What is AIDS / HIV – Symptoms and Treatment
What is AIDS, also known as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), is an infectious disease caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and is mainly transmitted through sexual behaviour, blood contact, or mother-infant contact. After infection with HIV, the body’s immune function is inhibited, which can easily lead to viral infections and tumours.
HIV infection in humans can cause T lymphocyte damage, resulting in persistent immunodeficiency, opportunistic infections and rare malignancies in multiple organs, leading to death.
AIDS symptoms vary according to the period of time. The incubation period for humans from HIV infection to AIDS varies from as short as several months to as long as 17 years, with an average of 8 years. Since various opportunistic infections and malignant tumours often occur in the later stages of HIV infection, the clinical manifestations of AIDS symptoms vary according to the acute, asymptomatic, and AIDS stages of cancer diseases.
The early symptoms of AIDS are mainly characterised by upper respiratory tract infections such as fever, fatigue, sore throat, and general malaise. Each has headache, rash, meningoencephalitis, or acute polyneuritis; there are enlarged lymph nodes in neck, ankle and occipital region. Similar to infectious mononucleosis, hepatosplenomegaly.
Clinical often asymptomatic and physical signs. HIV antigens are not easily detected in the blood, but HIV antibodies can be detected. The duration of this period is generally 6-8 years. In the asymptomatic period, as HIV continues to replicate in infected individuals, the immune system is impaired, and CD4+ T-lymphocyte counts are gradually declining while being infectious.
This period is mainly manifested as HIV-related symptoms, opportunistic infections of various systems and tumours. HIV-related symptoms are:
(1) fever, night sweats , and diarrhoea lasting more than 1 month ;
(2) weight loss often exceeds 10%;
(3) Some patients had neuropsychiatric symptoms such as memory loss, apathy, personality changes, headache, epilepsy, and dementia;
(4) Common opportunistic infections include Candida oralis, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, cytomegalovirus infection, toxoplasmosis , cryptococcal meningitis, and active progressive tuberculosis . Malignant tumours are commonly known as Kaposi’s sarcoma and lymphoma of the skin and mucous membranes.
There is no cure for AIDS at present, but it is mainly for general treatment, antiviral drugs and symptomatic treatment.
1. General Treatment
Active psychotherapy for HIV infection and AIDS patients, patients should pay attention to rest, strengthen nutrition and work and rest, and avoid infecting others.
2. Antiviral Drugs
Highly effective combined antiretroviral therapy can minimise viral replication, preserve and restore immune function, reduce the incidence of mortality and HIV-related diseases, improve the patient’s life and treatment, and reduce the spread of AIDS. At present, there are three main categories of antiviral drugs to choose from:
(1) Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI):
(2) Protease Inhibitors (PI):
(3) Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (N-NRTI):
3. Immunomodulatory Drugs
(1) Interferon alpha 3 million U,
(2) Interleukin 2 (IL-2)
(3) The regular use of gamma globulin can reduce the occurrence of bacterial infections.