Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), a condition which targets the immune system and increases the risk of various common infections. The virus destroys a type of white blood cell in the immune system called a T-helper cell and makes copies of itself inside these cells. India has the third highest number of estimated people living with HIV in the world (2.08 million (20.9 lakhs in 2011)).
Facts about HIV
- The earlier HIV is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can start.
- There is effective antiretroviral treatment available so people with HIV can live a normal life.
- HIV is found in breasts milk, anal fluids, blood, vaginal and semen.
- Always use a clean needle and syringe.
- HIV cannot be transmitted through sweat, urine and saliva.
HIV symptoms in men
- Acute illness.
- Asymptomatic period.
- Advanced infection.
HIV symptoms in women
- Lack of energy
- Body rash
- Sore throat
- Severe headaches
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Night Sweats
Routes of HIV transmission in India:
- ‘Let’s TalkInjecting drug use.
- Unprotected anal sex between men.
- Unprotected sex.
Dr Satish Chandra, Advisor to Credihealth says, “The HIV epidemic in India is concentrated, with high prevalence among high-risk groups (i.e., Intravenous drug users, sex workers, men who have sex with men and transgender people), moderate prevalence among bridge populations (i.e., people, who, through close proximity to high risk groups are at the risk of contracting HIV. Quite often they are clients or partners of male and female sex workers.
Facts about AIDS
- AIDS is also referred to as advanced HIV infection or late-stage HIV.
- AIDS is a set of illnesses that develop as a result of advanced HIV infection.
AIDS treatments are designed to reduce HIV in your body, keep your immune system as healthy as possible.
Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTI)
Following drugs stop the virus to get duplicates:
- Bacavir (Ziagen, ABC)
- Didanosine (Videx, dideoxyinosine, ddI)
- Emtricitabine (Emtriva, FTC)
- Lamivudine (Epivir, 3TC)
- Stavudine (Zerit, d4T)
- Tenofovir (Viread, TDF)
- Zalcitabine (Hivid, ddC)
- Zidovudine (Retrovir, ZDV or AZT)
Other AIDS Medications are Protease Inhibitors (PI), Fusion Inhibitors, Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) and Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTI).
AIDS can have can have serious repercussions on fertility as well. According to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO), the transmission rates of HIV virus from mother to the offspring range from 15% to 45%.
‘Lets Talk’ Campaign
A campaign aiming to revive communication about sex and related issues has spread across the globe. A brainchild of Sharif D Rangnekar, a communications consultant by profession and a former journalist said:
“There was some research done on the behavioural patterns of men having sex with men. When we say this, it does not necessarily mean ‘gay’. It could mean ‘bisexual’ as well. And there are a lot of men, who do not identify with any specific sexuality. So, it does not mean ‘homosexual’ or ‘gay people’ as such.”