AIDS is a syndrome caused by the HIV virus. It is when a person’s immune system is too weak to fight off many infections, and develops when the HIV infection is very advanced. This is the last stage of HIV infection where the body can no longer defend itself and may develop various diseases, infections and if left untreated, death. There is currently no cure for HIV or AIDS. However, with the right treatment and support, people can live long and healthy lives with HIV.
1. It may cause influenza-like illness, tuberculosis, opportunistic infections and tumors, pneumocystis pneumonia, severe weight loss, Kaposi's sarcoma. The time period usually ranges from 6 months (rarely) to 15+ years. HIV infection passes through a series of steps or stages before it turns into AIDS. These stages of infection as outlined in 1993 by the Centers for Disease Control. Seroconversion illness – this occurs in 1 to 6 weeks after acquiring the infection. The feeling is similar to a bout of flu.
2. Asymptomatic infection – After seroconversion, virus levels are low and replication continues slowly. CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte levels are normal. This stage has no symptoms and may persist for years together.
3. Persistent generalised lymphadenopathy (PGL) – The lymph nodes in these patients are swollen for three months or longer and not due to any other cause.
4. Symptomatic infection – This stage manifests with symptoms. In addition, there may be opportunistic infections. This collection of symptoms and signs is referred to as the AIDS-related complex (ARC) and is regarded as a prodrome or precursor to AIDS.
HIV/AIDS in Argentina is considered a concentrated epidemic by 2012. The prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the general population is less than 1% although in some groups this percentage is 6%, while in others there is a major incidence. In 1982 the first patient with AIDS was reported in the country There are about 110,000 people infected with HIV in Argentina, of whom only 50% know their status. A World Bank study carried out with support from UNAIDS reported that thanks to available treatments, at least 4,300 people were saved from illness in Argentina between 2001 and 2010. The country allocates 80% of total HIV/AIDS spending to care and treatment, compared to a regional average of 75%. Since that year the Ministry of Health keeps records of cases; until mid-2000, more than 17,000 patients (12,732 men, 3,074 women and 1,214 children under 15 years) were reported.In 1987, it was reported the first case of a woman infected with HIV.
HIV guidelines increasingly recommend antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation at a higher CD4 levels. The extent to which these evolving standards are translated into routine clinical care has not been evaluated in Argentina. During October 2012, we conducted an online survey among Argentinean HIV clinicians to assess their attitudes and practices toward ART initiation and its potential use for HIV prevention. Of the 280 physicians included, 61% would prescribe ART at CD4 ≤ 500 cells/µL for asymptomatic patients. Although, only 11% would recommend ART irrespective of CD4 cell count, 72% would do it for serodiscordant couples, and 75% for sex workers. Most participants agreed that they would consider earlier initiation of ART if transmission risk exists, and that expansion of ART could help decrease HIV incidence. These results suggest that a large proportion of Argentinean HIV care providers are willing to adopt the recently updated Argentinean guidelines recommending earlier ART, especially when high HIV transmission risk exists.