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 Japan has been recognized as a serious health issue in recent years. Japan reported 9,953 HIV cases and 4,671 AIDS cases as of August 2008, of which 6,503 HIV and 3,002 AIDS cases were in the Kant? region (which hosts about one third of Japan's population)In December 2009, the World Health Organization reported the number of HIV cases in Japan to be at least 17,000.This equates to roughly 0.01% of the population of Japan, one of the lowest ratios of reported HIV in the world.Independent research has suggested that actual infection rates may be much higher, especially amongst the young.Little is known about the epidemiology of HIV in Japan, though newly-identified cases amongst men who have sex with men (MSM) show an increasing trend.
Treatment guidelines for Japan indicate that people with asymptomatic HIV and a CD4 cell count below 350 cells/mL should be advised to take up HAART in consultation with a doctor . Because no research is available on treatment uptake rates amongst patients with asymptomatic HIV, treatment uptake was assumed to be 75% for patients in this stage, representing effective implementation of the guidelines. Rates of HIV testing are difficult to estimate in Japan. Very little information was available about rates of case finding, so these were assumed. Given that Japan has universal health coverage, it was assumed that 100% of symptomatic AIDS cases would be identified every year. At baseline, all AIDS cases were assumed to be identified and in treatment. The fight against HIV/AIDS has its history particular to each part of the world. Japan too, has its own history of HIV/AIDS, defined by the country's sociological and historical context. It may not be internationally acknowledged, but it is a dynamic one nevertheless, influenced by intense public involvement, several incidents, and many contradictions.