Aids Essay Research Paper Aids by sean

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Aids Essay, Research Paper Aids by sean ross How is HIV Diagnosed? You can get tested for HIV in a number of locations — including public clinics, AIDS organizations, physicians’ offices, and hospitals. Many locations give the test for free. You can choose between anonymous tests, in which you do not give your name to the HealthCare provider, or confidential tests, in which you do give your name. Test sites should provide trained counselors who can offer you support and guidance, no matter what the test result.(Balch-97) An HIV test looks for the antibodies your immune system creates in response to the virus. These antibodies may not appear in your blood until three to six months after HIV infection. Therefore, a negative test for HIV does not necessarily mean you

aren’t infected. That’s why if you are at risk for HIV infection you should get tested periodically in addition to practicing safer sex at all times. T-cell counts If you test HIV-positive, you should have frequent blood tests to determine the levels of healthy T cells. These cell counts help indicate how quickly the infection is progressing and which course of treatment is best. Normal T-cell count is 800 to 1,300 cells per cubic millimeter of blood. In the first few months after HIV infection, T-cells may decrease to 400 to 650. As infection progresses, T cells drop to a second level of 200 to 499. At this stage you can expect to have late symptoms, although this too is variable. The most life-threatening AIDS illnesses happen when T-cell levels fall below 200.(Berkow-97)

Early Symptoms Once HIV enters your body — through semen, vaginal secretions, blood, or human breast milk — it generally takes a month or two before creating symptoms, if any (not everyone has symptoms at this stage). These initial symptoms are similar to the flu and can last three to 14 days: -Fever -Chills -Night sweats -Skin rashes -Headache -Malaise -Swollen lymph nodes (immune system organs easily felt in the neck and groin) -General discomfort(Hurst-96) Within the several months following HIV infection, you may have repeated episodes of these flu-like symptoms. After that, an average period of five to seven years will pass without another sign of HIV infection — though that delay can range from a few months to more than 10 years. However, even when you don’t have

symptoms, the virus is still multiplying in your body, and you can spread it to other people.(Tierny-98) Later symptoms (months to years before onset of AIDS) Symptoms may include: -Fatigue -Mild weight loss -Frequent fevers and sweats -Swollen lymph glands -Persistent yeast infections -Persistent skin rashes -Pelvic inflammatory disease that does not -respond to treatment -Short term memory loss -Frequent and severe herpes infections causing mouth, genital or anal sores -Painful nerve disease (shingles) At this stage, you may have other disorders resulting from HIV infection: severe dermatitis, personality changes, intellectual impairment, peripheral neuritis (inflammation of one or more peripheral nerves), pneumonia, myocarditis (inflammation of the middle muscular layer of the

heart wall), nephritis (kidney inflammation), and arthritis. (Taylor-98) AIDS As chronic HIV progresses, the immune system grows weaker and weaker until it can no longer prevent diseases and/or “opportunistic” infections those that would not usually happen in a person with a normal immune system). These include: Pneumonia caused by Pneumocystis carinii HIV infection of the brain (encephalitis with dementia) Toxoplasmosis of the brain (a protozoan infection) Cryptococcosis infection (a fungal infection) HIV wasting syndrome (chronically active HIV infection) Candida (yeast infections of the vagina, mouth, esophagus, trachea, bronchial tubes, or lungs) Kaposi’s sarcoma (a form of skin cancer) Tuberculosis and related infections Cryptosporidiosis infection of the intestine (a