HIV is a virus that targets and alters the immune system, increasing the risk and impact of other infections and diseases. Without treatment, the infection might progress to an advanced disease stage called AIDS. However, modern advances in treatment mean that people living with HIV in countries with good access to healthcare very rarely develop AIDS once they are receiving treatment. The life expectancy of a person who carries the HIV virus is now approaching that of a person that tests negative for the virus, as long as they adhere to a combination of medications called antiretroviral therapy ART on an ongoing basis. A Kaiser Permanente study in suggested that between and , the gap in life expectancy between people who are HIV positive and HIV negative closed from 44 years to 12 years.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus HIV. Tinea cruris. Cryptosporidiosis: The protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium causes this infection that leads to severe abdominal cramps and watery diarrhea. What are the early signs of HIV in men? See pictures of HIV mouth hivv here.
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Retrieved November 1, Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa. Risk of transmission increases in the presence of many sexually transmitted infections  and genital ulcers. Bibcode : PNAS. Inas part of an overall reform of marriage and population legislation, it became legal for people with AIDS to marry in China. Retrieved June 14, Campaigns Many Federal agencies have developed public awareness and education campaigns to address HIV prevention, treatment, care, and research. Retrieved May 3, Retrieved February 14, Deutsches Arzteblatt International. August The Journal of Pathology.
Many, including Kaposi sarcoma, thrush, and herpes, are caused by germs that take advantage of a weakened immune system.
- HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus.
- HIV is spread primarily by unprotected sex including anal and oral sex , contaminated blood transfusions , hypodermic needles , and from mother to child during pregnancy , delivery, or breastfeeding.
- Many Federal agencies have developed public awareness and education campaigns to address HIV prevention, treatment, care, and research.
Through the use of advanced scanning electron microscopy SEM and other imaging techniques, scientists have a far greater ability to investigate the ultrastructure of HIV and other infective microbes related to HIV diseases.
A scanning electron micrograph of a human T-lymphocyte also called a T-cell from the immune system of a healthy donor. Computer colorization helps differentiate the budding HIV virions in yellow as they emerge from the infected cell in green and turquoise.
Also known as "helper" cells, CD4 does not neutralize infection, but rather prompt the body's immune system to act upon an infective agent. By depleting CD4 cells, the immune function is gradually compromised, increasing the risk of HIV-related opportunistic infections. During or soon after budding, the virion enters the maturation stage in which long strings of protein are cut up into functional HIV protein and enzymes. Maturation is required in order for the virus to become infectious.
A scanning electron micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which cause tuberculosis TB. TB most often infects the lungs, but can many other parts of the body, as well. Since , M. In the U. A silver-stained micrograph of Pneumocystis jiroveci fungi isolated from a bronchial irrigation. The U. Candidiasis is common in people with HIV. While the implementation of combination antiretroviral therapy cART can significantly reduce the risk of esophageal candidiasis, it still remains one of the most common opportunistic infections in both resource-rich and resource-poor countries.
Human papillomavirus HPV is a virus that can cause infection in humans, and is the most common sexually transmitted disease STD in the U. It is these cells that can develop into cancer of the cervix. Invasive cervical cancer is one of the conditions classified by the U. If left untreated, toxoplasmosis can cause severe encephalitis inflammation of the brain and retinal damage.
The most common neurological signs are speech and motor impairment. In advanced disease, seizures, meningitis, optic nerve damage, and psychiatric manifestations are often seen. Toxoplasmosis of the brain is classified by the U. Over , cases of toxoplasmosis are reported in the U. A scanning electron micrograph of Salmonella enterobacteria invading a cultured human cell.
Salmonella septicemia is a condition wherein the presence of Salmonella in the blood triggers a potentially life-threatening, whole-body inflammatory response. With the advent of combination antiretroviral therapy cART , Salmonella septicemia is considered rare among people living with HIV in the developed world.
However, the majority of Salmonella -related deaths that do occur in the U. Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal disease caused by C. While coccidioidomycosis generally presents inside the lungs, when it spreads beyond the lungs in people with HIV, it is considered an AIDS-defining illness by the U. In , over 22, new cases of coccidioidomycosis were reported by the CDC, a ten-fold increase from In California alone, the number increased from in to a high of 5, in Varicella zoster virus VZV is a member of the herpes virus family, which commonly causes chickenpox in children, teens, and young adults.
After the resolution of primary infection, VZV lies dormant in the nervous system, with no further complications or consequence. These generally occur in older people or people with severely compromised immune systems. While herpes zoster appears more frequently in individuals with low CD4 counts under , they can present in people with moderate immune suppression CD4s around Cystoispora belli former known as Isospora belli is an intestinal parasite that can cause can disease in humans called cystoisosporiasis.
With the advent of combination antiretroviral therapy cART , cystoisosporiasis is considered rare among people living with HIV in the developed world.
However, occasional outbreaks have been reported in recent years, due in large part to returning travelers from tropical regions where the disease is more widespread. Cystoisosporiasis has been classified by the U. A mucicarmine stained micrograph of Cryptococcus neoformans in human lung tissue, with yeast cells in red. The other is C. Transmission occurs mainly through inhalation of the fungus, which is present in soil and bird droppings.
While the majority of adults and children exposed to the fungus will not develop cryptococcosis, people with severely compromised immune systems are at increased risk—with infection presenting primarily in the lungs or central nervous system where it can cause potentially life-threatening meningitis. In the developed world, the incidence of cryptococcosis has dropped dramatically since the introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy cART.
However, the disease is still a significant contributor to deaths and morbidity in the developing world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa.
Extrapulmonary cryptococcosis has been classified by the U. The H. Because of its association with bats and caves, the disease is frequently referred to as "Cave's disease" or "Spelunker's lung. Those who do generally experience mild, flu-like symptoms, which quickly resolve with no lasting impact.
In immune-compromised individuals, histoplasmosis can progress to chronic lung infection, similar in expression to tuberculosis. Disseminated histoplasmosis, which can affect multiple major organs, is generally seen in HIV-infected patients with CD4 counts under Histoplasmosis has been classified by the U.
Get information on prevention, symptoms, and treatment to better ensure a long and healthy life. HIV Microscopy in Pictures. Healthy Human T-Cell. HIV virions are shown budding and releasing from an infected CD4 cell. Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Pneumocystis Jiroveci.
Candida Albicans. Human Papillomavirus HPV. Toxoplasma Gondii. A photomicrograph of Toxoplasma gondii found in the tissue sample. Coccidioides Immitis. A silver stain micrograph of a Coccidiodes immitis spherule with visible endospores. Varicella Zoster. A fiery-looking electron micrograph of Varicella zoster virus. Cystoispora Belli Isospora Belli. Ultraviolet micrograph of an immature Cystoisospora belli parasite. Cryptococcus Neoformans.
Histoplasma Capsulatum. A photomicrograph showing two Histoplasma capsulatum fungi. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback!
Sign Up. What are your concerns? Article Sources. Gona, P. Kauffman, C. January ; 20 1 — Singh, D. March 29, 62 12 Warkentien, T. October ; 21 10 What Is Salmonella Septicemia?
Reference Desk. Some countries or jurisdictions, including some areas of the United States, have laws that criminalize HIV transmission or exposure. Your health care provider can do the test, or you can use a home testing kit. The most frequent mode of transmission of HIV is through sexual contact with an infected person. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. The New York Times. Retrieved July 26,
Picture of the disease aids hiv. Diagram of the AIDS Virus
Rashes and Skin Conditions Associated with HIV and AIDS
HIV is a virus that targets and alters the immune system, increasing the risk and impact of other infections and diseases. Without treatment, the infection might progress to an advanced disease stage called AIDS. However, modern advances in treatment mean that people living with HIV in countries with good access to healthcare very rarely develop AIDS once they are receiving treatment.
The life expectancy of a person who carries the HIV virus is now approaching that of a person that tests negative for the virus, as long as they adhere to a combination of medications called antiretroviral therapy ART on an ongoing basis. A Kaiser Permanente study in suggested that between and , the gap in life expectancy between people who are HIV positive and HIV negative closed from 44 years to 12 years.
These are white blood cells that move around the body, detecting faults and anomalies in cells as well as infections. When HIV targets and infiltrates these cells, it reduces the body's ability to combat other diseases. This increases the risk and impact of opportunistic infections and cancers.
However, a person can carry HIV without experiencing symptoms for a long time. HIV is a lifelong infection. However, receiving treatment and managing the disease effectively can prevent HIV from reaching a severe level and reduce the risk of a person passing on the virus. However, advances in ART mean than an ever-decreasing number of people progress to this stage.
By the close of , around 1,, people were HIV-positive. To compare, figures from show that medical professionals diagnosed AIDS in an estimated 18, people. In the United States, the main causes of this transfer of fluids are:. A woman living with HIV who is pregnant or has recently given birth might transfer the disease to her child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
The risk of HIV transmitting through blood transfusions is extremely low in countries that have effective screening procedures in place for blood donations. To transmit HIV, these fluids must contain enough of the virus. People may be able to achieve undetectable levels of HIV by closely following the prescribed course of treatment.
Confirming and regularly monitoring undetectable status using a blood test is important, as this does not mean that the person no longer has HIV. Undetectable HIV relies on the person adhering to their treatment, as well as the effectiveness of the treatment itself. For the most part, infections by other bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites cause the more severe symptoms of HIV.
These conditions tend to progress further in people who live with HIV than in individuals with healthy immune systems. A correctly functioning immune system would protect the body against the more advanced effects of infections, and HIV disrupts this process. Some people with HIV do not show symptoms until months or even years after contracting the virus.
However, around 80 percent of people may develop a set of flu-like symptoms known as acute retroviral syndrome around 2—6 weeks after the virus enters the body. However, people who experience several of these symptoms and know of any reason they might have been at risk of contracting HIV over the last 6 weeks should take a test. In many cases, after the symptoms of acute retroviral syndrome, symptoms might not occur for many years.
During this time, the virus continues to develop and cause immune system and organ damage. Without medication that prevents the replication of the virus, this slow process can continue for an average of around 10 years. Complying rigidly to a course of ART can disrupt this phase and suppress the virus completely. Taking effective antiretroviral medications for life can halt on-going damage to the immune system.
Without medication, HIV weakens the ability to fight infection. The person becomes vulnerable to serious illnesses. During late-stage HIV infection, the risk of developing a life-threatening illness increases greatly. A person with late-stage HIV can control, prevent and treat serious conditions by taking other medications alongside HIV treatment. In reducing the activity of the immune system, late-stage HIV reduces the ability of the body to combat a range of infections, diseases, and cancers.
Infections that caused minimal or no health problems before the development of AIDS might pose a serious health risk once the condition has weakened the immune system. Medical professionals refer to these as opportunistic infections OIs. Once any of these infections occur, a doctor will diagnose AIDS. Candidiasis of the bronchi, trachea, esophagus, and lungs: As a fungal infection that normally occurs in the skin and nails, this frequently causes serious problems in the esophagus and lower respiratory tract for people with AIDS.
Invasive cervical cancer: This type of cancer begins in the cervix and spreads to other areas in the body. Regular checks with a cancer care team can help prevent the cancer or limit the spread. Coccidioidomycosis: People sometimes refer to the self-limited version of this disease in healthy individuals as valley fever. Inhalation of the fungus Coccidioides immitis causes this infection.
Cryptococcosis: Cryptococcus neoformans is a fungus that can infect any part of the body, but most often enters the lungs to trigger pneumonia or the brain to cause swelling. Cryptosporidiosis: The protozoan parasite Cryptosporidium causes this infection that leads to severe abdominal cramps and watery diarrhea. Cytomegalovirus disease CMV : CMV can cause a range of diseases in the body, including pneumonia, gastroenteritis , and encephalitis , a brain infection.
However, CMV retinitis is of particular concern in people with late-stage HIV, and it can infect the retina at the back of the eye, permanently removing sight. CMV retinitis is a medical emergency. While doctors do not fully understand the cause, they consider it to be linked to post-infection inflammation in the brain. Herpes simplex HSV : This virus, usually sexually transmitted or passed on in childbirth, is extremely common and rarely causes health issues or causes self-limiting recurrences in people with healthy immune systems.
However, it can reactivate in people with HIV, causing painful cold sores around the mouth and ulcers on the genitals and anus that do not resolve. The sores, rather than a herpes diagnosis, are an indicator of AIDS. Histoplasmosis: The fungus Histoplasma capsulatum causes extremely severe, pneumonia-like symptoms in people with advanced HIV. This condition can become progressive disseminated histoplasmosis and can impact on organs outside of the respiratory system.
Chronic intestinal isosporiasis: The parasite Isospora belli can infect the body through contaminated food and water, causing diarrhea, fever, vomiting, weight loss, headaches , and abdominal pain.
Kaposi's sarcoma KS : Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus KSHV , also known as human herpesvirus 8 HHV-8 , causes a cancer that leads to the growth of abnormal blood vessels anywhere in the body.
If KS reaches organs, such as the intestines or lymph nodes, it can be extremely dangerous. KS appears as solid purple or pink spots on the surface of the skin. They might be flat or raised. Lymphoma: People refer to cancer of the lymph nodes and lymphoid tissues as lymphoma , and many different types might occur. Tuberculosis TB : The bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis causes this disease and can transfer in droplets if a person with an active form of the bacteria sneezes, coughs, or speaks.
TB causes a severe lung infection as well as weight loss, fever, and tiredness, and can also infect the brain, lymph nodes, bones, or kidneys. Mycobacteria, including Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium kansasii : These bacteria occur naturally in the environment and pose few problems for people with fully-functioning immune systems.
However, they can spread throughout the body and cause life-threatening health issues for people with HIV, especially in its later stages. Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia PJP : A fungus called Pneumocystis jirovecii causes breathlessness, dry cough, and high fever in people with suppressed immune systems, including those with HIV.
Recurrent pneumonia: Many different infections can cause pneumonia, but a bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae is one of its most dangerous causes in people with HIV. Vaccines are available for this bacteria, and every person who has HIV should receive vaccination for Streptococcus pneumoniae. However, in people with compromised immune systems, either due to HIV or medications, such as those for multiple sclerosis MS , the JC virus attacks the brain, leading to a dangerous conditon called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy PML.
PML can be life-threatening, causing paralysis and cognitive difficulties. Recurrent Salmonella septicemia: This type of bacteria often enters the body in contaminated food and water, circulates the entire body, and overpowers the immune system, causing nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Toxoplasmosis toxo : Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite that inhabits warm-blooded animals, including cats and rodents, and leaves the body in their feces.
Humans contract the diseases by inhaling contaminated dust or eating contaminated food, but it can also occur in commercial meats. Take care to wear protective gloves while changing cat litter and thoroughly wash the hands afterward. Wasting syndrome: This occurs when a person involuntarily loses 10 percent of their muscle mass through diarrhea, weakness, or fever. Part of the weight loss may also consist of fat loss. Aside from managing HIV viral load with medications, a person who lives with the disease must take precautions, including the following steps:.
Antibiotic , antifungal, or antiparasitic drugs can help treat an OI. Many misconceptions circulate about HIV that are harmful and stigmatizing for people with the virus. Becoming aware of HIV status is vital for commencing treatment and preventing the development of more severe immune difficulties and subsequent infections. A doctor can test for HIV using a specific blood test. A positive result means that they have detected HIV antibody in the bloodstream.
The blood is re-tested before a positive result is given. After potential exposure to the virus, early testing and diagnosis is crucial and greatly improves the chances of successful treatment. Home testing kits are also available.
HIV might take 3 - 6 months to show up in testing, and re-testing may be necessary for a definitive diagnosis. People at risk of infection within the last 6 months can have an immediate test. The test provider will normally recommend another test within a few weeks. However, treatments can stop the progression of the condition and allow most people living with HIV the opportunity to live a long and relatively healthy life. Starting ART early in the progression of the virus is crucial.
This improves quality of life, extends life expectancy, and reduces the risk of transmission, according to the WHO's guidelines from June More effective and better-tolerated treatments have evolved that can improve general health and quality of life by taking as little as one pill per day. A person living with HIV can reduce their viral load to such a degree that it is no longer detectable in a blood test.
After assessing a number of large studies, the CDC concluded that individuals who have no detectable viral load "have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.
If an individual believes they have been exposed to the virus within the last 3 days, anti-HIV medications, called post-exposure prophylaxis PEP , may be able to stop infection. Take PEP as soon as possible after potential contact with the virus. PEP is a treatment lasting a total of 28 days, and physicians will continue to monitor for HIV after the completion of the treatment. The treatment of HIV involves antiretroviral medications that fight the HIV infection and slows down the spread of the virus in the body.