HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection left untreated causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Still incurable, AIDS describes immune system collapse that opens the way for opportunistic infections and cancers to kill the patient.
- Early symptoms and signs of HIV infection include flu-like symptoms and fungal infections, but some people may not show any symptoms for years.
- Highly active antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard treatment for HIV infection. These combination drug regimens have made HIV much less deadly, but a cure or vaccine for the pandemic remains out of reach.
- HIV is usually transmitted through sexual contact or sharing IV drug needles, but can also infect someone through contact with infected blood.
- Sexual abstinence, safe sex practices, quitting IV drugs (or at least using clean needles), and proper safety equipment by clinicians and first responders can drastically reduce transmission rates for HIV/AIDS.
Top Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Related Articles
Fever in Adults and ChildrenAlthough a fever technically is any body temperature above the normal of 98.6 F (37 C), in practice, a person is usually not considered to have a significant fever until the temperature is above 100.4 F (38 C). Fever is part of the body's own disease-fighting arsenal; rising body temperatures apparently are capable of killing off many disease-producing organisms.
HIV/AIDS HistoryGet a historical overview of the HIV/AIDS pandemic from human contraction to the present through this slideshow of pictures.
Antiphospholipid SyndromeAntiphospholipid syndrome (phospholipid antibody syndrome or Hughes syndrome) is an immune system disorder with symptoms that include:
- excessive blood clotting,
- unexplained fetal death,
- or premature birth.
Blood TransfusionDuring a blood transfusion, blood or blood products are transferred from one person to another. There are two types of transfusions, autologous (your own blood), and donor blood (someone else's blood). There are four blood types: A; B; C; and O.
In addition, each person's blood is either Rh-positive or Rh-negative. It is important to know what to expect before, during, and after a blood transfusion, and the risks, side effecs, or complications of blood transfusions.
Breastfeeding (and Formula Feeding)It's important to know whether you will breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby prior to delivery, as the breasts' ability to produce milk diminishes soon after childbirth without the stimulation of breastfeeding. Breast milk is easily digested by babies and contains infection-fighting antibodies and cholesterol, which promotes brain growth. Formula-fed babies actually need to eat somewhat less often since formula is less readily digested by the baby than human milk. This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of both forms of feeding.
Cancer Risk FactorsThough it's difficult to say why some people develop cancer while others don't, research shows that certain risk factors increase a person's odds of developing cancer. These risk factors include growing older, family history of cancer, diet, alcohol and tobacco use, and exposure to sunlight, ionizing radiation, certain chemicals, and some viruses and bacteria.
Cervical Cancer (Cancer of the Cervix)Cervical cancer is cancer of the entrance to the womb (uterus) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). Regular pelvic exams, Pap testing and screening can detect precancerous changes in the cervix. Cervical cancer can be prevented by a vaccine. The most common signs and symptoms are an increase in vaginal discharge, painful sex, and postmenopausal bleeding. The prognosis and survival rate depends upon the stage at which the cancer was diagnosed.
Circumcision Pros and ConsThe list of medical pros and cons regarding circumcision is long. Though the American Academy of Pediatrics has repeatedly stated that "there is no absolute medical indication for routine circumcision of the newborn," it has been shown that uncircumcised men have a higher incidence of urinary tract infections, sexually transmitted diseases, and penile cancer than circumcised men.
Circumcision ProcedureCircumcision is a surgical procedure that removes the foreskin of the penis. Circumcision is generally a safe surgical procedure.
Clinical TrialsClinical trials are a form of clinical research that follow a defined protocol that has been carefully developed to evaluate a clinical question. Clinical research is a type of study of clinical or biomedical questions through the use of human subjects. Clinical trials are divided into five types:
- Treatment trials
- Prevention trials
- Diagnostic trials
- Screening trials
- Quality of life trials
Dementia SlideshowWhat is dementia? Learn about dementia disorders such as Lewy Body Dementia, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Vascular (multi-infarct) dementia (MID), and more. Discover dementia stages, signs of dementia, causes, diagnosis, treatments, and medications.
DepressionDepression is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts and affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. The principal types of depression are major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disease (also called manic-depressive disease).
Female Screening TestsWhat is a health screening? Why is it important to know your blood pressure? How long will your health screening take? Learn about wellness screenings for women for breast cancer, HIV, diabetes, osteoporosis, skin cancer, and more.
HIV/AIDS QuizNow, more than ever, you should know about HIV/AIDS, especially its causes, symptoms treatments, and complications. Take the HIV/AIDS Quiz now!
Kaposi's Sarcoma Ecchymotic PictureEcchymotic purple-brownish macule and a 1-cm nodule on the dorsum of the hand of a 65-year-old male of Ashkenazi-Jewish extraction. See a picture of Kaposi's Sarcoma Ecchymotic and learn more about the health topic.
Men's Screening TestsGetting the right screening test at the right time is one of the most important things a man can do for his health. Learn at what age men should be screened for prostate cancer, high blood pressure, cholesterol and other health risks.
STD QuizThere are more sexually transmitted diseases than just the ones you've heard of. Find out what you've been missing with the STD Quiz.