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HCA240_Wk 2 Assignment - HCA/240 Week 2 Assignment HIV/AIDS...

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HCA/240 Week 2 Assignment: HIV/AIDS: An Overview Due: Sunday, January 16, 2011 HIV and AIDS: An Overview Although HIV and AIDS are linked similarly together they are different. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency syndrome. While a person who has HIV may end up with AIDS once again they are different. Lets look at the differences between the two to get a better understanding of what they each are. The difference between AIDS and HIV is that a person is said to have AIDS, as opposed to simply being HIV positive, when either the numbers of specific types of cells in their immune system drop below a certain level or when they develop one of a specific group of opportunistic infections. According to Health A-to-Z, “The HIV virus causes your immune system to have serious problems. Since the immune system fights off diseases and infections, it makes it easier for you to get sick and harder to get well” (HIV/AIDS, n.d). The healthier your immune system is, the harder it is for the virus to cause serious complications but even if you don't suffer major complications from the HIV you can still pass it on. For example, to your sexual partner who may have severe complications from it., so it is best to use protection and be honest with your partner. “People with HIV do not always acquire AIDS and can live a long healthy life with HIV never advancing to AIDS” (Alleyne, 2010). However, AIDS is the result of a weakened immune system caused by the HIV infection. “It is diagnosed when a person tests positive for HIV and also has one or more of the "opportunistic infections" of AIDS and/or has a laboratory marker test of 200 or fewer T-cells” (anonymous, n.d.). Opportunistic infections are normal infections that a healthy person would be able to fight off.
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HIV is transmitted when infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk enter another person's body. AltCareDex stated, “This most often occurs during unprotected sex or during injection drug use especially, when needles are shared” (HIV transmission, n.d.). Anyone who is infected with HIV can transmit it, whether or not they appear sick, have an AIDS diagnosis, or are taking effective treatment for their infection. Additionally, infected women who become pregnant can transmit HIV to their newborns and are much more likely to transmitted it, if they are not treated effectively. Moreover, HIV has been transmitted through transfusions of contaminated blood and blood components.
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