Human Immunodeficiency Viruses (HIV) are that type of viruses that infects humans. This virus after the period of time causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome commonly called AIDS, which weakens the immune system and ultimately fails it leading to several infections and cancers. HIV infects the helper T-cells (especially CD4+ T cells) of the human immune system, dendritic cells and the macrophages. When these helper T-cell numbers decline below a critical level, cell mediated immunity can be lost and the body becomes more susceptible to opportunistic infections that may lead patients towards AIDS.
When this HIV infects a person, the most survival expected time is from 9 to 11 years but this also depends upon the subtypes of HIV.
HIV is mainly transmitted by unsafe sexual intercourse. It gets transmitted when the infected body fluid of the person comes in touch with the healthy person. The infection may occur from an infected mother to her infant during pregnancy, during childbirth by exposure to her blood or vaginal fluid and also through breast milk.
HIV are of two major subtypes that are HIV-1 and HIV-2 caused by two different viruses. HIV-1 is common and results in fewer deaths but HIV-2 ultimately leads to the higher rate of deaths.
In a current scenario, several medicines are developed to stop the life cycle of the virus. These medicines or the medications are called as HAART or ART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy). This therapy includes:
As the virus mutates so none of the developed drugs have the capacity to cure HIV. Treatment of this HIV depends on the immune system. The main goal of the doctors is somehow strengthen the immune system.
These medicines do not eliminate HIV completely but quite helpful in controlling the disease.
The HIV prognosis in patients with untreated HIV infection is quite poor, with an overall mortality rate of more than 90%.
The average time period from infections to death is about 8-10 years.