HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. Unlike some other viruses, the human body can’t get rid of this virus completely. Hence, once you have it, you have it for life.
The virus breaks down the immune system, our body’s protection against disease by destroying a type of white blood cells – called T-helper cells (also referred to as CD4 cells) and makes copies of itself inside them.
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS is the final stage of this virus infection (it can take around 10 to 15 years for AIDS to develop), and not everyone who has the virus advances to this stage.
In the U.S., more than 980,000 cases of AIDS have been reported to the government and about 40,000 men and women in the U.S. get the virus each year.
HIV is spread through contact with the blood (contaminated blood transfusions), pre-seminal fluid, semen, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, sharing drug injection equipment or breast milk of a person infected with HIV. The most usual method for someone to become infected with the virus is by having vaginal or anal sex without a condom. For example, in the U.S., about 2 out of every 3 new cases of infections in women are because of an unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected partner.
Additionally, there are numerous misconceptions about HIV transmission, like the belief that it can be transmitted by casual non-sexual contact. It’s a fact that you can’t get HIV by saliva and tears, hugging or shaking hands with an individual infected with HIV. Furthermore, the virus cannot reproduce outside a human host and it does not live for very long outside of the human body.
After this virus is entering the body, 40 percent to 90 percent of people experience flulike symptoms known as the “primary HIV infection” or the “acute retroviral syndrome” (ARS), which can last from a few days to a few weeks.
These symptoms can differ from person-to-person and some people may not get any symptoms at all. Symptoms can include – body rash, fever (raised temperature), ulcers or sores in your mouth, tiredness, swollen glands and lymph nodes, muscle pain or joint pain.
Note – if you have some of these symptoms, and you think you have been at risk of HIV infection within the past 30 days, you should get an HIV test.
After the ARS phase, the virus usually becomes less active in the physical body for as long as 10 years, during which you might have no symptoms at all.
If you don’t receive any treatment, AIDS develops, and your immune system has been severely damaged, making you susceptible to opportunistic infections, such as – mycobacterium avium complex, pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, Kaposi’s sarcoma, salmonella septicemia, cytomegalovirus retinitis, invasive cervical cancer, fungal infections of the respiratory tract or histoplasmosis.
Symptoms of some of these opportunistic infections include – soaking night sweats, being tired all of the time, cough and shortness of breath, chronic diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, recurring fever, yeast infections in your throat, mouth, or vagina, unusual lesions on your tongue or in your mouth, memory loss, skin rashes or neurological disorders.
What is the treatment for HIV?
The use of HIV medicines to treat this infection is called ART -antiretroviral therapy and it involves taking a combination of HIV medicines daily.
Illness can result when prana is not able to move freely through your chakras and nadis. Moreover, negative thinking, inner fears, and negative emotions can cause blockages in energy moving through the physical body which can lead to physical manifestations of disease in your body.
If you have this condition, you are not in a consciousness of love, faith and trust in a higher power, forgiveness of others and self, and compassion.
Love for and acceptance of self, yourself, must take precedence over your unhealthy emotions of sexual guilt and shame. Being in this state of consciousness, you attract the disease-causing agents that manifest as physical illnesses and ailments in the body. Remember, healing depends on the level of emotions and thoughts.
Avoid intravenous drugs – never reuse or share needles. Many hospitals have needle exchange programs that provide sterile needles.
Practice safe sex – use condoms correctly and each time you have oral, vaginal, or anal sex.
If you are living with this condition, there are numerous actions you can take to prevent passing it to others. However, the most crucial action is to take the ART medicines daily. They can greatly reduce your chance of transmitting HIV to your partners and keep you healthy for many years.