AIDs is a serious medical condition that can be life-threatening as it affects the Immune System that is caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Advancement in treatment has improved significantly the symptoms and life expectancy of a large number of individuals. New Antiviral medications have been extremely beneficial.

AIDs can also be referred to as Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

The result of this virus is a change in the metabolism and immune protection of the body. Because of severity and prevalence, this condition has been classified as a pandemic.

As of 2007 – over 30 million people are believed to have this disease throughout the world. Over 2 million have died and many have been children.

There is currently no cure but treatment can be very beneficial.

Worldwide Prevalence and History

–  70 – 80 % of those who have died from AIDS have been in Africa
–  Africa is believed to be where HIV originated from.
–  Believed to have originated in the 19th or 20th century
–  AIDs in the U.S. was first recognized in 1981

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–  Fatigue
–  Weight loss
–  Malaise
–  Nausea
–  Vomiting
–  Swollen glands
–  Sweats
–  Fever
–  Chills
–  Diarrhea

Specific increased risks

–  Increased risk of infections
–  Kaposi’s Sarcoma
–  Lymphomas
–  Cervical Cancer
–  Lung infections



–  Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) a retrovirus that affects the immune system.
–  There are several strains of this virus
–  CD4 T-cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells are affected.
–  Once a number of CD4 T-cells are destroyed HIV is reclassified as AIDS.
–  Without treatment survival is around 9.5 years
–  Progression can vary from a few weeks to months to over 20 years

Transmission of this virus

Occurs from the contact of mucous membrane:

–  Blood
–  Semen
–  Preseminal fluid
–  Vaginal fluid
–  Breast milk

Types of transmission

–  Anal intercourse
–  Vaginal intercourse
–  Oral intercourse
–  IV drugs use with used needles
–  Contaminated hypodermic needles
–  Pregnancy
–  Childbirth
–  Breast feeding
–  Blood transfusion

Sexual Transmission

–  Unprotected anal intercourse has a greater risk than vaginal or oral intercourse
–  HIV can be passed through insertive and receptive oral sex
–  Sexual assault increases the risk
–  Condoms do improve the risk but risk is still present
–  The presence of additional sexually transmitted diseases increases the risk for transmission
–  A single encounter is at less risk than a patterned relationship

Blood born pathogen

–  Seen in IV drug users, sharing needles, blood transfusions, hemophiliacs, and contact with blood products
–  Tattoos and piercings are also at risk
–  Needle sharing affects over 25% of cases in N. America, Europe, and China
–  A single prick from a needle of an HIV infected person has a risk of 1 in 150
–  If treatment medications are taken following the incident that number decreases.
–  Unsafe healthcare injections are uncommon but can account for 2% of new cases in Africa
–  Currently, blood transfusion is a relatively low risk – but may account for 5% of cases worldwide


Pneumocystis Pneumonia

–  A common finding or complication with AIDs

Tuberculosis (TB)

–  Also a finding with AIDs
–  Multi-drug resistance can be a serious problem


–  Inflammation of the esophagus


–  Disease caused by a parasite
–  Affects the Brain
–  Can also affect the eyes and lungs

AIDS Dementia Complex

–  Caused by an immune reaction in the brain
–  Cells affected are macrophages and microglia
–  Difficulty with motor movement and behavior are seen
–  Cancer
– The increased prevalence of infections with the additional virus
–  Human papillomavirus, Epstein-Barr virus, Human herpesvirus 8

Cervical Cancer

Kaposi’s Sarcoma

–  A type of cancer that can be caused by the virus in some cases.
–  Affects the skin, lungs, mouth, and intestines

B-Cell Lymphomas

–  Including Burkitt’s lymphoma and other lymphomas
–  Often seen in those with a poor outcome

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