02 April 2014

#123 HIV/ AIDS - transmission and prevention methods

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a disease caused by the HIV. 
HIV can not live outside the human body. It is an especially fragile virus  - much less tough than the cold virus. 

It is transported in body fluids. You can only become infected with HIV through direct contact of your body fluid with those of someone with the virus.

How HIV affects the immune system
  • The HIV virus attacks some types of lymphocyte (white blood cells) in the blood stream.
  • Lymphocytes produce antibodies ---> attack the antigens on invading microbes.
  • Some lymphocytes are stored in lympho nodes ---> protection against future infection.
  • HIV prevents this immunity being retained, so the AIDS sufferer has no protection against diseases such as tuberculosis (TB) and pneumonia. 

Methods of transmission:
  • unprotected sexual intercourse with infected person
  • drug use involving sharing needle used by infected person
  • transfusion of infected blood
  • infected mother to fetus
  • feeding a baby with milk from an infected mother
  • unsterilised surgical instruments

Prevention methods
  • condom for sexual intercourse
  • refuse sexual intercourse
  • screen blood (for transfusion)
  • use sterilized needles
  • feed baby with bottled powdered milk (if mom has HIV)
  • use sterilised surgical instruments. 

Video: How is HIV Transmitted?

Video: How to prevent HIV transmission?

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