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.
5.AIDS – this stage is characterized by severe immunodeficiency. There are signs of life-threatening infections and unusual tumours. This stage is characterized by CD4 T-cell count below 200 cells/mm3.
The prevalence of HIV infection in French hemophiliacs was 48%, the same as the percentage in 1985, demonstrating that the methods of viral inactivation of concentrates and screening of blood donors are efficient. However, the number of patients with AIDS increased from 14 to 26 and patients dead from opportunistic infection from 47 to 14 in 1 year. There is also evidence of clinical symptoms of AIDS-related complex and biological symptoms of immunodeficiency. An estimated 29,000 individuals in France were living with undiagnosed HIV infection in 2010, investigators report in the online edition of AIDS. Sixty per cent of people with undiagnosed HIV had a CD4 count below 500 cells/mm3 and were therefore eligible for immediate antiretroviral therapy. A total of 964 deaths were recorded and 924 cases were available for analysis. Among patients who died of AIDS was 262.
The French Ministry of Health recently announced its new recommendations for the treatment of people living with HIV (PLHIV). The main novelties are the adoption of antiretroviral therapy in all PLHIV and the promotion of a “combined prevention” which associates behavioral measures, testing strategies and antiretroviral therapy. Early use of highly active antiretroviral treatment (ART) in people living with HIV for HIV prevention has gained legitimacy but remains controversial. In France schools are obliged by law to offer regular educational activities on sexuality, the notification of Aids and HIV are mandatory; the access of adolescents to health services with confidentiality is facilitated, there is availability of tests for STDs and of voluntary interruption of pregnancy, which offer conditions for prevention and treatment of sexual disorders.