Beneath the protection provided by antiretroviral drugs, the virus which causes AIDS remains incurable and drug therapy haven't reached all victims of HIV. There are several frightening truths about HIV/AIDS that modern science watches closely before everything is too late.
Population of HIV Patients
According to the World Health Organisation or WHO, there are 34 million people in the world that lives with HIV at the end of 2012 and about 10 million people had the access to antiretroviral therapy or ART. The tally does not cover individuals who didn't take HIV testing which clouds the true information of how many is carrying the deadly virus.
Nigeria Tops Ranking on HIV Counts
Another data pulled out by WHO is Nigeria's high ranking prevalence of people living with HIV which currently under ART. These people face discrimination everyday and challenge the government to take serious action on addressing HIV research, management and prevention.
HIV is Practical Invisible
HIV infection is relatively asymptomatic if not, non-specific which duplicates symptoms of other illness commonly occur. Acute HIV infection lasts for several weeks with symptoms such as fever, swollen lymph nodes, inflammation of the throat, rash, muscle pain and mouth sores. However, these symptoms may indicate other diseases and usually goes away when practically ignored.
Due to the non-specific nature of HIV, an infected person may skip HIV testing and ignores possible contraction of the virus. Latent stage begins between two weeks after exposure and 20 years. During this phase, HIV is active within lymph nodes and starting to replicate then later on weakens the immune system leading to AIDS.
There is no Cure!
HIV research remains "zero" in terms curing or eliminating the virus completely from the body. Management treatment under antiretroviral drugs only suppresses or control growth and reduces risk of transmitting the virus to others. However, there is no effective and safe way to kill or destroy the virus or infected cells inside the body.
Management can be Very Expensive
Antiretroviral drugs are available for HIV treatment but it may not come to your territory for free. Some areas in the globe cannot get access to ART while others have to take higher management to control the progression which is very expensive - someone might die from debt rather than the virus. WHO and CDC promotes prevention rather than going for treatment which is painful as well.
Antiretroviral Drugs Have Consequences
HIV treatment comes with several antiretroviral drugs, not a single pill to effectively control the virus. Aside from taking the cocktail combination, HIV can grow resistant to certain drugs which may force the patient to take more than three pills at a time. If you are confident in taking three, four or five pills and pay them without a problem, think about the consequences delivered by adverse effects which may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Increased risk to heart attack
- Liver failure
- Oral ulcers
- Kidney failure
- Increase risk to certain cancers
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Once left alone for several years, HIV can cause AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome which in layman's term - no immune system to defend against infection. AIDS stage lead death to a person even by the common cold since the body cannot fight it anymore. HIV primarily attacks a specific type of white blood cell which functions as killer among invaders, without it, AIDS would be a painful and torturing death.
Nobody is Immune against It
Homosexuals brought HIV in the old days due to alleged overall lifestyle, sexual preferences and practices. But the virus does not exclude heterosexuals and drug addicts who use syringes. HIV is transmittable via blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breastfeeding which include certain practices such as unprotected sexual intercourse, use of dirty needles not limited to syringes and multiple sexual partners, very dangerous as pathway for the virus.
Funding Still Cannot Support ART to Everyone
Billions over billions are being spent for HIV research and prevention but ART is unable to cover everyone who has the virus. HIV testing itself on certain territories are still not free which makes it inaccessible to the poor. Most of the people are still uneducated, leading to ignorance about HIV.
More Mutation Can Threaten Modern Medicine
Modern medicine is hoping that HIV-1 and HIV-2 won't mutate to create another viral strain. Medical institution and groups are doing everything possible to contain, prevent and treat the virus to avoid another possible strain commonly characterised by viruses. Since there is no cure or vaccine yet, people are encouraged to help out stop the deadliest virus of the modern era.
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