Athax KHOVEL EITE - AIDS SYMPTOMS
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The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
      Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a serious condition that weakens the body's immune system, leaving it unable to fight off illness. AIDS is the last stage in a progression of diseases resulting from a viral infection known as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV or AIDS virus). The diseases include a number of unusual and severe infections, cancers and debilitating illnesses, resulting in severe weight loss or wasting away, and diseases affecting the brain and central nervous system.
The immune system is a network of cells, organs and proteins that work together to defend and protect the body from potentially harmful, infectious microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi.
When the immune system is missing one or more of its components, the result is an immunodeficiency disorder. AIDS is an immunodeficiency disorder.
Lymphocytes (white blood cells) are one of the main types of immune cells that make up the immune system. There are two types of lymphocytes: B cells and T cells. (T cells are also called CD4 cells, CD4 T cells, or CD4 cell lymphocytes). B cells secrete antibodies (protein) into the body's fluids to ambush and attack antigens (foreign protein). T cells attack and destroy infected or malignant cells in the body.
There are two types of T cells: helper T cells and killer T cells. Helper T cells recognize the antigen and activate the killer T cells. Killer T cells then destroy the antigen.
When HIV is introduced into the body, this virus is too strong for the helper T cells and killer T cells. The virus then invades the cells and starts to reproduce itself, thereby free to infect otherwise healthy cells.
The HIV virus cannot be destroyed and lives in the body undetected for months or years before any sign of illness appears. With the T cells inactivated, other viruses, parasites or cancer cells (called "opportunistic diseases") which would not have been able to get past a healthy body's defense, can multiply within the body without fear of destruction. Commonly seen opportunistic diseases in persons with HIV infection include: Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), tuberculosis, cytomegalovirus retinitis and Kaposi's sarcoma.
Symptoms of AIDS and HIV Infection
Some people infected with HIV are asymptomatic (no symptoms) while others may develop symptoms of HIV from two to 15 years after initial infection. The symptoms are as follows:
extreme fatigue (severe weakness)
rapid weight loss from an unknown cause (more than 10 kgs. in two months for no reason)
appearance of swollen or tender glands in the neck, armpits or groin, for no apparent reason, lasting for more than four weeks
unexplained shortness of breath, frequently accompanied by a dry cough, not due to allergies or smoking
persistent diarrhea
intermittent high fever or soaking night sweats of unknown origin
a marked change in an illness pattern, either in frequency, severity, or length of sickness
appearance of one or more purple spots on the surface of the skin, inside the mouth, anus or nasal passages
whitish coating on the tongue, throat or vagina
forgetfulness, confusion and other signs of mental deterioration
It can take as short as a year to as long as 10 to 15 years to go from being infected with HIV to "full-blown" AIDS.
A person is considered to have AIDS when they have a T cell count (also called CD4 cell count) of 200 or less (healthy T cell levels range from 500 to 1500/mm3 of blood) or they have an AIDS-defining condition. The AIDS-defining conditions are: Candidiasis, Cervical cancer (invasive), Coccidioidomycosis, Cryptococcosis, Cryptosporidiosis Cytomegalovirus disease, Encephalopathy (HIV-related), Herpes simplex, Histoplasmosis, psoriasis, Kaposi's sarcoma, Lymphoma (certain types), Mycobacterium avium complex Pneumocystis carnie pneumonia, Pneumonia (recurrent), Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, Salmonella septicemia (recurrent), Toxoplasmosis of the brain, Tuberculosis, Wasting syndrome
People who are not infected with HIV may also develop these diseases; this does not mean they have AIDS. To be diagnosed with AIDS, a person must have positive HIV test.





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