HIV/AIDS Symptoms and Precautions, Model Presentation

| August 25, 2015 |

A beautiful designed and smartly executed project presentation on HIV/ AIDS, presented at a Science Exhibition in Udaipur.
We found it fruitful to share it with our subscribers.


Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Following initial infection, a person may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. This is typically followed by a prolonged period without symptoms. As the infection progresses, it interferes more and more with the immune system, making the person much more susceptible to common infections like tuberculosis, as well as opportunistic infections and tumors that do not usually affect people who have working immune systems. The late symptoms of the infection are referred to as AIDS. This stage is often complicated by an infection of the lung known as pneumonia, severe weight loss, a type of cancer known as Kaposi’s sarcoma, or other AIDS-defining conditions.
HIV is transmitted primarily via unprotected sexual intercourse (including anal and oral sex), contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Prevention of HIV infection, primarily through safe sex and needle-exchange programs, is a key strategy to control the spread of the disease. There is no cure or vaccine; however, antiretroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy. While antiretroviral treatment reduces the risk of death and complications from the disease, these medications are expensive and have side effects. Without treatment, the average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years, depending on the HIV subtype. HIV is believed to have originated in non-human primates in West-central Africa and was transferred to humans in the early 20th century. AIDS was first clinically observed in 1981 in the United States.

There are three main stages of HIV infection: acute infection, clinical latency and AIDS
Acute infection
The initial period following the contraction of HIV is called acute HIV, primary HIV or acute retroviral syndrome. Many individuals develop an influenza-like illness or a mononucleosis-like illness 2–4 weeks post exposure while others have no significant symptoms. Symptoms occur in 40–90% of cases and most commonly include fever, large tender lymph nodes, throat inflammation, a rash, headache, and/or sores of the mouth and genitals. The rash, which occurs in 20–50% of cases. Some people also develop opportunistic infections at this stage. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhea may occur, as may neurological symptoms of peripheral neuropathy or Guillain-Barre syndrome. The duration of the symptoms varies, but is usually one or two weeks.
Due to their nonspecific character, these symptoms are not often recognized as signs of HIV infection. Even cases that do get seen by a family doctor or a hospital are often misdiagnosed as one of the many common infectious diseases with overlapping symptoms. Thus, it is recommended that HIV be considered in people presenting an unexplained fever who may have risk factors for the infection.


Clinical latency

The initial symptoms are followed by a stage called clinical latency, asymptomatic HIV, or chronic HIV. Without treatment, this second stage of the natural history of HIV infection can last from about three years to over 20 years (on average, about eight years).While typically there are few or no symptoms at first, near the end of this stage many people experience fever, weight loss, gastrointestinal problems and muscle pains. Between 50 and 70% of people also develop persistent generalized lymphadenopathy, characterized by unexplained, non-painful enlargement of more than one group of lymph nodes (other than in the groin) for over three to six months.
Although most HIV-1 infected individuals have a detectable viral load and in the absence of treatment will eventually progress to AIDS, a small proportion (about 5%) retain high levels of CD4+ T cells (T helper cells) without antiretroviral therapy for more than 5 years. These individuals are classified as HIV controllers or long-term nonprogressors (LTNP). Another group is those who also maintain a low or undetectable viral load without anti-retroviral treatment who are known as “elite controllers” or “elite suppressors”. They represent approximately 1 in 300 infected persons
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is defined in terms of either a CD4+ T cell count below 200 cells per µL or the occurrence of specific diseases in association with an HIV infection. In the absence of specific treatment, around half of people infected with HIV develop AIDS within ten years. The most common initial conditions that alert to the presence of AIDS are pneumonia (40%), cachexia in the form of HIV wasting syndrome (20%) and esophageal candidiasis. Other common signs include recurring respiratory tract infections.
People with AIDS have an increased risk of developing various viral induced cancers including Kaposi’s sarcoma, primary central nervous system lymphoma and cervical cancer. Kaposi’s sarcoma is the most common cancer occurring in 10 to 20% of people with HIV. Cervical cancer occurs more frequently in those with AIDS due to its association withhuman papillomavirus (HPV). Conjunctival cancer (of the layer which lines the inner part of eyelids and the white part of the eye) is more common in those with HIV.
Additionally, people with AIDS frequently have systemic symptoms such as prolonged fevers, sweats (particularly at night), swollen lymph nodes, chills, weakness, and weight loss. Diarrhea is another common symptom present in about 90% of people with AIDS.

Modes of Transmission


HIV is transmitted by three main routes: sexual contact, exposure to infected body fluids or tissues, and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery.
Sexual contacts and Flow chart
Sexual contacts and Flow chart

The most frequent mode of transmission of HIV is through sexual contact with an infected person. The majority of all transmissions worldwide occur through heterosexual contacts (i.e. sexual contacts between people of the opposite sex); however, the pattern of transmission varies significantly among countries.
With regard to unprotected heterosexual contacts, estimates of the risk of HIV transmission per sexual act appear to be four to ten times higher in low-income countries than in high-income countries.
Risk of transmission increases in the presence of many sexually transmitted infections and genital ulcers . Genital ulcers appear to increase the risk approximately fivefold. Other sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and bacterial vaginosis, are associated with somewhat smaller increases in risk of transmission.
The viral load of an infected person is an important risk factor in both sexual and mother-to-child transmission.

-Body fluids
The second most frequent mode of HIV transmission is via blood and blood products. Blood-borne transmission can be through needle-sharing during intravenous drug use, needle stick injury, transfusion of contaminated blood or blood product, or medical injections with unsterilized equipment.
HIV is transmitted in about 93% of blood transfusions using infected blood. In developed countries the risk of acquiring HIV from a blood transfusion is extremely low (less than one in half a million) where improved donor selection and HIV screening is performed.
Unsafe medical injections play a significant role in HIV spread in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization estimates the risk of transmission as a result of a medical injection in Africa at 1.2%. Significant risks are also associated with invasive procedures, assisted delivery, and dental care in this area of the world.
People giving or receiving tattoos, piercings, and scarification are theoretically at risk of infection but no confirmed cases have been documented. It is not possible for mosquitoes or other insects to transmit HIV.

HIV can be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, during delivery, or through breast milk. This is the third most common way in which HIV is transmitted globally. In the absence of treatment, the risk of transmission before or during birth is around 20% and in those who also breastfeed 35%. As of 2008, vertical transmission accounted for about 90% of cases of HIV in children. With appropriate treatment the risk of mother-to-child infection can be reduced to about 1%. Preventive treatment involves the mother taking antiretroviral during pregnancy and delivery, an elective caesarean section, avoiding breastfeeding, and administering antiretroviral drugs to the newborn. Antiretroviral when taken by either the mother or the infant decrease the risk of transmission in those who do breastfeed. Many of these measures are however not available in the developing world. If blood contaminates food during pre-chewing it may pose a risk of transmission.

There is currently no cure or effective HIV vaccine. Treatment consists of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) which slows progression of the disease. As of 2010 more than 6.6 million people were taking them in low and middle income countries. Treatment also includes preventive and active treatment of opportunistic infections.
Antiviral Therapy
Current HAART options are combinations (or “cocktails”) consisting of at least three medications belonging to at least two types, or “classes,” of antiretroviral agents. Initially treatment is typically a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) plus two nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors(NRTIs). Typical NRTIs include: zidovudine (AZT) or tenofovir (TDF) and lamivudine (3TC) or emtricitabine (FTC). Combinations of agents which include aprotease inhibitors (PI) are used if the above regimen loses effectiveness.
When to start antiretroviral therapy is subject to debate. The World Health Organization recommends antiretrovirals in all adolescents, adults and pregnant women with a CD4 count less than 500/µl with this being especially important in those with counts less than 350/µl or those with symptoms regardless of CD4 count. This is supported by the fact that beginning treatment at this level reduces the risk of death. The United States in addition recommends them for all HIV-infected people regardless of CD4 count or symptoms; however it makes this recommendation with less confidence for those with higher counts. While the WHO also recommends treatment in those who are co-infected with tuberculosis and those with chronic active hepatitis B. Once treatment is begun it is recommended that it is continued without breaks. Many people are diagnosed only after treatment ideally should have begun.

-Alternative medicine
In the US, approximately 60% of people with HIV use various forms of complementary or alternative medicine, even though the effectiveness of most of these therapies has not been established. With respect to dietary advice and AIDS some evidence has shown a benefit from micronutrient supplements. Evidence for supplementation with selenium is mixed with some tentative evidence of benefit. There is some evidence that vitamin A supplementation in children reduces mortality and improves growth. In Africa in nutritionally compromised pregnant and lactating women a multivitamin supplementation has improved outcomes for both mothers and children. Dietary intake of micronutrients at RDA levels by HIV-infected adults is recommended by the World Health Organization. The WHO further states that several studies indicate that supplementation of vitamin A, zinc, and iron can produce adverse effects in HIV positive adults. There is not enough evidence to support the use of herbal medicines. There is insufficient evidence to recommend or support the use of medical cannabis to try to increase appetite or weight gain.

It’s a type of disease which has basically no prevention. But in order to keep it in control we need to keep certain things in mind that is :
• Use contraceptives like condoms avoid sexual contact with unknown people.
• Avoid sex with multiple partners
• Use disposable syringes and needles
• Blood should be tested for HIV virus before transfusion

Written by:-
•Esha Rao, •Kanika Bhargava, •Mansi Vaishnav, •Raksha Chhabra, •Sakina Nath, •Waheeda K.R

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