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 2014, there were 249 new cases of HIV diagnosed in Norway, a moderate increase from 2013. The increase is among men who have sex with men (MSM) and heterosexually-infected people living in Norway. The trend of fewer diagnosed cases of HIV infection continued among immigrants who were infected heterosexually before arrival in Norway. The HIV situation in Norway has remained relatively stable in recent years. Surveillance of HIV infection and AIDS is still a cornerstone in the efforts to prevent spread of HIV in Norway. The surveillance system aims at measuring the incidence and prevalence of HIV infection in the country. Of 75 021 AIDS reports over 1999–2006, 35% were migrants.
The fight against HIV and AIDS is one of the biggest challenges we face in the world: two million die every year due to AIDS-related illnesses. Around 35 million people live with HIV globally. Nearly three million are newly infected with HIV each year. Norwegian authorities have a responsibility to contribute to the international HIV response. We therefore believe that the discussion on penalising HIV exposure or transmission in Norway must be seen in relation to the international challenges we face. This report does not live up to those challenges. A medical breakthrough took place when the first effective HIV medicines appeared in 1996. In countries where there was good access to these medicines, the number of AIDS-related deaths fell quickly and drastically. Treatment as prevention is, perhaps, just as big a breakthrough – we now know that effective HIV medication prevents new HIV infections. New research shows that the risk of infection is reduced by 96%, more than any other prevention method. There is still no cure for HIV that can eradicate the virus. Treatment inhibits the virus’ ability to multiply in the body and cause disease. Treatment is lifelong and will consist of combinations of various antiviral drugs (antiretroviral therapy, ART). According to Norwegian legislation, people with HIV infection are entitled to free medical care for everything related to HIV infection.