What is the Difference between HIV & AIDS?

HIV and AIDS are frequently confused with one another. Despite the fact that they are separate diseases, AIDS and HIV are closely related while HIV is virus that is responsible for AIDS (Stage-3 HIV).

When HIV or AIDS were first discovered, it was thought to be a death sentence. People with HIV, regardless of their stage of infection, are now leading long, successful lives because of latest findings and the introduction of new medications. If an HIV-positive individual takes their antiretroviral medication as prescribed, they can enjoy a lifespan that is close to normal.

HIV is a type of Virus

The HIV infection can cause the immune system to weaken. Human immunodeficiency virus is referred to as “HIV”.

The virus is only spread by people, and as its name suggests, it targets the immune system. As an outcome, the immune system lacks the ability to function as efficiently as it is supposed to.

Many viruses can be entirely eliminated by our immune systems, but HIV is an exception. Yet, HIV may be effectively controlled with medication by disrupting the viral life cycle.

AIDS is a Disease

While AIDS, also known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is a disease, HIV is a virus that can lead to an infection. A person who contracts HIV may eventually acquire AIDS.

HIV progresses to stage 3, or AIDS, when the immune system has suffered significant harm from HIV. It is a complicated illness with unique symptoms for each individual.

Signs of 3rd stage HIV are associated with infections that a person may contract as a response of immune system dysfunction and decreased ability to combat infections. Opportunistic illnesses, such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, are referred to as a group.

When an immunity of human body is less effective, specific types of cancer are also more likely to develop. But the proper treatment schedule with HIV medication can stop HIV from progressing to stage 3.

HIV can spread from one person to another

HIV is a virus, and like many other viruses, it can spread from person to person. Contrarily, a person only develops AIDS once they have contracted HIV.

The virus spreads from one individual to another when bodily fluids are transferred. Without the use of condoms or sharing needles, intercourse is the most common method of HIV transmission. Less frequently, a mother can infect her unborn child with the virus while she is pregnant.

HIV symptoms don’t always appear

Between two to four weeks of transmission, HIV typically causes flu-like symptoms. The term “acute infection” refers to this brief period. Occasionally, mild or asymptomatic acute HIV can be confused for another viral infection.

A phase of latency results from the immune system controlling the virus. HIV cannot be entirely eliminated by the immune system, although it can be controlled for a very long time.

An HIV positive person could not exhibit any symptoms at all throughout this latency phase, which can persist for years. Yet, if they don’t receive antiretroviral medicines, they could develop AIDS and experience many of its symptoms.

Simple test can detect HIV infection

The immune system creates antibodies against HIV upon transmission. These antibodies can be found using a bloodstream or saliva test to identify whether the virus is existing.

There is a period of time where HIV cannot be discovered since it can take the body several weeks after a possible HIV encounter to create antibodies. Furthermore, certain blood tests are specific to an antigen or antibody.

The diagnosis of AIDS is more difficult

AIDS refers to an advanced HIV infection. In order to assess whether HIV latency has advanced to stage 3 HIV, healthcare providers consider a few indicators.

A CD4 cell count is one method used by medical professionals to determine whether a patient has AIDS since HIV destroys CD4 cells, which are immune cells. A healthy individual with no HIV can have 500 CD4 cells to 1,200 CD4 cells. A person with HIV is said to be at 3rd stage when the cells have decreased to 200.

Life expectancy and medical care

The likelihood of survival is drastically reduced if HIV progresses to stage 3. At this time, immune system damage is challenging to restore. It is typical for immune system dysfunction to lead to infections and other diseases, including some types of cancer.

Yet, many patients with stage 3 HIV have long lives thanks to effective antiretroviral medication and partial immune system recovery. Those who have HIV can live a normal life without ever developing AIDS because to modern HIV therapies. A prolonged viral load that is undetectable and successful antiretroviral therapy both reduces the risk of virus transmission to a partner.