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Kids and HIV

Kids and HIV

Date:   10/15/2015 7:13:58 AM   ( 3 y ) ... viewed 1363 times

Impact of HIV on the Immune System

Individuals who test HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) positive have to face up to the virus destroying part of their immune system. More specifically, it affects T lymphocytes or T cells, a type of white blood cell, which is regarded as a ‘fighter’ cell which helps the body to fend off all sorts of diseases.

Once HIV has entered the body, it piggybacks on T cells and works its way inside. Upon entering, it uses the cell as a virus-making factory and duplicates itself very many times over. The new virus leaves the cell to move onwards to destroy other T cells. T cells that have been infected by HIV are no longer useful at fighting infections.

It can take many years for HIV to damage enough T cells before the person develops full-blown AIDS.

And, given that there are new medications now available, those who are infected with HIV can remain fairly healthy and symptom-free for years to come. However, the medications are costly and not easily available to everyone.


How is HIV Diagnosed?

A person can be infected with HIV for a long time without even being aware of it. This is why healthcare professionals recommend testing for everyone who may have become exposed to the virus.

Individuals who have been at risk have their blood or their saliva tested. Very frequently, the testing equipment will involve the ELISA test which is available from this website:


How is HIV Treated?

There is no current cure for HIV or for AIDS. Nevertheless, new medicines are available that allow sufferers to live long and healthy lives.

Scientists regularly research vaccines that could help to prevent the infection entirely. But it’s not possible to say when there will in fact be a cure for the virus.


Can HIV be Prevented?

Yes, of course. The spread of HIV can be prevented by the practice of safe sex and the avoidance of sharing syringes or needles.

Those in the healthcare professions – doctors, nurses, as well as dentists – can also help to prevent the virus from spreading by wearing protective gloves when providing care to patients.

Hospitals and other places that handle blood samples as well as other body fluids regularly have strict procedures in place that must be adhered to, to ensure the prevention of HIV.


Living With HIV

It’s now possible for an HIV-positive person to live for many years without getting AIDS thanks to preventative medications. They do have to take medication every day and there is every chance for becoming sick more frequently than most other people given their immune systems are that much more fragile.


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