Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system, caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
HIV transmission is through contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, unprotected sexual intercourse, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV.

Signs and symptoms

After initial HIV infection, a person may experience a short bout of influenza-like illness, followed by a lengthy asymptomatic period. Further progression of the disease results in interference with the immune system, making the patient susceptible to opportunistic infections.
Acute infection influenza-like illness, throat inflammation, a rash, headache, and/or sores of the mouth and genitals fever, large tender lymph nodes, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea may occur, as well as neurological symptoms. The duration of the symptoms varies, but is usually one or two weeks.
Clinical latency in this stage of chronic HIV, no symptoms are usually present, from about 3 years to above 20 years. Towards the end of this stage, symptoms such as fever, weight loss, gastrointestinal problems and muscle pains appear. Around half of HIV infected people may develop persistent generalized lymphadenopathy (painless enlargement of more than a group of lymph nodes)
AIDS About half of HIV cases develop AIDS within a decade, particularly if left without specific treatment. Common early disorders are pneumocystis pneumonia and esophageal candidiasis, as well as recurrent respiratory tract infections. Patients often display systemic symptoms such as protracted fevers, diarrhea, sweats (particularly at night), swollen lymph nodes, chills, weakness, and weight loss. Additionally, they can be affected by varied psychiatric and neurological symptoms unconnected to opportunistic infections and cancers.


Currently, there is no cure or vaccine for AIDS. While highly expensive, antiretroviral treatment, such as high active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), is employed to slow the progression of the disease and create an almost ordinary life expectancy. Management also consists of preventive and active treatment of opportunistic infections.
Present HAART selections are combinations comprising no less than three drugs belonging to at least two types of antiretroviral medicines. Originally, treatment is started with a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) plus two nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTI), such as zidovudine (AZT) or tenofovir (TDF) and lamivudine (3TC) or emtricitabine (FTC).
Combinations of agents which include a protease inhibitors (PI) are used if the above regime loses effectiveness.
Alternative medicine Although the efficacy of alternative medicine has not been determined, many people with HIV use various forms of it as a treatment option, as there is not much evidence to support herbal medicine as effective treatment.
On the other hand, dietary intake of micronutrients has been related to some improvement in AIDs and the World Health Organization recommends dietary intake of micronutrients at RDA levels by HIV-infected adults


HIV/AIDS is an international pandemic.[166] As of 2010, approximately 34 million people have HIV worldwide, with 1.8 million HIV-related deaths.
Sub-Saharan Africa had an assessed 68% of all HIV cases and 66% of all HIV-related deaths. South & South East Asia is the second most affected, as in 2010, this region had an estimated 12% of all people living with HIV and around 250,000 deaths.
Occurrence is lowest in Middle East and North Africa (0.1% or less), East Asia (0.1%) and Western and Central Europe at (0.2%).

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