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Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Questions

What is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome?

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that affects the immune system. This disease is caused by infection of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). As this disease progresses, it can interfere with a person’s immune system which can allow infections to arise. Genetic research has shown that HIV originated from the African continent during the early 1900s. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first discovered AIDS in 1981 and was shown to be caused by HIV. Since AIDS has been found to 2009, it has claimed nearly thirty million deaths. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome has impacted society with regards to an illness as well as a source of discrimination. This disease has many misconceptions surrounding it. Doubts on AIDS transmission or what the symptoms for AIDS are can often lead to similar concerns that are answered below by Experts.

What are personality changes as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) progresses?

Personality traits or behavior changes as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome progresses can differ from one infected person to another. Dementia can result from AIDS not being treated. There are also other brain infections that can occur. It is not uncommon for individuals with AIDS to experience some form of depression. Other individuals may choose to act out and others can experience forgetfulness.

What is the HIV and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome symptoms?

AIDS is a result of an infection caused by HIV. HIV can present with symptoms of fevers, rashes, headaches, sore throats, swollen lymph glands, muscle soreness, etc. When HIV becomes worse and turns into AIDS, these symptoms can include shaking, chills, night sweats, long lasting high fevers, shortness of breath, coughing, and chronic diarrhea. Also, individuals could experience lesions on the tongue or mouth, weight loss and fatigue.

If previous testing for HIV/AIDS came back negative why would it now show as undefined?

If more testing continues to show indefinite, then a western blot test should be performed. Indefinite shows that the results of being negative or positive could not be decided on at that time. This can occur in situations where someone was tested soon after being infected. Indefinite tests results can also show if someone has any infections or autoimmune disorders.

An ELISA test can return a result of positive within a few weeks of being infected. When using this test it can take up to three months for a definite result. An indeterminate result can also be a non HIV virus giving such result much more so if the western blot test was negative. There are some autoimmune diseases such as Sjogrens that can come back with a false positive for HIV on the ELISA test. However, the more accurate western blot test would show a negative result.

Is the suicide rate among people with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome high?

Since 1996 there has shown to be a decline in the reported amount of suicides in people with HIV and AIDS. This decline is as large as 50%, but suicide deaths are still three times as high in those with AIDS as that of the average population. The decline in suicides may be attributed to new medications and increased awareness.

What advice can be given to a plumber who is working on an injector pump to protect him against feces and urine that may have been deposited in there from an individual with AIDs?

The plumber is more apt to “catch” something from the bacteria residing in the tank rather than any AIDS virus. An AIDS virus that was disposed in the tank is likely dead and is not infectious. The plumber cannot get AIDS just by working on the sewage tank of an AIDS infected person. AIDS can only be transmitted through blood contact, sex or sharing needles. Other bodily fluids such as feces, saliva, sweat; tears, urine, or vomit does not have enough of the virus to infect a person. That is unless there is blood mixed in with the other bodily fluid and direct contact is made.

Being well-informed about Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome can be helpful when faced with questions about this disease. Experts can help answer questions on how to protect you against AIDS or what treatment options are available.
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