What Is HIV?

The acronym term HIV, stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This life threatening condition can lead to a severe condition, known as AIDS. It is possible for an individual to live with the condition for an elongated frame of time, without showing any signs that they suffer from it. Unlike traditional viruses, where the body’s immune system can fight them off, HIV can never be fought off, or even cured, with proper medical assistance.

Once an individual becomes infected with the virus, they will continue to struggle with the virus, for as long as they live. There is no effective or safe cure for the condition. With this being said, most people that contract the virus, are forced to go through their lives, not knowing when today may be their last day on earth. Medical advances have made it possible for people that suffer from the condition to prolong their existence.

Contrary to popular belief, contracting HIV is not a death sentence. It is the virus known as AIDS that takes the lives of individuals, not HIV. HIV is considered to be a transition virus. People that contract the disorder can go on to live normal lives, if the disorder is properly treated in time. If it is not properly treated, it can mutate into AIDs, and become fatal.

THE MEDICAL EXPLANATION

HIV, attacks the body’s immune system. The immune system is what protects the body against infections and disease. The immune system is an important body system. Without this system, humans would not be able to flourish as they currently do. It is thanks to this system that human beings have managed to sustain life on this planet for as long as they have. The immune system is made up of several cells and organs. One of the most important cells that are found in this system are white blood cells.

White blood cells, also scientifically referred to as leukocytes are made within the bone marrow of humans. Their main purpose is to help fight infections that attack the body. If infections do occur, these cells quickly begin attacking the virus, bacteria, or organism that has caused illness against the body. These cells are larger than red blood cells, and are not as plentiful. If the body does become infected, the number of white blood cells within the body will multiply to try to fight off the infection.

HIV destroys certain types of white blood cells, known as CD4+ cells. If too many of this type of white blood cell are affected, or entirely destroyed, the body will instantly lose its ability to fight diseases. When the body is unable to fight a disease that has intruded it, then the body has no other option than to give into the disorder, allowing the virus to take over and mutate the body as it deems fit. These mutations that are occurring are usually fatal.

HIV PROGRESSION

People that contract HIV go through three different stages. There is the acute infection stage, also known as stage one, the clinical latency stage and AIDS. A person that has HIV does not have to become infected with AIDS, if they receive the proper medical treatment that is required to suppress the condition. HIV can be a hidden condition, where most people do not realize that they have contracted the disease for eleven to fifteen years, after the condition has been active. The acute stage occurs two to four weeks after the infection has been contracted.

During this time, some individuals will develop symptoms that make them feel like they have the flu. During the latency stage, no symptoms occur, and the final stage, which is AIDS, is where the virus reaches its optimum level of severity.