It is important to note that AIDS and HIV are not the same. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. People who have HIV do not always have AIDS. HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, a virus that attacks the immune system and reduces the body’s ability to defend itself against diseases or infections that are commonly known as “opportunists.” In simple words, it weakens us. While AIDS is the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and is the stage of HIV infection characterized by the appearance of the symptoms of some diseases related to the deterioration of the immune system. AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV infection since at this point of infection the immune system is unable to defend our body from external attacks of diseases that can end the life of the patient.
AIDS and HIV are no longer fatal while have undergone a process of chronification due to the advancement of science and medicine. It is necessary to emphasize the importance of adherence to treatment however that relapses do not occur and keep our immune system as strong as possible.
What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is the stage of HIV infection that certain infections or conditions that occur while the immune system is severely weakened.
How is AIDS spread?
HIV virus enters the body through the bloodstream and then passes into the cells. This virus invades and destroys a type of lymphocyte typical of white blood cells, which are responsible for directing the functioning of the entire immune system. The lymphocyte within in this where the virus begins to reproduce until it is destroyed completely. The cells that will be created will not defend the individual but will continue to destroy cells while Transmitting genetic information. Therefore, as the virus advances, the organism will become weaker and weaker against other diseases.
It is found in vaginal fluids, semen (milk), anal mucus, blood, and human milk. The HIV virus enters in the body through cuts or wounds in the skin and through mucous membranes (such as the inside of the vagina, rectum, and the opening of the penis). You can get HIV from:
- Have vaginal or anal sex
- Taking and sharing needles or syringes to inject drugs.
- Get body piercings, tattoos, etc.
- By getting stuck with a needle that has HIV-infected blood on it.
- Having open sores or blisters that come in contact with HIV-infected blood, semen (milk), vaginal fluids, etc.
What is HIV?
HIV is the acronym for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV virus infects and destroys the defense cells of the body. It will make your immune system “deficient” – not strong enough to defend against other infections, such as yeast infection or the herpes virus.
How HIV works
HIV attacks and destroys lymphocytes, specifically CD4 lymphocytes. They are the portion of the immune system and their role is to make antibodies to fight infections caused by attacks from external agents. Once infected, the HIV virus goes to attack the CD4 lymphocytes, attaching itself to its membrane and fusing its capsid with the cell membrane. This is when the HIV virus introduces its genetic material into the cell to replicate it, and it spreads through the blood, infecting other cells. The copy of the HIV viruses in the blood circulation is Viral load, which reduces the number of CD4 cells in the body that eventually leads to immune deficiency. The body cannot fight the attack of agents causing the appearance of “opportunistic” diseases, which would not develop in the face of an uninfected immune system with a weakened immune system.
What is AIDS treatment?
Modern technology in medicine has allowed AIDS to go from being a fatal disease to a chronic disease thanks to the follow-up of antiretroviral treatment. HIV is prevented by antiretroviral treatment and reduces the viral load (doesn’t eliminate the virus from the body), which enables the immune system to recover to fight infections. It is important to continue correctly with HIV treatment so that the action of the drugs is adequate and allows the immune system to recover.