Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV is transmitted through direct contact of mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid and breast milk. This transmission can involve anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids.
Like other diseases, AIDS has a time to start, a time to settle down, and a time for ending; ending meaning the patient cures or dies from the sickness; ending also meaning that, in the unique case of AIDS, the patient has no alternative but dying. In HIV/AIDS infection, the beginning, the settlement and the end correspond to the following steps of the disease: asymptomatic (no sign to be noticed), symptomatic (there are signs that indicate the progress of the sickness) and finally the declared disease.
Among the three steps, the symptomatic level is when the HIV-positive should be aware of the signs that begin disturbing his health. How do these signs appear and how can we recognise them?
The signs are as follows:
- Unexplained swelling of lymphatic glands located in the neck, the armpit and the groin, for three months,
- Chronic fatigue, asthenia, overtiredness,
- Unexplained loss of weight (more than 10% of the weight lost),
- Unexplained fever, for one month, accompanied by shivering and night sweat,
- Pruritus or skin eruption,
- Skin diseases (a mycosis, a parasitosis or a bacterial skin disease),
- Muscular and articular pains,
- Anorexia, nausea and vomiting,
- Herpes zoster.
Knowing these signs is important to struggle more efficiently individually against the pandemic disease. A large number of people would never get the opportunity to be tested. They would keep on ignoring their serological status all along the asymptomatic step. But, with the repetition of the signs above stated, one should pay attention so as to know the reality about his health and then begin having adequate treatment.