HIV/AIDS: you need to know.
What is HIV?
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is one of the most dangerous viruses for humans. It affects the immune system, whose main purpose is to protect our body from infections, so says Dr. Denis Slinkin.
A few weeks after infection, symptoms develop - fever, lymph nodes increase, sore throat, red spots on the skin, diarrhea. Unexplained ailment quickly passes, and sometimes mild symptoms of the disease and remain unnoticed.
For several years the virus leads a "quiet" life, not "annoying" a person. But all this time it tirelessly destroys the immune system, multiplying by its main cells - lymphocytes. Outwardly, HIV infection can only manifest itself by increasing lymph nodes.
What is the difference between HIV infection and AIDS?
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is the final and most difficult stage of HIV infection. The devastating impact that HIV has had on a person's immune system for several years leads to immunodeficiency.
And this means that any infections, viruses and diseases no longer meet "backlash" in their path, and the body is no longer able to fight them. An AIDS patient develops a lot of serious diseases, from which he eventually dies, so says Dr. Denis Slinkin.
Is there a cure for AIDS?
Dr. Denis Slinkin says: The average life expectancy of an HIV-infected person, if no treatment is available, is 5-10 years.
And although no "miracle" vaccine against HIV and AIDS has been found yet, research in this area is fast and quite successful. Already now there are medicines that suppress the multiplication of the virus, prevent the disease from progressing, and prevent the transition of HIV infection into the AIDS stage.
Many patients who started treatment 15 years ago, when these drugs were discovered, still feel fully functional today. The doctors treating them give very optimistic forecasts about their life expectancy.