only way to know for sure if you have HIV is to get tested. If your test is negative, you can be confident that you are not affected. Usually infections take up to two months to be picked up by a test .
But if the last time you could have been exposed to HIV was more than three months ago, you can be sure that your negative result is accurate and that clears that you do not have HIV. HIV-1 testing is initially by ELISA to detect antibodies to HIV.
Specimen with reactive Elisa result are retested in duplicate. If the result is reactive then specimen is reported as repeatedly reactive and undergoes confirmatory testing with western blot or IFA,Only specimen that are repeatedly reactive by ELISA and IFA are considered HIV positive.
HIV and AIDS can be treated with medication, but can’t be cured. Anti-retroviral slow down the multiplication of the virus, but doesn’t kill it.
To support the treatment, AIDS patients often get medications to boost the immune system and fight against infection.
- Safe sexual intercourse
- Using clean needles.
AIDS AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE
According to Ayurveda the life science, AIDS is primarily a disease of low ojas (immunity), the vital sap of the body. The AIDS disease may be correlated with kshaya or ojakshaya meaning loss of energy. Shosha is another condition which result from loss of energy that is similar to AIDS.
The disease is caused by kapha dominancy along with other doshas tends to block the path of the flow of rasadi dhatus, thus resulting into the disease.
Ayurvedic suppliments are proven to be harmless without any side effects for the reduction of the symptoms of AIDS or HIV along with the prevention of it. Its benefits upon young generation may help a lot.
Ojas is the responsible factor for the physical and mental strength to resist the diseases.
Ayurveda has many effective therapies such as rasayana which specifically deals with increased immunity and vitality as the result the symptoms of AIDS will be reduced and the strength will be gained. The line of treatment aims at the relief of the expressed symptoms of AIDS or HIV along with the underlying cause.
After the initial detoxification, the patient is given medications which mainly contain drugs like AMLA (amblica officinalis), BALA (sida cordifolia), HARITAKI (Terminalia Chebula), NIRGUNDI (Vitex Nirgundo), AMRITA (Tinospora Wedifolia).These are found very effective in reducing the symptoms of AIDS and prevention of it.
The emotional and moral support to the patients is very important. The patient should be given nourishing food that are easily digestible by them. Ayurvedic medications and rasayana therapy are given to strengthen the immune system along with relieving the symptoms of AIDS or HIV and curing the disease.
Afterwards shodhana (elimination) technique is administrated for the elimination of the toxic. Nourishing diet with medicated ghee, preparations and soups are given. These patients are advised not to use spicy, oily and acidic foods as these will aggravate the condition.
Chyavanaprash, Rakthavardhak like draksharista and triphala are recommended for AIDS patients.