HIV and AIDS
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is one of the most deadly diseases to have, it destroys a group of cells in our body called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes help fight against infections which enter our body, they are an extremely important part of our immune system. So when theses cells are shut down it makes infections easier to enter our body because our immune system is too weak. Having a very weak immune system means that people can get serious infections which normally they would fight off.
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a disease which makes it hard for the body to fight off other infectious diseases. HIV causes AIDS by infecting and damaging part of the body's defences against infection.
How do you catch HIV?
• HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person, The virus is passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood and sexual contact. In addition, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy, delivering the baby during childbirth, and through breast feeding.
• Some people catch it sharing needles, such as needles used to inject drugs, steroids, and other substances, or sharing needles used for tattooing.
How does HIV affect the body?
Because HIV weakens their immune system, people who have AIDS are unable to fight off most infections, particularly tuberculosis and other kinds of otherwise rare infections of the lung, the surface covering of the brain, or the brain itself. People who have AIDS tend to keep getting sicker, especially if they are not taking antiviral medications properly.
• joint pain
• muscle ache
• sore throat
• sweats (particularly at night)
• enlarged glands
• a red rash
• weight loss