The human immunodeficiency virus is a retrovirus that, upon reaching its final phase, causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (PAGE).
In Ecuador, the Ministry of Public Health in 2017 reported 49.541 accumulated cases (from 1984 until 2016) HIV / AIDS. HIV infection is usually acquired through sexual intercourse, exposure to infected blood or mother-to-child transmission (perinatal or breast milk). Without drugs, it can take years for HIV to weaken the immune system to the point of progressing to AIDS..
They vary according to the stage of infection.
Primary infection (Acute HIV): Symptoms of possible symptoms and signs are: fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, eruption, sore throat and painful mouth sores, swollen glands mainly in the neck, diarrhea, weightloss, coughing or night sweats. These symptoms can be so mild that you may not even notice them.. However, the amount of virus in the bloodstream (viral load) it's quite high right now. As a result, the infection spreads more easily during the primary infection than during the next stage.
Latent clinical infection (Chronic HIV): At this stage of infection, HIV is still present in the body and in white blood cells. However, many people may not have any symptoms or infection during this time. This stage can last for many years if antiretroviral therapy is not received.
Symptomatic HIV infection: As the virus continues to multiply and destroy immune cells, chronic signs or symptoms are: fever, fatigue, swollen glands (often one of the first signs of HIV infection), diarrhea, weightloss, vaginal or oral yeast infection, herpes, or pneumonia.
HIV can be diagnosed through blood or saliva tests.
Antigen and Antibody Testing: These tests usually involve drawing blood from a vein. Antigens are substances from the HIV virus itself and are usually detectable in the blood or test positive in the blood within a few weeks of exposure to HIV. Antibodies are produced by the immune system when exposed to HIV. Antibodies can take weeks or months to be detectable. The combination of antigens and antibodies may take two to six weeks after exposure to test positive..
Antibody analysis: Nucleic acid tests.
Talk to your doctor about which HIV test is right for the patient. In case of HIV diagnosis, It is important to find a specialist trained in HIV diagnosis and treatment to:
• Determine if additional testing is needed
• Determine which HIV antiretroviral therapy will be best for the patient
• Monitor progress and work with the patient to manage their health
TESTS FOR DIAGNOSING COMPLICATIONS
Lab tests may also be ordered to check for other infections or complications., between them:
Tuberculosis, hepatitis B or C virus infection, sexually transmitted infections, liver or kidney damage, urinary tract infection, anal and cervical cancer, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis.
At present, there is no cure for HIV / AIDS. Once you have the infection, the body cannot get rid of it. However, there are many medications that can control HIV to prevent complications. These drugs are called antiretroviral therapy..