Causes of HIV/AIDS
AIDS stands for “acquired immunodeficiency syndrome” which is an advanced stage of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. AIDS is a chronic, life-threatening condition that results from HIV (Abraham 29). By interfering with the immune system, HIV hinders the body’s ability to fight diseases and infections. Medical practitioners say that AIDS is identified on a person when the CD4 count is below 200 cells per cubic millimeter (Abraham 41). Moreover, a person can be diagnosed with AIDS when characteristics associated with certain types of cancers appear. When an individual fails to receive medication, there is high probability of developing AIDS because the immune system of the person weakens gradually (Abraham 29). Nonetheless, medical advancement in treatment of the disease has made this progress increasingly less common. Therefore, understanding the causes of AIDS/HIV helps discover the effects of the disease.
Various ways will increase chances of a person contracting HIV virus. They comprise of getting in contact with vaginal fluids, semen, and blood of infected person (Abraham 37). Moreover, the virus can be contracted by engaging in unprotected sexual activity with persons infected with the virus (Abraham 37). Another way a person can contract the virus is by sharing piercing instruments with infected persons. The virus also can pass from a mother to child when breastfeeding, during birth or pregnancy (Abraham 37). Without receiving suitable medication, it might take years before HIV makes the immune system weak to the point of developing AIDS (Abraham 25). These are some of the ways that HIV virus can pass from an infected to a healthy person.
Effects of HIV/AIDS
HIV/AIDS will have various effects on the body of a patient. For instance, HIV will destroy the CD4 cell count on the body of a patient which is vital for maintaining the immunity of the body (Abraham 41). CD4 count is responsible for keeping the body free from diseases and infections (Abraham 41). Therefore, when the virus finds its way in the body, it will start to attack the immune system (Abraham 23). However, the rate of the virus will progress depending on the overall body health of a person and how fast the disease is diagnosed. Therefore, the main target of the virus is the cells that fight infection in the body.
Another way HIV will affect the body is that it will increase the risks of contracting diseases such as pneumonia, influenza and colds. Lack of appropriate medication will create a high risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and other disease known as pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) (Brady et al. 72). PCP diseases will further cause other complications such as experiencing difficulties breathing, fever and cough (Brady et al. 72). Therefore, it will increase the risk of developing lung cancer due to higher rate of respiratory infections associated with weak immune system.
Another reason why HIV affects the body is that it raises the risk of contracting pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). This will increase blood pressure of arteries supplying blood to the lungs. With time, PAH further makes the heart to experience difficulties pumping blood (Brady et al. 72). Since HIV mostly affects the body immunity, it will make one susceptible to infections that can affect body’s digestive system (Abraham 42). The digestive tract complications will lower one’s appetite leading to increased loss of weight which is one of common side effect of the disease.
Conclusively, this paper has explored the causes and effects of AIDS/HIV. Some of the causes of the disease identified comprise of having unprotected sex with a person who is HIV positive, sharing piercing objects with infected persons, and mother to child during child birth or when breastfeeding. Common effect of HIV identified includes increased risk of contracting pneumonia, influenza, lung cancer and digestive complications due to decreased level of body immunity. Therefore, it is evident that understanding causes of HIV/AIDS have made it easy to learn about it effects.
Abraham, Thomas. “HIV and AIDS: The Causes and Effects.” HEKAMTHO (2019).
Brady, Michael T., et al. “Guidelines for the Prevention and Treatment of Opportunistic Infections in HIV-Exposed and HIV-Infected Children.” Vaccine, 2019.