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Hiv Infection

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HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a retrovirus that targets the immune system, primarily CD4 cells (T cells), which aid the immune system in fighting infections. If untreated, HIV can progress to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The virus is spread through contact with certain bodily fluids from an HIV-positive individual, such as blood, sperm, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, and breast milk. HIV infection occurs in stages, with the first stage being acute HIV infection. During this stage, people may have flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pains, and weariness. Because the symptoms are minor and brief, this stage is frequently missed or misdiagnosed. Following the acute stage, the virus enters a clinical latency stage, in which it reproduces at a considerably slower pace and may not cause any symptoms. Without effective medical intervention, HIV can escalate to AIDS. AIDS is distinguished by a severely compromised immune system, which makes the patient vulnerable to opportunistic infections and some malignancies. HIV/AIDS is incurable, but with the introduction of antiretroviral medication (ART), it has become a treatable chronic condition. ART works by slowing virus replication, enabling the immune system to heal, and preventing the disease from progressing to AIDS. Prevention is critical in reducing the spread of HIV. Effective prevention techniques include using condoms, getting tested and knowing both partners' HIV statuses, and not sharing needles or other drug-related equipment. Individuals at high risk of HIV can also receive pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to lower their chances of becoming infected. Stigma and prejudice against HIV remain key concerns. People with HIV may experience social isolation, discrimination, and difficulty receiving healthcare. Education and awareness efforts are critical for dispelling myths and reducing stigma linked with HIV. To summarize, HIV is a severe worldwide health concern that affects millions of individuals. Early detection, access to medical care, and preventative initiatives are critical in tackling the issues presented by HIV infection. Continuous research and public health activities are critical for discovering new medications, improving preventative techniques, and eventually finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.