Your body gets its protection against various toxic substances, germs and cells causing diseases, with the help of a healthy Immune system. The immune system of the body acts as defender for the body which helps you to stay secured against various bacterial and viral infections also. So, it is necessary to strengthen your Immune system to remain safe. But there is a virus that is not contagious in nature but affects many people every year. Here, we will discuss mainly, is it possible to be born with HIV / AIDS? Let’s take a look.
What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human immunodeficiency virus. It mainly attacks the immune system and makes it weaker and prone to many infections and several cancers. A weaker immune system acts as an invitation for many diseases. Early detection and treatment of HIV can prevent its extreme level. This virus damages T-cells (CD4 cells) which are segments of the Immune system and fight with germs to prevent diseases.
What is AIDS?
AIDS stands for Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS occurs after HIV remains in the body for many years continuously. Immune becomes much weaker in this condition which leads to some serious ailments. Taking appropriate medicines can prevent the risk of growing HIV into AIDS.
Difference between HIV and AIDS
HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus) is the Virus responsible for the occurrence of AIDS (Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ). We can say that AIDS is the next stage of HIV when your immune system gets damaged and the amount of HIV increases to a great extent in the body. HIV attacks CD4 cells which make it difficult to fight with infections. Taking medicines for HIV can prevent the development of AIDS. HIV can develop in AIDS after a period of 10-12 years. The main difference between HIV and AIDS: HIV is the virus and AIDS is the condition. HIV can cause AIDS, when in an advanced stage. When this virus causes serious damage to the immune system then the person is said to be suffering from AIDS.
Can you be Born with HIV or AIDS?
If you think, whether human beings can take birth with HIV/AIDS or not? then the answer is yes, human beings can be born with HIV or AIDS. But, it is possible only if the birth giving mother is HIV positive. When the mother is pregnant, HIV gets transmitted into the child. Then the child takes birth with HIV positive. Not only at the time of birth but HIV can also be transferred to the child during delivery or during breast-feeding by mother. The phenomenon of transmission of HIV from mother to child is referred to as MTCT or Mother to child transmission. Thereby, it is an important task to test HIV, which finds out whether the pregnant woman is HIV positive or not. If the result is HIV + (positive), it becomes essential to start the treatment as soon as possible. Once HIV gets transferred from mother to child, it will be more problematic to control. Also, taking the proper guidance of an HIV specialist doctor and medical treatment before pregnancy reduces the risk factor of transmitting HIV to children to 1% only.
Effects on Child Born with HIV or AIDS
- Behavioral and Emotional Difficulty : Children suffering from HIV are found to have an increased risk of chronic problems, psychiatric conditions such as isolation from society, depression and anxiety. Behavior changes, mood swings usually occur in this type of child.
- Adolescence Problems: HIV complicates the stages of puberty, sexual life, being fit of children. HIV present in the body disturbs the desires of the child and interferes with normal functioning of the body.
- Psychosocial Interventions: Parents having the children with HIV/AIDS face the issue of illness, isolation from society, crisis and lack of resources. They need social, medical and psychological services to get their mindset fine. So, it is necessary to support this type of family to make them feel better and to improve their quality of life.
- Death and Bereavement: As the child grows from periods of years, the level of disease increases and starts to affect working of body organs. It is mandatory to take proper treatment of HIV because not taking proper treatment may lead to death also.
Symptoms of HIV or AIDS
- Delayed physical growth including poor bone growth and body weight.
- Abdomen area can be swollen due to swelling in the spleen and liver.
- Swelling in Lymph nodes can take place.
- Irregular diarrhea may come again and again after a short interval.
- White patches on the tongue and skin may occur or fungal infections in the mouth take place.
- Pneumonia can also occur due to HIV.
How HIV can be Transferred?
HIV can be transmitted from one person to another via:
- MTCT (mother to child transmission): Transferring of HIV can take place from mother to child at the time of pregnancy, delivery or breast-feeding.
- Sexual Intercourse: Mostly adolescents and adults are tested positive by the mean of sexual activities. HIV can enter into body from the vagina lining, penis, vulva, rectum or irritated tissues in the lining of the mouth.
- Injecting infected needles or other equipment: Using shared needles, drugs, syringes or other equipment also may lead to transfer of HIV in most of the population.
- Fluids such as Blood, Breast milk or Sexual fluids: HIV can get transmitted from getting in contact with HIV positive blood also. Virus can enter through a cut or broken skin into the body.
Myth about Spreading HIV
Most of population thinks that HIV can be transmitted via
- Swimming pools
- Biting by insects
- Sharing towels, bed and utensils
But this is totally wrong thinking, HIV can’t get transmitted from one person to another by any above given ways.
How to Prevent HIV or AIDS?
By following given steps, one can prevent risk of getting infected from HIV:
- Bring condom in use every time when having sexual intercourse
- Get tested for HIV in laboratory and also sure to test your partner
- Take medicines on regular basis (calledpre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP), when there are increased chances of getting infected by your HIV positive partner
- Test and treat sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) which can increase chances of getting infected with HIV
- Prevent injecting any shared needle or drug
- Prevent sharing of razors or other blood touching things
- Avoid touching other’s blood directly if it is an injury or something
HIV/AIDS are the type diseases which can take breath of an infected person, in simple words it is a life-threatening disease. So, it is necessary to use preventive methods of HIV/AIDS. As its prevention can save a person more than its treatment. Every pregnant woman should be tested for HIV. It decreases the risk factor of transferring HIV into new born Child, ultimately preventing the next generations getting affected with HIV / AIDS.
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Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an Expert Ayurveda Consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.