Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, or in shorter terms, AIDS, is a complex disease characterized by a collapse of the body’s natural immunity. Due to the immune system’s failure, patients with AIDS have a lower capacity to fight against diseases and are more vulnerable to infections. One can spread AIDS in various ways. If you want to know how is AIDS transmitted keep reading our article.
What Is the Connection Between HIV Infection and AIDS?
HIV infection, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection, is a disease that attacks the natural defense mechanism of your body. It is a known precursor for a more powerful infection, also known as AIDS.
AIDS is the last stage of an HIV Infection. However, having an HIV infection would not necessarily mean that you will have AIDS. In most cases of an HIV infection, infected individuals are still able to remain in good health and enjoy an active lifestyle for a longer time.
Studies have also shown that only about twenty to thirty percent of those with HIV infection developed into AIDS. Researchers are still investigating any co-related factors necessary to trigger the progression of an HIV infection to AIDS. It might take some time for HIV to progress to AIDS; some usually take in about ten to twelve years. With the appropriate attention and medical treatment, many people can delay the final stage of HIV.
Who Is at Risk for an AIDS Transmission?
AIDS transmission is a common question asked by individuals. Through the years when AIDS transmission has undergone studies and recognitions, several cases have occurred among the following groups:
- Sexually active individuals;
- IV drug abusers;
- Persons who get blood transfusions;
- Children with AIDS-infected mothers;
- Other groups who do not fall in any of the above.
How Is AIDS Transmitted?
Here are specific factors on how an AIDS virus spreads:
- Sexual contact; most commonly anal sex
AIDS is a common sexually transmitted disease or STD. You are at risk of AIDS transmission when you have unprotected sex. Regardless if it is either vaginal, oral, or anal sex, a condom-less sexual act with an infected person will likely allow the STD to enter your system via the lining of your anus, vagina, penis, or mouth.
- Infected blood transmission through needle sharing
Sharing needles with someone with infected blood either for transfusion or drug use is an excellent avenue for AIDS transmission. The virus will enter your bloodstream from cuts and sores on your skin. You can also acquire the virus when you get body piercings or tattoos using improperly sterilized devices.
- Direct blood-to-body fluids or body fluids-to-body fluids contact
Exposure to infected blood, organs, and body fluids of an AIDS-positive individual will put you at risk of transmission. It is also possible to get the STD virus from sharing sex toys and objects with an infected person.
An infected mother can transmit the AIDS virus to her baby within conception or during childbirth. Transmission is also possible via breastfeeding during lactation. Other babies who receive breast milk from other lactating mothers who have HIV can also acquire the virus.
How Easy Is It to Acquire AIDS?
AIDS transmission is not easy, unlike other infectious diseases. HIV is not airborne; therefore, it does not spread through coughing and sneezing. It is also not possible to get the virus by sharing everyday utensils with an infected individual. Merely being with someone that has an STD is not going to cause you to be HIV positive. Casual contact with an AIDS patient will not put you at risk of getting one.
Is AIDS transmitted by Kissing?
AIDS and HIV are a common STD, but it does not spread through the act of kissing. Even though some studies found traces of the virus in the saliva of AIDS patients, there is still no evidence showing transmission by kissing.
Does the Use of Condom Reduce the Risk of AIDS?
The use of condoms during sex reduces the risk of acquiring AIDS because it protects you from having direct contact with the body fluids of your sexual partner. Body fluids, aside from blood, are among the most common reservoirs for the virus to allow transmission.
How Can I Know if I Have AIDS?
If you experience the above risks of transmission and suspect that you may have HIV, it is best to talk to your local physician to have you tested. Several antibody tests can determine if you have the virus.
However, there are no specific tests yet to determine if a person has AIDS, nor predict the development of AIDS in the future. Specialists diagnose purely basing on the evaluation from various indicators, including your immune system function.
How is AIDS Treated?
As of now, there are no proven drugs that can treat AIDS. Most treatment regimens are redirected only to specific infections that attack people that have AIDS.
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