One of the most serious diseases for todayday is HIV - the human immunodeficiency virus. Among other diseases, HIV infection ranks second after oncological diseases. However, many doctors argue that HIV infection is much worse than cancer, since modern medicine has learned to cope with the majority of cancer, while there is as yet no way to cure HIV infection. Although it is fair to note that the current treatment of HIV infection today yields quite good results. This disease causes a global defeat of the entire immune system of the human body, which completely and completely violates its normal functioning. Because of such violations of the immune system in the human body, various secondary infectious processes develop and multiple tumors appear. The human immunodeficiency virus can be found in the genome of the human body for three or more years. Even in blood plasma, devoid of any cellular elements, the human immunodeficiency virus remains viable and active for at least one year, and sometimes even longer. By the way, doctors say that this particular feature explains the high risk of infection with the immunodeficiency virus when injecting needles, which before that were injected to people with HIV. The history of this disease began in 1981, when in California in a group of homosexuals in the blood doctors first discovered a new virus for them, which was later called the "human immunodeficiency virus". Scientists suggest that HIV infection has spread from Central Africa. Doctors have noticed that the presence of such a disease leads to the fact that adults begin to suffer from immunodeficiency after infection. But in fact, until now, immunodeficiency was known to doctors only as a congenital defect in children. People of these, infected with a new kind of virus for doctors, this immunodeficiency appeared after the virus got into the body. Doctors have long studied such patients to rule out the possibility of a congenital immunodeficiency virus. That is why the disease was called AIDS - the syndrome of acquired immunodeficiency, and the virus that causes it is HIV.
Ways of contracting HIV
The disease is contagious - HIV infectionis transmitted from a person who is already ill, or is still a virus carrier. In all cases, the human immunodeficiency virus is found in such biological fluids as vaginal secretions, sperm and blood. Currently, there are several main ways of transmitting HIV infection from person to person:
- Sexual transmission
The share of this method of infection with the virusImmunodeficiency accounts for up to 70% of all cases of infection with this disease. And there is a widespread enough misconception that infection occurs only during the traditional vaginal intercourse. However, this is not the case at all - the chances of catching the immunodeficiency virus with anal or oral sex are no less. And in the event that there are micro-trauma on the mucous membranes, the risk of infection becomes almost 100%. In addition, at times increase the risk of HIV infection and sexual partners who have sexually transmitted diseases. Doctors explain this fact by the fact that, firstly, many venereal diseases provoke the development of ulceration of the mucous membranes of the genital organs. And, secondly, we must not lose sight of the fact that venereal diseases, like any other disease, at times weaken the immune system.
No less risk of infection with the virusimmunodeficiency also exists if a healthy person is given a blood transfusion, or its components, the donor of which is an HIV-infected person. Fortunately, such a thing is very rare, as all donors of blood undergo a thorough examination.
- Using non-sterile tools
Much rarer, but still still sometimesthere is such a way of infection with the human immunodeficiency virus, such as the use of non-sterile medical instruments, syringes for injections, manicure and cosmetology tools. Many people have a persistent fear that they will be exposed to HIV infection while visiting a cosmetology room or during dental treatment, but in fact the likelihood of this happening is extremely low. From all percentages of infection, this method accounts for no more than 1%.
- Transplantation method
In the event that a person is transplantedor another organ from a donor infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, infection will occur in almost 100% of cases. However, this is extremely rare.
This method of transmission of the immunodeficiency virusa person is referred to as the transmission of HIV from a pregnant mother through the placenta to the baby itself. Not so long ago, the risk of producing infected children in HIV-positive mothers was about 50%. However, modern medicine can reduce this risk to 20%. Doctors identify certain risk groups, in which people have a much higher chance of contracting the human immunodeficiency virus: homosexuals, prostitutes, drug addicts and people with sexually transmitted diseases.
Clinical course of the disease
The human immunodeficiency virus is introduced into cellsblood, which are responsible for the full functioning of the immune system - in lymphocytes. It is on this and the principle of the action of the immunodeficiency virus is based - due to the reduction of the normal functioning of the immune system, absolutely any disease can develop. Simply put, an individual infected with the immune deficiency virus suffers from a variety of diseases - it is sick almost non-stop. Like any other disease, the immunodeficiency virus does not let you know about yourself immediately after infection - it has a fairly long incubation period. And the run-up can be quite impressive - from a few months to 15 years. Doctors say that the duration of the incubation period of HIV infection is greatly influenced by the way a person is infected with a virus. For example, it was reliably established that if the infection was sexually transmitted, the incubation period would be much shorter than if the person had been transfused with the blood or enzymes contaminated with the immunodeficiency virus. However, it goes without saying that exceptions come from any rules. Approximately 50% of all people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, already about three weeks after infection, there are a number of signs that indicate the onset of pathological processes in the human body. A person may have a number of such signs, as:
- Stable subfebrile temperature, which lasts for two weeks.
- Enlargement of lymph nodes, and any lymph node can become inflamed.
- The increase in the size of the liver and spleen, lasting about two weeks.
- Angina, which, despite intensive treatment, does not take about 10 days.
This reactive state lasts a maximum offor one month, after which all symptoms disappear spontaneously, without any outside interference. There comes the so-called hidden period, which can last a very long time, sometimes many years. And the only possible symptom of the presence in the body of a sick person of the immune deficiency virus can be a steady increase in lymph nodes. Doctors insist on a blood test if two or more lymph nodes in two or more different groups have been enlarged for more than one month. And the greatest attention should be paid to such groups of lymph nodes as axillary, ulnar, supernumerary and supraclavicular - they are infected with HIV much more than others. As a rule, the last days of the incubation period also proceed very distinctly - the lymph nodes again increase, there is a very strong fever - the temperature sometimes rises to 40 degrees, the person is reduced physical activity, sweating is marked, especially at night. In addition, patients often have an intensive loss of body weight - more than ten kilograms for a month, often against a background of severe diarrhea. In some cases, the patient has cough, severe shortness of breath, inflammation of hair bulbs, mycoses, hair loss, baldness, seborrheic and atopic dermatitis. In the event that during this period - doctors call it pre - AIDS - conduct a study of the blood composition of a sick person, one can find a change in the balance of those components whose function is to protect the body from certain infectious agents. As already mentioned above, HIV manifests itself mainly as a violation of the normal functioning of the body's immune system. Therefore, sick people often develop these or other severe infections, or different neoplasms. Patients most often are:
- Pneumonia. The most common disease in people with a disease such as pneumonia, the development of which is provoked by atypical pathogens. The main danger of such a pneumonia is that these atypical pathogens practically do not react to existing methods of treatment, and therefore very quickly a lethal outcome occurs, which is very, very difficult and often impossible to avoid.
- The defeat of the central nervous system. Approximately every third patient has a lesion of the central nervous system. The most common neurological diseases are actively progressive dementia, encephalitis and meningitis, as well as the development of certain brain tumors, less often spinal cord.
- Defeat of the skin. Approximately 20% of all people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, there are some lesions of the skin, as well as mucous membranes. Typically, the skin and mucous membranes are affected by a certain kind of sarcoma - inflammation and proliferation of blood vessels, which are located in the mucous membranes and skin integuments. And for people with HIV, there is typically a very unusual arrangement of these tumors - on the mucous membranes of the mouth, on the neck, in the head, in the perianal region. The course of tumor development is extremely active, even lymph nodes and internal organs can be involved in the process.
- In addition, some patients observedcryptococcosis and candidiasis, as well as such viral lesions as a simple herpes virus that affect not only the skin but also the mucous membranes of the internal organs - the stomach, intestines, lungs. And these lesions can be very extensive - up to 50 - 70% of the entire surface of the skin or mucous membranes.
Symptoms of AIDS
Despite the fact that recentlya blood test for detecting antibodies to HIV is very common, most often the disease is detected only after the doctor looks at a number of symptoms that can occur in people with AIDS. Such symptoms include:
- Increased body temperature
A sick person, and even his attending physician, shouldto be alerted if in the course of a month and more the raised body temperature keeps, without any visible reasons for this - it is necessary first of all to exclude the possibility of the presence of certain hidden inflammatory processes. And the temperature of the body can be very different - from a low - 37, 2 - 37, 5, to very significant figures - 39 - 40 degrees.
- Dry cough
Also, in such patients, doctors can observe a persistent dry cough that lasts for several months. As a rule, X-rays do not reveal any pathologies.
- An intestinal disorder
Almost in all cases of AIDSthe sick person complains of persistent diarrhea, which can last for months. In addition to diarrhea, there are other signs of an intestinal disorder - increased gas formation, bloating, often the presence of dysbiosis.
Headaches, systemic arising and notafter taking pain medication, are also often a companion of HIV infection and AIDS. However, needless to say, it is mandatory to exclude all other possible causes that can provoke headaches.
- Deterioration of the general condition of a person
In all cases, without exception, there is a strongdeterioration of the general state of human health and its well-being. He complains of fatigue, weakness, emotional instability. At the slightest strain, hands and feet begin to tremble at the person, cold, sticky sweat appears, heart rate increases.
- The increase in lymph nodes, as mentioned above, decreased body weight for no apparent reason
Of course, the presence of one or even severalThe above characteristics do not in any way indicate that a person is HIV-infected. Such symptoms can be caused by a huge number of a variety of diseases, which have absolutely no relation to HIV infection. But anyway, a sick person should as soon as possible seek medical help from a doctor who can accurately determine the cause of the ailment and prescribe the necessary treatment. However, if the doctor offers a person to donate blood for a study on the presence of antibodies to HIV, do not give up, explaining that this possibility is completely ruled out. To the great regret, no one has insured against this disease. And in the event that for any causal work of the immune system is disrupted, the human immunodeficiency virus that has fallen down in the body can manifest itself very quickly, and in a very acute form. And if the disease is not diagnosed in the shortest possible time, and the appropriate treatment for HIV infection is not initiated, the consequences can be very serious - the life expectancy of a person from the average of 10 years will decrease - up to 1 - 3 years. And even during this short time without treatment, the condition of a person will be much worse. Therefore, it is not worth taking the doctor's proposal to examine the blood for HIV.
Diagnosis of HIV and AIDS
As a rule, a person, after learning that he is HIVinfected, experiencing a severe psychological shock. And this is quite a natural reaction, because HIV infection completely and completely changes a person's way of life. A sick person can experience very different feelings - fear, anger, despair, panic. These feelings are quite natural and should not be embarrassed. However, in no case should one close himself and refuse to help. There are a huge number of organizations that help HIV infected people. Typically, they work psychologists who will help to accept and realize the very fact of the disease, and fight for their lives. And doctors in such organizations have a very large experience of working with HIV-initiated patients - they know exactly how to help each particular patient. A timely treatment allows HIV-infected people to live up to 15, and sometimes up to 20 years. Agree, not such a small figure, especially given the fact that without a timely initiated specific therapy, life expectancy is rarely more than three, a maximum of five years. And the majority of HIV-infected people mistakenly believe that all these years of life they will feel the strongest malaise. However, this is not so - in the event that the treatment was started in a timely manner, a person can lead a practically full life. Although, of course, a certain number of restrictions still exist - and, first of all, a person is closely associated with various pharmacological drugs, without which modern HIV infection therapy is simply impossible. In order to begin treatment, which is necessary in this case, the doctor must accurately diagnose the presence of HIV infection. Diagnosis of the disease in all cases begins with an anamnesis, which includes the living conditions of the sick person, the way of life, the clinical picture of the disease. If a doctor has reason to believe that a person can be infected with an immunodeficiency virus, he will prescribe a specific serological and virological blood test. Antibodies to HIV are found only one month after infection.
Treatment of HIV infection
Before starting the story about HIV treatmentinfection, it is worth briefly explaining how HIV differs from AIDS. After the human immunodeficiency virus significantly affects the immune system, which stops functioning normally, a person starts various infectious diseases in severe form or tumors appear - in a word, his condition worsens significantly. That's it in this case, doctors talk about AIDS. The HIV infection therapy should be started as early as possible - this will help prevent the development of AIDS and, consequently, all associated diseases. Often people ignore the need for special treatment, but this should not be done in any case - despite the fact that for a long time the disease does not manifest itself in any way, the immunodeficiency virus exerts the most negative influence on the immune system of the organism of the infected person. And the timely treatment started will allow a person to stay healthy as long as possible and delay the development of AIDS. For these purposes, doctors use a fairly large number of very different techniques. Here are the main ones:
- Suppression of the virus
Practically from the first day after the diagnosis of HIVinfection, a sick person should receive specially developed pharmacological drugs that have a disastrous effect on the life cycles of the virus, largely inhibit its development, reproduction and life processes. These drugs belong to the group of antiretroviral drugs.
- Antiretroviral drugs
As HIV disease progresses, doctorsexpand the range of antiviral drugs used. This need is dictated by the following feature of the human immunodeficiency virus: if the same antiviral drug acts on the virus for a very long time, its effect will gradually be weakened, up to the complete immunity of the immunodeficiency virus. A similar phenomenon is called the name or resistance of the virus. Accordingly, it is easy to guess that further treatment with the same drug does not bring the expected result - the disease continues to progress. And in this case, doctors have to resort to a kind of cunning - to combined antiretroviral therapy. The essence of this therapy is to select the optimal combination of several antiviral drugs at once, resistance to which the human immunodeficiency virus can not be developed. However, pay attention - the universal scheme of anti-retroviral therapy does not exist - in each case, it is selected individually for each specific person initiated. This takes into account many factors, such as the number of antibodies, clinical manifestations and many others. It is rare, but still there are cases when a certain decrease in susceptibility may appear to this method of therapy in the immunodeficiency virus. Doctors observe the sick person throughout the treatment period, therefore, at the first signs of a decrease in the effectiveness of drug therapy, the pharmacological regimen is immediately modified.
- Prevention of opportunistic infections.
As the disease progresses, the virushuman immunodeficiency affects the cells of the immune system more and more, thereby violating its full functioning. As a consequence, there is a very high risk of developing various infections. Due to the specific nature of this disease, treatment of almost any infection becomes very problematic. It is because of this feature that doctors prefer to prescribe HIV-infected people to prescribe preventive treatment aimed at preventing the occurrence of infectious diseases. For this, various antimicrobial pharmacological preparations are used. This therapy is effective only to prevent various secondary diseases that develop as a result of a malfunction of the human immune system. In the case of the very human immunodeficiency virus itself, such a treatment tactic is absolutely ineffective - the virus does not cause any harm to these viruses.
- Vaccination of a sick person
In addition to diseases, which are based on theor other inflammatory process, people with HIV infection are also threatened by all sorts of viral diseases. In order to prevent a possible disease, doctors offer HIV-infected people in several ways. The first method is the simplest - at the time of the outbreak of epidemics - as a rule, in the autumn-spring period, the sick person should try not to visit places of mass gathering of people, up to complete isolation, up to a strict home regime. The second way is to carry out vaccination against various diseases. Pay special attention - vaccination really helps to save the HIV of the initiated person from a huge number of infectious diseases. However, there is one small but very significant nuance - vaccination can be done only at the initial stage of the disease, when the cells of the human immune system are damaged to a small extent, and therefore still able to produce antibodies to a particular disease properly. Vaccination of the same person with AIDS at best will be absolutely useless, and at worst - only provoke the development of the disease, depending on what type of vaccine and from which disease was used. Therefore it is very important to make all injections in a timely manner, while there is still time. Which vaccines are needed - should be decided by the attending physician of the HIV-infected person. If you summarize all the information, you get the following picture. The purpose of therapy of both HIV infection and AIDS is to suppress the reproduction of viruses and their vital activity, thereby reducing their number in the body of a sick person. In addition, if a person has HIV infection, treatment should be comprehensive. For the normal functioning of the human body, it is very important to preserve the remaining functions of the immune system and try to restore as much as possible the lost ones. In addition, symptomatic therapy is very important. Despite all the efforts of doctors, sometimes it is impossible to avoid any diseases. And in no case should we forget that due to the poorly functioning immune system for an HIV-infected person, even a common cold is a serious enough disease that threatens health. Therefore, at the first signs of any disease a person should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Do not stay with your misfortune and disease one on one. Long gone are the days when people with HIV were treated with dislike and prejudice. As practice shows, any person can get infected - therefore doctors in no event will not condemn you. We advise you to read: