HIV has become a global health emergency at present globally and has affected all regions of the world irrespective of gender, age, region, culture and nationality causing millions of deaths and sufferings. Access to prevention, modes of treatment at different stages available these days has changed the scenario at globe level.
The immune system of our body protect us by recognizing the invading pathogens (bacteria, fungi, viruses, parasites) and gives the instant reaction to those pathogens and thus prevent us from falling ill. The cells of immune system that play part in regulation and destruction of antigens ate T lymphocytes. When HIV is in the circulatory system, it targets CD4+ lymphocytes.
When the infection HIV infection first enters the body, it is known as Primary Infection (HIV 1). In Primary Infection (HIV 1) a person carries high viral load meaning there are numerous viruses per millimeter of plasma or blood present that can exceed over 1 million in number. The signs and symptoms at this stage are known as SERCONVERSION ILLNESS and these include headache, sore throat, continuous diarrhea, vomiting, night seats, and weight loss and skin rashes. The average time of this SEROCONVERSION ILLNESS is around 25 days. During Primary Infection (HIV 1) the CD4 count decreases and can drop less to than 200 cells/µL. CD4+ cells in the lymph nodes and thymus are attacked by this HIV virus making infected (HIV person) vulnerable to opportunistic infections and decreases the ability of thymus to produce T lymphocytes.
HIV infected people may appear to be healthy for years and after ages signs and symptoms begin to appear. Such cases may develop candidiasis, lymphadenopathy, herpes zoster, peripheral neuropathy. The viral load increases and the CD4+ cells decrease in level. Patients in such conditions are assigned in Stage 2. These cases can be assigned to Stage 3 or 4 if a condition from one of those occurs, but they cannot be reassigned to clinical stage 1 or 2 in case if they become asymptomatic.
In Clinical Stage 3 the immune system of patients Weakens more and develop life threatening infections. Common infections in this stage include pulmonary and lymph node tuberculosis, persistant fever, candidiasis, recurrent bacterial pneumonia and other opportunistic infections. Weight loss is the general indication of this stage. Viral load continues to increase and decrease in CD4+ cells continues.
Patients of Stage 4 (advanced HIV or AIDS) continue to develop severe opportunistic infections like pneumocystis pneumonia , cytomegalovirus infections, tuberculosis, meningitis, leukoencephalopathy, Kaposi sarcoma and other infections that occur in patients with severly depressed immune system. The viral load is very high and CD4+ count falls to lowest levels. At this stage death can be imminent.
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