Difference Between HIV and AIDS

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  1. Ghada Ali youssef

    Ghada Ali youssef Golden Member

    Dec 29, 2016
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    After know clean definition and explanation of HIV and AIDS, as well as the relationship between these two here, it’s also important to know how they are different because some of you might still be confused about it.

    What’s the Difference Between HIV and AIDS?
    Generally speaking, HIV is a virus while AIDS is a sexual disease caused by this virus, although it does not mean that anyone who has HIV in body will develop AIDS. Here is a summary of the differences between HIV and AIDS:


    How to Know If You Are HIV-Positive?
    The only way to determine for sure whether you are infected with HIV or not is to take a test. HIV tests are widely available and you can get one from your doctor, community or veterans’ health center, Title X family planning clinic, or other healthcare provider. If you prefer, you can use an FDA-approved home test kit.

    How to Know If You Have AIDS–Symptoms of AIDS
    The list of difference between HIV and AIDS is not complete without knowing the symptoms in different stages.

    • Stage One occurs 2-6 weeks after HIV exposure. Symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, fever, and red non-itchy rash, last 1-2 weeks, and are due to the immune system’s initial defense against HIV.
    • Stage Two begins after the first symptoms have disappeared and the immune system stops fighting the infection. This phase can last over a decade and not produce any symptoms. However, the HIV is gradually destroying CD4+ T-cells, increasing the risk of other infections.
    • Stage Three or AIDS is diagnosed if there are under 200 CD4+ cells/mm3 of blood, or if the patient has an “AIDS-defining illness”, e.g. Pneumocystis pneumonia or Kaposi’s sarcoma. Other AIDS symptoms include night sweats, long-term fever, breathlessness, chronic diarrhea, lymph node swelling, weight loss, purple skin patches, bleeding, bruising, and yeast infections.
    How Is HIV/ AIDS Transmitted?
    Another difference between hiv and aids is their transmission mode. It’s not the AIDS that is transmitted, rather the HIV infection, which can then progress to AIDS. You can catch HIV infection from any other person who has the infection, even if they haven’t tested positive for the virus yet and appear healthy. HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids, including the blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk, all of which contain enough virus particles to allow another person to become infected.

    The most common ways of acquiring HIV are through:

    • Sexual intercourse (either vaginal or anal) with an HIV-positive person
    • Needle-sharing (for intravenous drugs) with infected individuals
    • Transmission from mother to baby in pregnancy or labor, or when breastfeeding
    A few years ago, blood transfusion was a common way of contracting HIV infection, but nowadays, donated blood is very thoroughly screened for infections, so the HIV risk from transfusion is miniscule. No cases of HIV transmission through saliva or tears have been documented. However, you may become infected through oral sex or, very rarely, by deep kissing, particularly if your gums are bleeding or you have open mouth sores.



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