Friday, August 18, 2017

Medicollabowesome : HIV Fact sheet

Under our new Medicowesome project, Medicollabowesome, where several authors get together in talking about a single topic, this month we are going to talk about HIV/AIDS.

As a start, let me give you a factsheet about HIV/AIDS.

What is HIV?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which causes the immunity to collapse.

How is it transmitted?
It is considered a sexually transmitted disease or STD, so it is most often is transmitted via unprotected sex with an infected person. But it is also possible to be transmitted via Mother to Child, Blood transfusions, Needle sharing for drug usage, Unsterile cutting, piercing, tattooing, blood transfusions, tissue transplantations and even needle sticks (for medical professionals).

How is ISN’T transmitted?
By sharing food utensils, hugging, kissing, shaking hands or sharing personal items that are not connected to the body fluids. Razors are risky as it can have blood.  

What happens when you are infected?
The lymphocytes which recognize the infectious threats to the body, the CD4 cells are attacked and it renders you susceptible to vast number of infections that are not directly related to HIV.

What do we call this situation?
We call it AIDS or Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome

Is it curable?
Sadly, No!

What can we do about it?
Those who are infected can take Anti-retroviral therapy or ART to control the level of HIV virus in the body below a certain level to enjoy, a long and productive life. Usually 3 ARV drugs are given in combination to suppress the virus replication.

Who are most at risk?
The ones who engage in unprotected sex are always in risk irrespective of their sexuality. But Men who have sex with men or MSM are in greater risk. The sex workers and their clients, drug users who share needles, people in prisons or other closed areas, and transgender people are also among the risky people.

How many are affected worldwide?
36.7 Million people worldwide with 1.8 million people added new in 2016.

Which region is most affected?
African region is the most affected area with 25.6 million living with HIV by 2016.

How is it tested?
Often through Rapid Diagnostic Tests which give same-day results and these services are available in almost any major hospital worldwide, to a very affordable amount or even free!

How many are currently in therapy?
Currently among who are living with HIV,  54% adults and 43% children are on ART therapy as well as 76% pregnant and breastfeeding women are in therapy globally.

How to prevent it?
Safe sex is the most important way of preventing it. Usage of male and female condoms, and limiting the sexual life to a one trustworthy partner is important. PrEP (PreExposure Prophylaxis) and PEP (PostExposure Prophylaxis) are also other methods which are important. Providing the HIV infected mother with ARV therapy and following specific delivery concerns are important to avoid the baby getting infected with HIV.

What are the novel methods of risk reduction?
Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) is currently advised by the WHO to reduce the risk of heterosexually transmitted HIV by 60%, and is often utilized in Africa. Also the periodic testing of the risk groups is also important.

So, this is the start guys, expect more content from our authors within this month. Thanks, and please let me know if there are any mistakes. The details are based on WHO guidelines on HIV/AIDS.

With love,
Jay :)

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