Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. HIV causes the failure of the immune system in the host person to such a level that it cannot defend itself from opportunistic infections and cancers. There are multiple ways for the transmission of this virus. HIV infection is caused by transmission of infected blood, unprotected sex with multiple partners, infected needles, breast milk and from pregnant mother to the unborn child. Its been 30 years since the inception of this disease, and unfortunately there is still no permanent cure of this disease. The only available medicines are antiretroviral medicines that are used to keep the viral load low in the blood stream and allow the immune system to rebuild itself. There are many myths about the transmission of HIV. HIV cannot be transmitted to any other person through sneezing, shaking hands, sharing clothes or by any casual contact with the infected user.
Given below are the most common ways through which HIV is transmitted:
Practice of unprotected sex: This is one of the most common method of spread of this deadly disease. The practice of unsafe sex is an open invitation for catching this infection. The chances of getting exposed to infection goes really high if the practice of unprotected sex is done with multiple partners. If any of the partner is infected, then the chances of all the partners catching infection increase.
Usage of infected needles: Usage of shared unsterilized needles increases the chances of HIV infection. When a needle is used, a small amount of blood can remain on the needle, and if the blood is infected and the same needle is used on other person , then the chances of next person catching infection increases.
Transmission through infected blood: Until a decade ago this was one the biggest reason in making this disease a world wide epidemic. But, now with the presence of high quality blood screening, the chances of catching HIV infection through blood transfusion is zero.
From an infected mother to her infant: An infant can get exposed to this infection if the mother of the child is infected with HIV. HIV can get transmitted to the infant through breast milk. An infected pregnant mother can pass on the infection to the unborn child as the fetus is connected to the mother for nutrition. However, with the help of new antiretroviral medicines, an unborn baby can be prevented from getting infected to HIV.
According to World Health Organization’s report on AIDS, approximately 34 million people were living with this virus in 2010, and 1.8 million people lost their lives to this deadly disease. Governments across the globe are promoting various programs to create awareness for HIV AIDS Getting infected to HIV does not mean end of the world. There are medicines available to keep the viral load in check and in the mean time allowing the immune system to rebuild and prevent the body from opportunistic diseases. There are millions of people around the globe who are living with HIV and are leading a healthy life. For more information about Hiv/AIDS you can log on http://www.howyougetaids.com