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.
In the past years, various intervention strategies have been implemented to improving HIV testing rates in the Netherlands. First, opt-out HIV screening (test routinely taken unless a person refuses) among pregnant women was introduced in 2004 and in 2010 followed by opt-out testing for HIV in all sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinics since both with an overall test uptakes of 99% or higher. Despite increased HIV testing rates and the wide availability of cART in the Netherlands, there has been no evidence of a sustained decline in new HIV diagnoses. Overall mortality rate in Greenland is 7.6 deaths per 1,000 persons per year (2008) compared to 10 per 1,000 in Denmark (2008), reflecting the differing age structure in the populations However, life expectancy at birth is 66.6 years for males and 71.6 years for females (2004–2008). Greenland has a very high prevalence of sexually transmitted infections with an incidence above 4,400 per 100,000 inhabitants.
National Center for HIV, STD and TB Prevention, Divisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recognized in the US as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, providing information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through partnerships. The HIV epidemic in the Netherlands is changing as a result of increasing life expectancy due to the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) since 1996, and a shift from homosexual towards heterosexual transmission that is associated with rising numbers of HIV infected immigrants. A needle and syringe programme (NSP), syringe-exchange programme (SEP), or needle exchange program (NEP) is a social service that allows injecting drug users (IDUs) to obtain hypodermic needles and associated paraphernalia at little or no cost. It is based on the philosophy of harm reduction that attempts to reduce the risk factors for diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis. While NSPs provide most or all equipment free of charge, exchange programmes require service users to return used syringes to receive an equal number of new syringes.