AIDs stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Our body has the immune system that fights against diseases. When this immunity is lost, we get suffered from various diseases. As a result, various symptoms can emerge. AIDS is not a disease but that stage in which various symptoms and syndromes can emerge. Though AIDS was medically recognized only in 1981 in USA, it is widely and rapidly spreading all over the world. Over 2 decades, more than 40 million people are suffering from this fatal disease. Though its virus appeared later in Asian countries, it is more rapidly spreading here than other regions. In Nepal, first case of AIDS was identified in 1988 but the cases are rapidly increasing. Now about more than 60 thousand people are estimated to be infected of HIV in Nepal.
Causes of HIV/ AIDS
The causative agent for this disease is retrovirus which is called HIV (Human Immune-deficiency Virus). This virus destroys the immune system of producing the antibody to fight against the germs of disease. In the lack of antibody, we cannot be healthy. After entering it in our body, it takes about 6 to 12 weeks for virus to be seen in blood test. This unidentified period is window period. When HIV is detected, this stage is carrier stage. Similarly, when symptoms are seen, it is only the stage of AIDS.
Symptoms of HIV/ AIDS
Symptoms cannot be seen immediately in HIV infected patients and it may take 10-15 years. As the immunity of patients is lost any common disease may suffer them. The symptoms are seen according to the disease they have suffered. However, TB is found in almost HIV patients in Nepal.
The symptoms of AIDS can be classified as major and minor sign. A person can be AIDS patient if at least 2 major signs and one minor sign appear.
Major Sign of HIV/ AIDS
- Loss of weight more than 10% of usual body weight within one month
- Continuous fever for more than 1 month
- Continuous diarrhea for more than 1 month
Minor Sign of HIV/ AIDS
- Coughing of more than a month
- Itching and skin rashes
- Recurrent herpes zoster
- Chancres appear around lip and nostril
- Not recovery of some common and curable diseases like common cold, diarrhea, TB etc.
- Repeatedly suffering of pneumonia
- Thrush or inflammation in mouth and throat
- Swelling of glands for a long time