Herpes and Its Viral Consequences to Anyone

Herpes simplex can be described as a viral disease. It is caused by the popular simplex virus. There are many infections that cause this and these infections are categorized based on the part of the body that gets infected. There is also oral herpes that affects the face and the mouth. It can result in small blisters in groups that is often called as the cold sores and fever blister. It can also just cause a simple sore throat and have you down for a few days. Genital herpes is also often simply known as herpes and can have a few and minimal symptoms that can form various types of blisters. These blisters can break open and result in small ulcers.

Genital herpes

There have been lots of studies done on the subject of genital herpes in the recent past. Genital herpes is a highly contagious virus. It is spread mostly through improper and unhygienic sexual activities. This infection is also caused by the simplex virus-2 of herpes or HSV-2. The virus is also responsible for the cold sores that affect your body. Genital herpes can be treated by a few medicinal treatments. These medicines control the flow of the virus in the body and can make life easier for the infected person.

The herpes tests

There are also herpes tests that are done in order to find the HSV virus. A simple HSV infection can also cause painful sores, small sores that can look like a blister on your skin and also the tissue lining of the nose, mouth, throat and urethra. A herpes infection can cause only a single outbreak of sores but can also cause a person to have more number of outbreaks. The herpes virus is highly common in the United States of America. We say this because at least one in every six people who are aged between the years of 14 and 49 have this virus.

Herpes is spread to the untraditional form of having sex. This includes oral sex, vaginal and anal sex. Particularly with someone who already has the disease. There are fluids that re found in the herpes sore and these fluids very often carry the disease. Also the virus can easily be released through these fluids. You can also acquire herpes from an infected partner while having sex with him or her. Preventive measure must be taken while having sex.

The Impact and Consequences of AIDS/HIV in India

The impact and consequences of AIDS/HIV in India

Whenever AIDS has won, stigma, shame, distrust, discrimination and apathy was on its side. Every time AIDS has been defeated, it has been because of trust, openness, dialogue between individuals and communities, family support, human solidarity, and the human perseverance to find new paths and solutions.” – Michel SidibĂ©, Executive Director, UNAIDS

What are AIDS and HIV?

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by a virus called HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The disease changes the immune system, making people very vulnerable to infections and diseases. This vulnerability gets worse as the syndrome progresses, sometimes with fatal results.

HIV is a virus: Specifically, HIV is the virus, which attacks the T-cells (CD-4 cells) in the immune system.

AIDS is a medical condition: AIDS is the syndrome, which appears at an advanced stage of the HIV infection.

The HIV infection can cause AIDS to develop but it is possible to be infected with HIV without developing AIDS. However, without treatment, the HIV infection can progress and, eventually, develop into AIDS in most cases. Once an AIDS diagnosis is made, it will always be a part of a patient’s medical history.

What causes HIV and AIDS?

A retrovirus that infects the vital organs and cells of the human immune system, HIV develops in the absence of antiretroviral therapy (ART) – a drug therapy that slows, and can prevent, the growth of new HIV viruses.

The rate of virus progression in various individuals differs widely, depending on many factors including:

  • Age
  • The body’s ability to defend itself against HIV
  • Access to healthcare
  • Other infections the patient may have
  • The person’s genetic inheritance
  • Resistance to certain strains of HIV
  • Other factors

How is HIV transmitted?

Sexual transmission: Contact with infected sexual fluids (rectal, genital, or oral mucous membranes) while having unprotected sex with someone infected with HIV

Perinatal transmission: A mother can pass the infection on to her child during childbirth, pregnancy and breastfeeding

Blood transfusion: Transmission of HIV through blood transfusion is extremely low in developed countries, thanks to meticulous screening and precautions. This is often not the case in the developing world

Early symptoms of HIV infection

Many people with HIV have no symptoms for several months, or even years, after being infected. Others may develop symptoms similar to flu, usually two to six weeks after being infected by the virus. The symptoms of early HIV infection may include fever, chills, joint pains, muscle aches, sore throat, sweats (particularly at night), enlarged glands, red rash, tiredness, general weakness and weight loss.

Myths and facts about HIV and AIDS

There are many misconceptions about HIV and AIDS which are not based on scientific and medical facts. The virus CANNOT be transmitted by:

  • shaking hands
  • hugging
  • casual kissing
  • sneezing
  • touching unbroken skin
  • using the same toilet
  • sharing towels
  • sharing cutlery
  • mouth-to-mouth resuscitation or other forms of “casual contact”

Is there treatment for AIDS and HIV?

Currently, there is no vaccine or cure for HIV, but certain treatments have evolved which are much more effective and better tolerated – improving the patients’ general health and quality of life considerably – by just taking one pill a day.

Certain treatments can slow the course of the condition, allowing most infected people the opportunity to live long and relatively healthy lives. Starting HIV antiretroviral treatment early is crucial. According to the World Health Organization’s guidelines, issued in June 2013, early treatment improves the quality of life, extends life expectancy and reduces the risk of transmission.

How can HIV be prevented?

To prevent being infected with HIV, medical professionals advise taking the following precautions:

Avoid the dangers of unprotected sex: Having sex without a condom can put a person at risk of being infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Drug abuse and needle sharing: Intravenous drug use is an important factor in HIV transmission, especially in developed countries. Sharing needles can expose users to HIV and other viruses, such as hepatitis C.

Body fluid exposure: Exposure to HIV can be prevented by employing precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to contaminated blood. Healthcare workers should use barriers (gloves, masks, protective eyewear, shields and gowns).

Pregnancy: Some treatments can harm the unborn child. To protect the baby’s health, delivery through caesarean section may be necessary. HIV-infected mothers should not breastfeed.

The importance of education: This is an important factor in reducing risky behaviour that results in HIV/AIDS.

Social stigma associated with AIDS

Fear surrounding the growing HIV epidemic in the 1980s persists even today. At the time, since very little was known about HIV and how it is transmitted, the disease scared people because of their fear of being infected.

This fear, to this day, means that lots of people still believe that HIV and AIDS:

  • Still ends in death
  • The syndromes’ association with behaviours that large numbers of people still disapprove of – such as homosexuality, drug use, sex work or infidelity
  • That the syndrome is transmitted through sex, which is a taboo subject in some cultures
  • The infection is because of personal irresponsibility or moral flaws that deserve to be punished
  • False information about how the virus is transmitted, giving rise to irrational behaviour and misconceptions about personal risk

What is the level of awareness about AIDS in India?

According to a comprehensive survey undertaken by UNDP post 2005, “HIV and AIDS are a serious challenge for the developing as well as the developed world. India, with an estimated 5.206 million people living with HIV in 2005, accounts for nearly 69 percent of the HIV infections in the South and South-East Asian region. This is despite it being a low prevalence country with an overall adult HIV prevalence rate of 0.91 percent.”

“India has six high prevalence states: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Manipur and Nagaland. Of these Andhra Pradesh has recorded the highest prevalence of two percent among the antenatal clinic attendees and 22.8 percent among STD clinic attendees in 2005. Given the overall low prevalence of HIV, focus so far has been on studying the AIDS/HIV impact at the level of the individual and households“, the survey emphasises.

In conclusion, we quote studies carried out by the World Bank Group in 2012, “The Government of India estimates that about 2.40 million Indians are living with HIV (1.93-3.04 million) with an adult prevalence of 0.31% (2009). Children (<15 years) account for 3.5% of all infections, while 83% are the in age group 15-49 years. Of all HIV infections, 39% (930,000) are among women. India’s highly heterogeneous epidemic is largely concentrated in only a few states – in the industrialized south and west, and in the north-east. The four high prevalence states of South India (Andhra Pradesh – 500,000, Maharashtra – 420,000, Karnataka – 250,000, Tamil Nadu – 150,000) account for 55% of all HIV infections in the country. West Bengal, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are estimated to have more than 100,000 PLHA each and together account for another 22% of HIV infections in India.

The Consequences for Not Practicing Safe Sex

Sexually transmitted disease or STD has been an on going battle in every country. The consequences for not practicing safe sex are serious. Teen pregnancy, AIDS, and other life problems can happen if people are not aware of the benefits of safe sex. As they say, abstinence is the key to lowering your chances of having these problems including STD.

To protect yourself from STD, you should know how to spot a person with one. Go to counselling groups to learn how to determine which person has an STD or not. Never allow your health to be compromised.

STD is passed on from people to people. This also means that you expose yourself to STD if your partner has had sex with someone infected before and remains unprotected. It is not a safe thought that knowing your partner has had limited experience that ultimately means he is safe.

One of the most important aspects in safe sex is honesty. You need to be honest with your partner and vice versa. If you have just found out that your partner has had STD before, ask if he has treated it and was the disease cured.

Talk to your partner about having both of you checked out for such diseases. If your partner shows disinterest or refuses to take the test then you must think for yourself and what your partner has in mind when it comes to STD.

Condoms are the most common choice for STD prevention. They can be bought at local drugstores or at the counter of most grocery stores. Condoms have been discovered to prevent 99 percent of unwanted diseases and pregnancies.

Be wary of the signs and symptoms of each sexually transmitted disease. If you find yourself having painful urination or having an itchy feel between the thighs then you might want to go to your doctor and have it checked.

Be more involved when it comes to safe sex awareness especially with regards to AIDS and HIV. Both are very prevalent these days and both are serious dangers to your health.