The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, in short HIV, is the cause of the deadly disease AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). The virus enters the body and weakens our immune system, specifically affecting the T lymphocytes, resulting in the inability of our immune system to oppose future infections and cancers. If left untreated, it severely damages the immune system making it incapable to fight the slightest of infections. The earlier the detection, the longer is the life expectancy of the patient.
The primary causes for the virus to transmit in other bodies are as follows:
- Vertical transmission – A baby born with the virus through an infected mother.
- Sexual transmission – Unprotected sexual indulgence can lead to transmission of the virus from the infected person through permeable barriers.
- Blood transmission – Contact with contaminated blood can cause the transmission.
- Needles – Sharing of the needles with an infected person.
However, it is to be mentioned here that the virus does not spread through mere contact with the infected person while sharing utensils, saliva.
The general and persistent symptoms of the virus include:
- Pain in the abdominal area
- loss of appetite
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Inadvertent weight loss
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Skin rashes
In fact, the list does not end here, although the symptoms of each individual may vary.
In short, the body is more susceptible to infections accompanied by a delicate immune system.
What is The Vertical Transmission?
A highly likely form of HIV transmission from infected mother to baby is vertical transmission. It could take place during the period of pregnancy, labor, at the time of delivery, and breastfeeding.
How can this be rectified if the mother is an infected person?
HIV Treatment reduces the viral load in the body of the mother which results in its undetectability. So in this case when the mother is under medication, then the chances of transmission considerably lessens. Moreover, certain anti – HIV medications enter the fetus through the placenta and thus aid the baby against viral load. Consequently, it would be wise for a pregnant woman to get her HIV test performed to move further with the treatment, if positive.
Measures Adopted to Reduce the Risk of Transmission
Certain measures widely adopted to reduce the risk of transmission from infected mother to child would include:
- Primarily, a maternal HIV test must be conducted.
- The infected person should immediately enroll herself in the treatment. Therefore reducing the viral load in her blood.
- A cesarean delivery must be advised to curb the mixing of maternal and fetal blood. In case the viral load in the mother is undetectable, vaginal delivery can also be considered.
- The baby soon after its birth must undergo anti- HIV treatment.
- Avoidance of breastfeeding considerably lessens the risk of transmission. Milk formula can be utilized provided the water used is hygienic.
Can AIDS be Hereditary?
No, AIDS is certainly not a hereditary disease. As mentioned earlier, HIV is a sexually transmittable virus that may also transmit through contaminated blood, sharing needles with an infected person, and from infected mother to child. Unless and until an infected mother passes on the virus to the baby during pregnancy, labor, delivery, breastfeeding, there is absolutely no chance of the baby inheriting the virus. The widely held myth that AIDS is hereditary is fallacious.
AIDS- Ayurvedic Perspective
In Ayurveda, ojas are the essence of energy that maintains our physical and mental health. It is the pivotal sap or nectar of the body. In the modern perspective, these ojas can be correlated with immunity.
As emphasized earlier, when a person is infected with HIV, there is a substantial reduction in the immune response of that body. Thus it can be inferred that there is a remarkable alleviation in the ojas of the body which then consequently weakens one’s physical as well as mental health.
So How Can We Rectify This Concerning an Ayurvedic Treatment?
Rasayana is one such branch widely practiced in Ayurveda that nourishes the body, builds up the alleviated ojas as well as invigorates physical and mental aspects of the body.
Beginning with detoxifying the body and then moving on further with the subsidization of symptoms along with rejuvenating our body, Rasayana treatment does wonders to our body. For this, there is the utilization of natural herbs, drugs, minerals, and food which can bring about excellent results in an AIDS patient. The life expectancy naturally elevates if the treatment is judiciously performed and the prescribed regimen is strictly followed.
As popularly known, prevention is better than cure, an apt motto in cases like AIDS. Unquestionably certain measures can be adopted to prevent the transmission of the virus in the minutest of ways possible.
Measures Through Which the Disease can be Prevented Are As Follows
- Safe sex.
- Screening of blood before transfusion to check whether it is contaminated.
- Abstinence from sharing needles and syringes.
- If sexually active, regular testing is vital.
- If a pregnant mother is infected then treatment for the mother and the baby after birth must be chiefly adopted.
The above preventive measures if practiced strictly would certainly aid in one’s health and prevent one from acquiring the virus. One must not give in to the myths created by society. Judging and avoiding an infected person would consequently affect the person’s mental health, thus deteriorating the condition even further. Mere contact (non-sexual), swapping materials with the infected person, tears, saliva does not in any way transmit the virus. Subjecting an infected child born from an infected mother to constant bullying and harassment is morally an offense.
A feeble mind and heart naturally worsen one’s will to live. Meanwhile, physical strength along with an even sturdier mental strength can hop on hurdles effortlessly. An infected person can surely lead a happy and content life as long as the treatment and medication are religiously followed and if one adopts a healthy lifestyle with a jovial heart.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD – Ayurveda) is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd. He is Author of the Book “Ayurveda – God’s Manual For Healing”. He is an Ayurveda Expert Serving People worldwide through all the Possible Mediums, Operating from Main Branch in Mohali, India. With his Vast Experience in Herbs and their Applied Uses, he is successfully treating Numerous Patients suffering from Various Ailments. He is Serving the Society with Purest Herbal Supplements for One and only Purpose of Making People know and utilize the Wonderful Benefits of the Ayurvedic Diet, Lifestyle, and Natural Herbs. He Formulates Herbal Supplements himself and also Use Classical Ayurvedic Formulations for Helping People Get Rid of All Types of Health Issues, Restore their Health, Uses and Save themselves from the Worst Side-effects of Chemical Based Treatments. For More Details, visit www.PlanetAyurveda.com.