Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Transmission

The lentivirus in the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV is the chief cause of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. The immune system is destroyed by HIV leaving it open for invasion by cancers and other harmful infections. As of today, no cure is available for HIV/AIDS but antivirals taken daily for a lifetime can delay the progression of the disease. The disease has been listed as a pandemic by the World Health Organization which has made it a top priority for prevention of infection in many health centers from different countries around the world. The largest number of HIV/AIDS cases is in Africa and statistics show that as many as 2 million people die of AIDS every year.


An exchange of infected body fluids like semen and blood is how HIV gets transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected one. This makes us see that safety measures have to be used in order to avoid coming in contact with the infected fluids. Sexual activity is the most common way of HIV transmission. Reducing the risk of becoming infected would be the usage of safe sex procedures. Even if statistics shows that women infect less than men, vaginal fluids that can enter through cuts in the penis or mouth will bring infection. Anal, fellatio, and vaginal intercourse should only be performed through the use of a condom. Dental dams should be used when oral sex on females is performed. Kissing should be avoided if open wounds or sores can be seen as saliva that contains infected blood can transmit the disease.


While male condoms are widely used, there are also female condoms that provide the same protection even if they are not as widely accepted. Condoms should be made acceptable, affordable, and accessible in order to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS.


Male circumcision has been considered as a way to reduce the transmission of HIV yet has been found to be far less effective than using a condom.

Intravenous drugs are also one of the ways where HIV can be transmitted. The sharing of needles between drug addicts has provided the perfect pathway for HIV to be transmitted from person to person. Since the drug addicts could not be stopped from using prohibitive drugs, the various health agencies have no choice but to advise them not to share needles or else to use fresh ones while injecting the drugs. This scenario also applies to people who use intravenous drugs like insulin. A used needle should be disposed of properly to avoid the spread of disease.


Breastfeeding should never be done when the mother is infected with the HIV virus. Transmission of the virus from the mother to the child will pass through breast milk which is a body fluid.


One of the professions that are at high risk for HIV transmission would be the healthcare professionals. In order to avoid this, healthcare professionals should always gloves and mask especially when caring for HIV-infected patients that have open wounds, sores, and handling other body fluids. Used needles should always be disposed in safe collectors.

HIV Symptoms – What is Human Immunodeficiency Virus?

The body’s immune system is the main target of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV and, if not timely diagnosed and treated is life-threatening.

The cells in the individual’s immune system are gradually attacked by HIV which gives him/her low resistance to infections. A person is termed as ‘HIV positive’ as soon as he or she is diagnosed with HIV. Continuous and lifetime treatment is needed for a person found to have HIV which can be fatal if left untreated.

AIDS will be the diagnosis when HIV has weakened an individual’s immune system. This is because the CD4 count or white blood cells of the individual goes to levels below 200. When this happens, it is mandatory that the individual acquire antiretroviral therapy as by this time a severe damage has happened to the immune system.

A treatment can only be started when a person is sure that he or she has HIV. HIV could not be diagnosed right off as its signs and symptoms are similar to other infections that even a doctor cannot detect it. A person may show signs and symptoms of flu and may not even know that he or she already has HIV. This makes it doubly hard to pinpoint HIV when a person becomes sick. On the brighter side, tested HIV does not mean that your life is over. When treatment is followed there is a good chance that it will not become full-blown AIDS.

There are ways to check for HIV and one of them is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, better known as ELISA where samples of urine, saliva, and blood are taken from the patient. The effective times the test could be done to a patient are between 2 to 12 weeks after he or she has become infected. The way it can be determined that the person is HIV positive is the different kind of antibodies that they produce which could not be found in antibodies of people who do not have HIV.

Another test that could be done is called the Rapid HIV test which is done by a finger prick and where the blood sample taken could be given an antibody count. After a period between 20 to 30 minutes, results could be given and the clinic is the usual setting for this kind of test. Yet, Rapid HIV test should be backed by the Western Blot to confirm the diagnosis.

The most common tests done to a suspected HIV individual is the Western Blot. This type of test is a secondary confirmation and uses electrophoresis in laboratory setting.

It can’t be emphasized enough that body fluids are the gateway of the HIV virus. An HIV- infected person can immediately infect another individual through unprotected sex, sharing of needles, breast milk, and a blood transfusion from an infected blood.

If you suspect yourself or a loved one to have contracted HIV, the only way to find out is to have body fluids testing. This could spell the difference between life and death.

Early Symptoms of HIV

After two to three weeks that a person has been exposed to HIV/AIDS, skin eruptions will appear in some of them. Not every infected individual go through with this and for some, the skin rashes will appear at a later period. But for those who have it after a few weeks, the rashes will go away even when nothing has been done for it, yet will in some later time reappear again. HIV and AIDS may be lumped together, but they are not identical. AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is the last stage of human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. Acquiring an HIV virus would not necessarily progress to AIDS if testing and treatment is done at the early onset of the disease. Every individual body has different ways of fighting the virus and beating it early gives the best prognosis.

A possible sign could be experiencing bumps that are dark and small, slightly raised on the skin of the neck, chest, face or back. The color would range from reddish brown to a deep red to very light skin toned people. However, without testing, this should not be a conclusion that you have HIV when there are over a hundred varieties of skin rashes.

The rash are usually accompanied by a mouth thrush which is brought about by an attack of the Candida albicans yeast, muscle pains and aches, headache, diarrhea, and fever.

The rash usually disappears after a week or two, but the HIV virus stays on. The antiviral quality of elderberry syrup that has low sugar has helped some people overcome the rash.

Corticosteroids are the medicines usually prescribed by doctors when they do not know the cause of the rash as it stops allergy reactions. It may stop or help the inflammation but not the underlying infection of HIV.

Since there are hundreds of rash varieties, the only way to find out if you have the HIV infection is to submit to a test. It has been known that some people have a tendency to break out in rashes from stress or worry. Ringworm is a type of rash that forms into a circle with some lines radiating outwards. Bacterial infections, fungus, and yeast could also cause rashes to break out on the skin. Shingles or herpes zoster is another viral infection that can cause rashes.

It would be presumptuous to assume that you will have an AIDS rash if you have been exposed to an individual with HIV. You will suspect that you have it when you’ve had sexual contact with somebody that you know nothing of. If you are experiencing a rash, the best remedy is to have it diagnosed by a medical professional. It could be very stressful on your part to live in fear should you suspect an HIV infection. There are available effective treatments available for the HIV virus that has helped other infected people to live productive lives.

The time to get an HIV/AIDS test is now while it is still on its early phase.