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1.9 HIV/AIDS PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stichting Mainline   
Friday, 19 February 2010 00:00

1.9 HIV/AIDS

AIDS is an infectious disease and is caused by HIV. This virus attacks the immune system. If someone is HIV positive, he/she basically is healthy. Only when the bodily resistance has deteriorated so much that he/she keeps contracting all kinds of diseases, he/she is considered as having AIDS.

Do you always get sick when infected?
Yes, this is what experience tells us. However, recent therapies seem to be able to postpone the outbreak for an indefinite period. By strictly following a medication program, there is a possibility that the outbreak of AIDS can be prevented.

How long is the incubation period?
Some people are already sick one year after the initial infection, others only after 10 years or more.

What are the symptoms?
The first symptoms are fatigue, night sweats, fever, weight loss, dry cough, shortness of breath, swollen lymph glands and prolonged diarrhoea.

Can AIDS be cured? 
No. However, various AIDS inhibitors are on the market which can slow the progress of the disease and lessen the symptoms.

How can infection with HIV be prevented? 
There is no vaccine against AIDS. Therefore, high-risk behaviour should be avoided. See chapter 'How do you catch HIV?

When is there no chance of infection with HIV?
 HIV is
NOT found in sweat, saliva, tears and breath. Hugging, shaking someone's hand or eating and exercising together do not carry any risks whatsoever. You even can eat from an infected person's plate, share a cigarette or sit on the same toilet seat without any danger. HIV can not survive outside of the human body.

Tip: If there is a wound on your hand, put a band aid on it. With a band aid, the wound is protected and spreading the virus is therefore impossible.

How do you catch HIV?
HIV is found in blood, semen, pre-ejaculate, (for example during foreplay), vaginal secretion and mother milk. One can get infected through direct blood contact and unsafe sexual contact. In addition, a mother with HIV can pass the virus to her baby during pregnancy, birth, and breast-feeding.

Risk factors:

* Sharing of needles and other utensils (among others, spoons) by drug users.

* Sharing of razor blades, razors, thermometers, tooth picks, dental floss, and tooth brushes.

* Contact with infected blood on skin wounds.

* Contact with infected blood in eyes, mouth and nose.

* Use of non-sterile needles in piercing, tattooing and acupuncture.

* Blood brotherhood.

* Sex without using condoms.

* Anal sex without extra-strong condoms.

* Sadomasochistic games with blood involvement.

* Blow-jobs and cunnilingus.

* Mother-to-child infection.

Pricking' accident with needle

It is possible that in spite of all precautions you prick yourself on a needle which was used by someone with HIV. In that case, the risk of an infectionwith HIV is very small (less than 1 %). There is a greater chance of catching the hepatitis B virus.

What you should do:

Let the wound bleed out as good as possible (do not suck). Rinse the wound and then disinfect it with a 70% alcohol solution. Do not use chlorine solutions, these are never suitable for use on the skin. Afterwards, contact a (public) health service or a first aid station for possible follow-up treatment

They are small and harmless: fleas, scabies, pubicand head lice. Once someone is 'chosen as host', he or she can. expect enervating itchiness. Tip: Keep finger nails as short as possible. This way, the least damage is inflicted during the inevitable scratching.

Scabies

The itch-mite is a spider-like insect of less than a millimetre. It digs tunnels under the skin. These tunnels, as well as the mite itself, can be seen with the naked eye.

How do you get scabies?

You only catch them through intimate contact, like lying cuddled up with someone else in the same warm bed.

How do you know that you have scabies?

The itch-mite deposits tiny eggs below the soft areas of the skin. After approxi mately three weeks, red, itchy spots show up mainly on arms, inner elbows and lower abdomen. Scabies never show up in the face or on the back. The itching is worst during the night.

How do you get rid of scabies?

By using insecticide (lindane or prioderm creme) and washing of clothes and bed linen. Airing is also possible but then at least for 24 hours.

Lice

There are two kinds: head and pubic lice. The eggs (nits) of the head louse are white, those of the pubic louse (or crab) are light brown. Head lice are approximately two millimetres long. Pubic lice are smaller and square shaped. Lice as well as nits can be seen with the naked eye.
How do you catch lice?

Lice are picked up more easily than scabies. They can already be contracted through brief skin contact but also by borrowing 'contaminated' clothes and towels.

How do you know that you have lice?

The precence of lice can be modified by small grains attached to the hair roots on the head, under the armpits and in the beard, as well as by red, itchy spots.

How do you get rid
oflice 2Massage prioderm lotion into the hair and let it soak in for 12 hours. Then thoroughly comb the hair with a finetoothed comb and repeat this for several days. It is also important that everything is washed: towels, pillows and couch covers, etc.

Fleas

Fleas are wingless, jumping bugs which, just like mosquitoes and lice, feed on blood.

How do you catch fleas?

Fleas are spread mainly through pets.

How do you know that you have fleas? A flea bite is painful and quickly starts to itch. Because fleas cannot fly, bites appear mostly around the ankles. They can be recognised by small red blotches on the skin.

How can you get rid
offleas? By using insecticide.
It was 1882 when the rod-shaped tubercle bacillus was discovered which for centuries had caused the much feared 'white plague': tuberculosis. Tuberculosis of the lung (pulmonary tuberculosis) is the most common type. Here, the bacterium has lodged itself in the lungs.

Do you always get sick when infected? No.

How long is the incubation period?

One could get sick immediately after initial infection but it also could take years. This depends very much on the person's health. The weaker the physical condition, the faster one gets sick. However, not everyone who catches the disease, develops symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

Fatigue, lack of appetite, coughing.

Can tuberculosis be cured?

Yes. However, the first effective medicine against tuberculosis was not found until 1994: streptomycine. The germ is

destroyed after prolonged treatment (at least six months).

How can tuberculosis be prevented?

just like the flu, tuberculosis is difficult to prevent. Turn away your face if someone coughs or sneezes in your direction.

How do you catch tuberculosis?

The germ is spread through the airway by people with 'active'(= contagious) TB. With active TB, tubercle bacilli are present in the sputum, (coughed up saliva and mucous), which creates a direct danger for infection.

Risk factors:

Breathing in air, which has been coughed up from the lungs by a patient with active TB.
An abscess is a healthy bodily reaction, which develops after an infection. The pus, which has accumulated in a hard, painful balloon, is a waste product of the body's natural resistance. Pus is inevit
able for the healing process, as the harmful bacteria can only leave the body through the pus. The healing process is completed when the abscess has opened and the pus has driven out the dirt and the bacteria.

How do you get a" abscess?

An abscess develops through dirt, pieces of skin and bacteria entering the skin through an open wound, for example after using non-sterile syringes.

How can you get rid of an abscess?

The golden rule is 'to keep it clean.' Furthermore, the accumulated pus must be able to drain. Put a wet bandage on the abscess or apply ointment. This softens up the skin, enabling the pus to drain faster. Never squeeze an abscess, as this might enable damaging bacteria to enter the body. Antibiotics are needed in the case of:

* Fever and cold chills. The bacteria have entered the body and, once reaching the heart, can cause serious damage to the heart valves.

· A red, painful streak running upward from the place of infection. In this case, the bacteria have reached the lymph vessels. Upon reaching the

lymph glands, the bacteria can get into the blood. An inflammation of the bone. This can lead to an infection of the bone (osteomyelitis), which is difficult to cure. An abscess or infection on your hand or foot. Due to the anatomy of hand and foot, (many tendon sheaths), there is a big chance that the infection might spread, An abscess that needs to be cut.
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 January 2011 16:43
 

Our valuable member Stichting Mainline has been with us since Sunday, 19 December 2010.

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