Weakening the immune system
HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the blood stream with a body fluid containing HIV such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-seminal fluid and breast milk Tune in to the latest from the field of research
Photo: K.Ramesh Babu
WORKING IN LABORATORY: A technician testing for HIV cases.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a dreadful disease which effects the immune system caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the late stage of which leaves the individual prone to opportunistic infections and tumours. HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the blood stream with a body fluid containing HIV such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-seminal fluid and breast milk.
The rate of clinical disease progression varies between individuals and are also affected by many factors such as host susceptibility and immune function, health care and co - infections as well as factors relating to the viral strain.
The specific opportunistic infections that AIDS patients develop depend in part on the prevalence of these infections in the geographic area in which the patient lives.
Speaking about India as there is a frequent migration of labourers from different parts of India. Mobility and migration of people make them more vulnerable, as a result of separation of spouses and their children on one hand, with the increase in urbanisation most of the societies are in transition, young people is under less social restrain.
On the other hand, lower literacy level of rural women especially in the state; local customs & traditions make women more vulnerable to the infection.
Large numbers of women suffer from reproductive tract infections (RTIs), which are mainly due to poor sexual hygiene especially during menstruation and sexually transmitted infections from their spouse.
In Gujarat, first AIDS patient was diagnosed in 1986. Gujarat came into middle level prevalence as early as 1994 along with Tamil Nadu due to high vulnerability of the State. However still Gujarat State is in middle level, whereas Tamil Nadu and other states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Manipur and Nagaland went into high prevalence.
People with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome may be more susceptible to develop certain types of cancers like Kaposi's sarcoma, Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Cervical cancer, Hodgkin Lymphoma, Angiosarcoma, and Malignant Melanoma as their body's natural defence have been weakened.
In people with HIV, these cancers are often referred to as "AIDS defining conditions", as the presence of one of these cancers in a person infected with HIV can signify the development of AIDS.
Kaposi's sarcoma is a relatively rare disease usually seen only in older men or people who has organ transplants, however, increasing incidence of the disease has been associated with the spread of AIDS. Kaposi's sarcoma is a cancer that arises in the cells below the skin or in the mucous membrane lining of the mouth, nose, and anus.
Lymphomas (Hodgkin's disease and particularly non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) can also be aids related, as these are cancers of the lymphatic system (part of the immune system).
Many chemotherapy drugs used to treat cancer can suppress the immune system.
Treatment for cancer in people with AIDS may need to be modified since AIDS has already weakened their immune system.
There is currently no cure or vaccine against AIDS. Infection with HIV usually leads to AIDS and ultimately death. Even the treatment to cancer in people with AIDS need to be modified since AIDS has already weakened their immune system. There by control of HIV - 1 related cancer remains an unsolved challenge in the management of HIV-1 infection
K. Santoshmai Reddy
Rai Foundation Colleges-Hyderabad
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