AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, a pattern of devastating infections caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, which attacks and destroys certain white blood cells that are essential to the body’s immune system. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the late stage of which leaves individuals prone to opportunistic infections and tumours. Although treatments for AIDS and HIV exist to slow the virus’ progression, there is no known cure (Watch AIDS Video to learn more).
- The AIDS disease usually spreads through unprotected (i.e., without the use of condoms) sexual contact with the infected person carrying AIDS virus. Thus, AIDS is a sexually transmitted viral disease.
- The AIDS disease also spreads through the transfusion of blood contaminated with AIDS virus.
- The AIDS disease also spreads through the use of infected needles for injections (i.e., sharing of infected injection needles which have not been sterilized).
- An AIDS infected mother can transmit the virus to her child during pregnancy or during birth (i.e., by mother’s blood).
Some important symptoms of AIDS are : swollen lymph nodes; regular fever; sweating at night and weight loss. AIDS virus causes severe damage to brain and may lead to loss of memory, ability to speak and of clear thinking.
Prevention and Control
The following steps may help in controlling infection of this dreaded disease :
- People should be educated about AIDS transmission.
- Disposable syringes and needles should be used for injection.
- Sexual contact with unknown people should be avoided.
- High risk groups should refrain from donating blood.
- Sterilized needles may be provided to drug addicts.
- Before receiving blood for transfusion, one should ensure that it has been screened for HIV.
- The common razor at the barber’s shop should not be used (both for hair cuts and shaving).
Useful for CBSE, ICSE, NCERT & International Students
Grade : 9
Subject : Biology
Lesson : Why Do We Fall Ill?
Topic: AIDS Video
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