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.
The United Kingdom (UK) has a relatively small HIV epidemic, with 0.3% of the population living with HIV.In 2013, roughly 107,800 people were living with HIV and 530 people died from AIDS-related illnesses..In 2013, less than 1% of people living with a diagnosed HIV infection in the UK died. People newly diagnosed with HIV today can expect to have a normal life expectancy if they are diagnosed on time and on effective treatment.In 2013, one in four adults seen for HIV care were 50 years of age or older. This is partly due to improvements to life expectancy for people living with HIV as well as increasing numbers of people acquiring HIV later in life.In children with HIV infection, mortality, AIDS, and hospital admission rates have declined substantially since the introduction of three or four drug antiretroviral therapy in 1997. As infected children in the United Kingdom and Ireland are living longer, there is an increasing need to address their medical, social, and psychological needs as they enter adolescence and adult life.
HIV prevention programming in the UK is largely run by HIV Prevention England (HPE) which is coordinated by the Terrence Higgins Trust and focusses primarily on the needs of MSM and black Africans. Access to antiretroviral treatment has improved significantly over the past decade with over 90% of people living with HIV now receiving the treatment they need. However, late diagnosis of HIV remains a key challenge in this country, despite rates declining over the past decade. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) which causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has brought about a global epidemic of massive proportions. HIV is a retrovirus and also the term often applied to the infection before the deterioration of the immune system to produce a full-blown picture of AIDS. Combination ART has converted HIV into another treatable chronic disease of childhood.