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 about 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.
he HIV epidemic continues to affect the European countries with different magnitude and dynamics. Italy, with about 60 million of inhabitants and about 4 thousand new diagnoses of HIV infection annually, contributes significantly to outline the profile of the HIV epidemic in Europe. In 2009, the number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Italy was calculated using data obtained from the national surveillance of AIDS cases and the surveillance of new HIV diagnoses. Specifically we used the number of new HIV diagnoses, the number of new AIDS cases, and the number of AIDS deaths reported by physicians.
The Catholic Church has also been very active in vocalizing its beliefs in terms of HIV/AIDS prevention. Pope Benedict XVI, in a visit to South Africa in June 2005 said: The traditional teaching of the Church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. For this reason, "the companionship, joy, happiness and peace which Christian marriage and fidelity provide, and the safeguard which chastity gives, must be continuously presented to the faithful, particularly the young". Teachings that proclaim chastity as the only 100% safe way to prevent sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS, though accurate, do not take into account other prevention methods that can serve to decrease the spread of HIV. Italy has been one of the leading country in the effort to fight HIV/AIDS epidemic in Eastern Europe, as showed by the database of EU funded projects against sexually transmitted diseases