HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a genus of retroviruses that causes slow progression of AIDS (Auto immune deficiency syndrome). HIV is a communicable disease that tries to destroy the immune system. It targets helper T cells, specifically CD4 cells and makes copies of itself. HIV makes it easier for opportunistic infections and cancers to develop. When HIV destroys so many cells, it progresses to AIDS. (The Mayo Clinic 2015)
Body fluids such as: blood, semen pre seminal, rectal, and vaginal fluids, and breast milk can transmit HIV. The fluids must come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be injected into the bloodstream via needle or syringe for transmission to happen. HIV is spread mainly by having sex: anal, vaginal, and or multiple sex partners, sharing needles, syringes, rinse water, blood transfusions or blood products. HIV is not spread by hugging, sharing dishes, shaking hands, toilet seats, air, water, saliva, tears, or sweat, insects, or drinking fountains. It doesn’t live long outside of the body.
Symptoms of HIV vary, depending on the person and the stage of disease he/she is in. there are three stages: the Early Stage, Clinical Latency Stage, and Progression to AIDS. In the Early Stage within 2-4 weeks after infection most but not all experience flu-like symptoms. This called ARS (Acute retroviral syndrome), it’s the natural response to the HIV infection. Symptoms include: Swollen glands, fever, sore throat, rash, fatigue, muscle and joint pain and headache. After the early stage, the illness goes into the “Clinical Latency Stage.” “Latency” is a period where a virus is not producing symptoms. This stage is sometimes called “asymptomatic HIV infection” or “chronic HIV infection.” If you are infected and are not taking medication the HIV will take over your immune system. The beginning of symptoms signal the change from clinical latency stage to AIDS. In this stage the following symptoms may occur: pneumonia, chills, night sweats, fast weight loss, unexplained fatigue, diarrhea, blurred vision, thrush, mouth, anal, or genital sores, red, pink, purplish, or brown blotches on or under skin or inside eyes, mouth, or nose, depression, memory loss (Aids,gov, 2014).
Treatment for HIV includes “The cocktail,” Antirectrovirals (ARVs) or Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART or ART). ART uses different types of medication to keep HIV from growing and multiplying. Other things to do to stay healthy is receiving regular checkups, eating a balanced healthy diet, exercising, avoiding alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and getting plenty of rest.
The determinants of health are factors that affects the health of an individual or community. They may be biological, socioeconomic, psychosocial, or social in nature. With consideration to HIV homosexuals, people with risky behaviors such as: multiple sex partners, unprotected sex, sharing needles to use drugs are at high risk of contracting the disease. People that live in a low economic area may not be able to obtain condoms or cannot afford them. In the United States there are county health departments that give free condoms. However outside of the United States these clinics may not be available.
The epidemiologic triangle in relation to HIV, the agent is the HIV. The host is the individual that HIV is affecting. The environmental factors are factors that increases the risk for being infected with HIV such as living in drug infested neighborhoods and experimenting with injectable drugs, working in a healthcare setting and being in contact with bodily fluids. Also lack of education and income would be an environmental factor. Biological includes bacteria, viruses or fungi. Chemical agents can be liquids, gases,