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Sorrow

  • Date Submitted: 11/13/2013 05:06 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.3 
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What is HIV? HIV is defined as Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV is a virus. Viruses such as HIV cannot grow or reproduce on their own, they need to infect the cells of a living organism in order to replicate (make new copies of themselves). The human immune system usually finds and kills viruses fairly quickly, but HIV attacks the immune system itself - the very thing that would normally get rid of a virus.

With around 2.5 million people becoming infected with HIV in 2011, there are now an estimated 34 million people around the world who are living with HIV, including millions who have developed AIDS.

And what is AIDS? AIDS on the other hand is defined as Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

What is the connection between HIV & AIDS?
The condition that is referred to as AIDS is caused by HIV damaging the immune system cells until the immune system can no longer fight off other infections that it would usually be able to prevent.
If left untreated, it takes around ten years on average for someone with HIV to develop AIDS. However, this average is based on the person with HIV having a reasonable diet, and someone who is malnourished may well progress from HIV to AIDS more rapidly.

How is HIV treated?
Antiretroviral drugs keep the levels of HIV in the body at a low level, so that the immune system is able to recover and work effectively. Antiretroviral drugs enable many HIV positive people to live long and healthy lives.

Starting antiretroviral treatment for HIV infection involves commitment - drugs have to be taken every day, and for the rest of a person's life. Adhering to HIV treatment is important, particularly because not doing so increases the risk of drug resistance. Side effects to the HIV drugs can make adherence difficult, and are sometimes very severe. There are ways of reducing the impact of these side effects, but sometimes it is necessary to change to an alternative HIV treatment regime.

There are more than 20 antiretroviral drugs...

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