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.
According to National AIDS Control Organization of India, the prevalence of AIDS in India in 2013 was 0.27, which is down from 0.41 in 2002. The last decade has seen a 50% decline in the number of new HIV infections. Despite being home to the world's third-largest population suffering from HIV/AIDS (with South Africa and Nigeria having more), the AIDS prevalence rate in India is lower than in many other countries. The estimated adult HIV prevalence was 0.32% in 2008 and 0.31% in 2009. The states with high HIV prevalence rates include Manipur (1.40%), Andhra Pradesh (0.90%), Mizoram (0.81%), Nagaland (0.78%), Karnataka (0.63%) and Maharashtra (0.55%). According to NACO, In 2009, the average HIV prevalence among adults was 0.31. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been resoundingly successful at reducing morbidity and mortality for patients infected with HIV.
HIV spending increased in India from 2003 to 2007, and fell by 15% in 2008 to 2009. Currently, India spends about 5% of its health budget on HIV/AIDS. Spending on HIV/AIDS may create a burden in the health sector which faces a variety of other challenges like malaria, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Thus, it is crucial for India to step up on its prevention efforts to decrease its spending of the health budget on HIV/AIDS in future. However the Modi government has drasastically reduced the social spending on health affecting the naco programes. Low Procurement of condoms and laying off health workers have concerned the authorities working in the field that it will have a very negative effect on programme. In July 2011, it was announced by the WHO and UNAIDS that a once-daily antiretroviral tablet could significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission in heterosexual couples. The HIV-1 virus has proved to be tenacious, inserting its genome permanently into victims' DNA, forcing patients to take a lifelong drug regimen to control the virus and prevent a fresh attack. Since HIV-1 is never cleared by the immune system, removal of the virus is required in order to cure the disease. The same technique could theoretically be used against a variety of viruses. The research shows that these molecular tools also hold promise as a therapeutic vaccine, cells armed with the nuclease-RNA combination proved impervious to HIV infection.