HIV Infection and AIDS
(Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
|HIV destroys white blood cells vital to the immune system.|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
- Sexual contact with an HIV-infected person, especially vaginal or anal sex
- Transfer of HIV from a mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding
- Using an HIV-contaminated needle
- A blood transfusion with HIV-infected blood
- Blood from an HIV-infected person getting into an open wound of another person
- Being bitten by someone infected with HIV
- Sharing personal hygiene items with an HIV-infected person
- Sexual relationship with a high-risk individual or a partner already infected with HIV
- Multiple sexual partners
- Sex without using a condom including oral and anal sex
- Having other sexually transmitted diseases
- Injecting illegal drugs, especially with used or dirty needles
- Regular exposure to HIV-contaminated blood or other body fluids
- Being born to an HIV-infected mother
- Living in or being from a geographic locations with high numbers of AIDS patients
- Receiving donor blood products, tissue, organs, or artificial insemination before 1985 (infections from donated tissue after 1985 is unlikely due to strict screening processes)
- Uncircumcised penis—circumcised men are less likely to develop HIV infection than uncircumcised men.
- Joint and muscle aches
- Night sweats
- Swollen lymph nodes in armpits, neck, or groin
- Sore throat
- Lack of appetite
- Muscle wasting
- Swollen lymph glands all over the body
- Memory loss
- Development of lots of warts
- Fungal infections of the mouth, fingernails, toes
- Repeated vaginal infections
- Flare-ups of prior conditions, such as eczema , psoriasis , or herpes
- Chronic diarrhea
- Fungal infections in the brain and/or lungs
- Viral brain infection
- Kaposi's sarcoma
- Cervical cancer
- Eye disease due to cytomegalovirus infection
- Severe intestinal infections
- Muscle wasting syndrome
- Severe skin rashes
- Reactions to medications
- Psychiatric problems, including depression and dementia
- HIV antibody test to detect specific proteins in the blood, urine, or saliva
- Plasma RNA, or viral load test, to detect the amount of HIV in the blood
- Your doctor may also test you for other infections, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis, or STDs
Drugs That Fight HIV
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- Nonucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- Protease inhibitors
- HIV-1 integrase inhibitors
- HIV-1 fusion inhibitors
- CC chemokine receptor 5 antagonists
Drugs That Fight AIDS-Related Infections and Cancers
- Abstain from sex or limit your number of sexual partners.
- Use a latex condom every time you have sex.
- Avoid sexual partners who are HIV-infected or injection drug users.
- Do not share needles for drug injection.
- Talk to your partner about any sexually transmitted infections you or your partner have.
- Let your doctor know if you share needles or have sex with someone who has HIV. Your doctor may want to start medication to help prevent an HIV infection from developing.
- Wear appropriate gloves and facial masks during all procedures.
- Carefully handle and properly dispose of needles.
- Carefully follow universal precautions.
- Wear appropriate gloves if handling HIV-infected bodily fluids.
- Cover all cuts and sores, yours and the HIV-infected person's, with bandages.
- Do not share any personal hygiene items such as razors, toothbrushes, etc.
- Carefully handle and properly dispose of needles used for medication.
- Abstain from sex.
If you do have sex, use a latex condom every time. This includes any sexual act that results in the exchange of bodily fluids. Options to consider:
- A female condom may be used. Male condoms are better studied for HIV prevention but a female condom is better than no protection.
- Use a dental dam (small square of latex) or similar barrier during oral sex.
- If you are prescribed medications, be sure that you are taking them. Work with your doctor to monitor your viral load. Medications and low viral loads may decrease the chance of passing the infection.
- Inform former or potential sexual partners about the infection. Encourage them to get tested.
- Do not donate blood or organs.
- If you are not planning a pregnancy, ask your doctor about contraception.
- If you do wish to become pregnant, talk to your doctor. There are ways to lower your baby's risk of being born infected with HIV.
- If you have a baby, do not breastfeed.
American Foundation for AIDS Research http://www.amfar.org
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov
AIDS Committee of Toronto http://www.actoronto.org
Canadian AIDS Society http://www.cdnaids.ca
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- Reviewer: Igor Puzanov, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013 -
- Update Date: 09/30/2013 -