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HIV/ AIDS In Women

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that targets the immune system of the body and weakens it to a great extent. This virus causes a disease called AIDS, i.e., Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome which hinders the ability of the body to fight against infections, diseases and some cancers.

Statics say that men are affected more than women by HIV/ AIDS, the number of infected women is also rising with each passing day. Soon, the number of women suffering from HIV/ AIDS will equal or surpass, the number of male sufferers.

Difference Between HIV and AIDS

HIV causes AIDS. AIDS is the advance stage of the HIV.

Symptoms Of HIV/ AIDS

HIV is generally latent. It does not show any signs and symptoms in the early stages. The virus stays in the body and do not cause any symptoms, but the infected person can transfer the infection to other persons. The early symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache and enlarged lymph nodes. These symptoms occur after a month or more after the exposure. Symptoms disappear in week and are mistaken of viral infection. Severe symptoms may not occur even after 10 years or more. Gradually, the immune system worsens and manifestations occur. Symptoms of onset of AIDS are :

  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Frequent occurrence of yeast infections, especially in mouth
  • Frequent occurrence of low grade fever and night sweats
  • Short- term memory loss
  • Skin rashes
  • Vaginal yeast infection
  • Bacterial vaginosis
  • STDs like HPV, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis, chlamydia, etc.
  • Menstrual changes like light periods than regular
  • Infections of reproductive organs

Transmission And Prevention of HIV

Transmission of HIV occurs through fluids like blood and semen. Infected syringes, unprotected intercourse and multiple partners for sex increases susceptibility to HIV. To prevent the infection, one must take care while using injections, one should have sex with a single partner and always have protected sex.

HIV And Pregnancy

HIV positive mothers can protect their baby from getting infected during the pregnancy by taking a strict prenatal treatment. These treatments reduce the risk of infection to the child to less than one percent. Treatment must be started early during pregnancy. One thing that HIV positive mother should keep in mind is to never breastfeed the baby. This may pass the infection to the baby.

Diagnosis Of HIV

Diagnosis is done by HIV Antibody Test. There are many places that offer anonymous HIV testing, where you do not need to disclose your identity and get the test done.

Treatment Of HIV/ AIDS

This is quite sad that there is no treatment available for HIV/ AIDS. Women who are HIV positive have to take treatment all their life. They are prescribed antiviral, protease inhibitors and some other drugs that help them to stay healthy. HIV positive women should take a proper diet, exercise regularly and maintain a sound sleep cycle. By taking proper care of themselves, they can lead a healthy life with HIV.