For: HIV (surrogate)
The only way to determine HIV infection is to be tested, as symptoms and latent periods vary from person to person. It is common during the first two to four weeks of infection that people experience flu-like symptoms and enlarged lymph nodes. This is because the virus migrates to various organs in the body, particularly the lymphoid organs. During this stage people are highly infectious and HIV is present in large quantities in genital secretions.
What is AIDS ?
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is one of the world's most fatal diseases. In Ireland, 2,645 AIDS cases have been reported to date in Ireland. In 2001 the majority of cases (almost 60%) of newly diagnosed HIV infections were among heterosexuals.
AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. HIV acts by gradually destroying the body's white blood cells (CD4 cells and T-cells). These cells help the body to fight infection. A person with HIV will therefore have a suppressed immune system, making them more prone to opportunistic infections (infections that cause little harm in a healthy person but may be fatal to someone infected with HIV).
Extensive research and testing means that the outlook for someone diagnosed with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) in the developed world is significantly better than it was 10 years ago. Current treatment prevents virus replication and allows someone infected with HIV to live a longer and healthier life.
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