HIV/AIDS

Name
HIV (Human Immuno Deficiency Virus) Infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Also known as
SIDA, thins

Caused by
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Type
Viral

Incidence
Updated worldwide statistics at the end of 1997 revealed 16,000 new infections a day with over 30 million people now living with HIV/AIDS. 1 in 100 adults in the 15-49 age group are infected with HIV; but only 1 in 10 infected persons are aware of their HIV status.

Symptoms
Possible flu-like symptoms following infection, but generally no symptoms during early phase. Variety of later symptoms including fever, fatigue, weight loss, night sweats, diarrhea, swollen lymph nodes, cough, dementia, and skin blotches.

Incubation
Symptoms develop within months or sometimes years after exposure.

Diagnosis
Traditionally diagnosed via an antibody blood test, newer tests using saliva are becoming increasingly common, as are viral load tests.

Complications
The compromised immune system becomes open to other opportunistic infections.

Treatment
Although there is no cure, many of the opportunistic diseases can be treated. New antiviral and combination therapies have also been shown to be remarkably effective in reducing the level of active virus in many individuals.