December 1st is World AIDS Day. AIDS is the most acute phase of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV, which attacks the immune system of the affected person, the body’s basic and fundamental defense against various infectious agents.
Dr. Gerardo Ventura Serrano, specialist in Gynecology and member of Top Doctors, explains several factors to take into account about the pathology.
What are the main causes of AIDS?
AIDS can be transmitted when the fluids of an infected person enter the organism of a healthy one. These fluids are:
- Pre-seminal fluid
- Breast milk
- Anal fluid
The main cause of transmission is unprotected sexual intercourse. A woman can also transmit the disease to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. Another cause of transmission is sharing needles with infected people.
AIDS cannot be spread by shaking hands or hugging. Neither can it be transmitted by sneezing or coughing, since it is not transmitted through the air.
It is very unlikely to be transmitted through sweat or tears, unless they have a drop of blood in them.
What are the symptoms of a person with AIDS?
The first symptoms that a person infected with the pathology will notice may be:
- High and persistent fever
- Dry cough
- Night sweats
- General malaise
- Weight loss
If you have these symptoms, it is important to see a specialist for a complete diagnosis.
Important factors in AIDS
AIDS is a very important current concern. In 2017, 940,000 people died from HIV and related diseases. Currently, there are 36.9 million affected.
It is estimated that in Spain there are 145,000 people infected with HIV, of which approximately 1 in 5 are undiagnosed (18%). The diagnosis is made through HIV antibodies.
Unfortunately, there is still no cure for the disease, however, retroviral treatments can control the virus and prevent its spread.
Since 2000 to date there has been a 36% reduction in cases as a result of following proper treatment.
Condom use is very important to prevent the spread of the virus.