Infections are one of the abundant disease conditions that have claimed millions of lives.
Causes of infections are micro and macro organisms from different class, species and phyla. Most of which have dynamic lifecycles.
Bacteria are the causative organisms of majority of infections due to their form of lifecycle and proximity to humans. They are ubiquitous.
Second to bacteria are viruses and Fungi. These organisms are unique and complex and at times, difficult to treat.
Viruses are the most difficult organisms to get rid of. Most medications only suppress their activities to relieve symptoms.
HIV and AIDS is caused by a virus.
Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the cause of the ravaging disease condition of concern today. It is a special and unique type of virus with an unparalleled ability to manipulate its activities and existence.
This RNA-based retrovirus has an enzyme that helps it to convert to DNA before it attacks the cells of the human body.
It is non-living when outside a host and can remain on an object for as long as 7days or more.
Interestingly and confusingly, HIV has the ability to change the sequence of its genetic makeup thereby eluding therapeutic attempts.
Of all concerns about this virus, its target, once it is in the body, is greatest. The Immune System. The virus attacks the defence system of the body.
Activity Of HIV
The Immune system is one of the most important systems of the body. It is the defence center of the body with special cells of signalling (T-Cells) and destruction (White Blood Cells)
Signalling and tagging of harmful and foreign microorganisms is targetted by HIV and destroyed.
As a result, the body is no longer able to tag and destroy offending agents.
Following the inability to tag and destroy, various infections from multiple causes begin to find expression with multiple unrelated symptoms.
As a result, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
Transmission Of HIV
Some of the ways by which HIV transfers from one person to another have been debated. Myths have been communicated.
Body fluids are the bearers of the virus but some fluids do not transmit it.
Vaginal secretions, seminal fluids, blood and breast milk are the recognized fluids that transmit the virus.
Below are some of the transmission routes;
- Sexual intercourse
- Sharing of sharp objects
- Accidental transmissions
- Child bearing
Intercourse with infected persons can transmit HIV from one person to another. This is why faithfulness to one sexual partner is encouraged or abstinence.
Sharing Of Sharp Objects
Objects such as needles, blades, syringes, tattoo instruments, knives, scissors, pins and so on can bear the inactive virus for days.
Sharing these objects with an infected person increases the chances of transmission.
Blood spillage during hospital procedures or car accidents can increase the probability of transmission. Carelessness around blood is a high risk.
A HIV-positive nursing mother that is not on anti-retroviral therapy can transmit the virus to her baby through breastmilk.
As mentioned above, treating viral infection is challenging and somewhat difficult but suppressing their cellular activities is achievable.
Anti-retroviral drugs are the model drugs to help reduce the replication and activities of HIV.
As a result, the defence systems of the body is enhanced and given a fighting chance against other disease causing organisms.
- Faithfulness to one sex partner
- Avoid sharing sharp objects
- Use of condoms during intercourse
- Heat sterilisation of clippers
Know your status. Stay within the prevention parameters mentioned.
Also Educate your neighbors and family.
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