Asymptomatic stage even though medicines can slow the

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asymptomatic stage Even though medicines can slow the progress of HIV infection, there is still no vaccine that prevents the disease. What would you tell a friend who is afraid of getting HIV from a fellow student who has been diagnosed as HIV positive? Record your ideas. 662 Chapter 25 Sexually Transmitted Infections and HIV/AIDS
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Symptomatic HIV Infection During the asymptomatic stage, the immune system keeps pace with HIV infection by produc- ing billions of new cells. Eventually, though, the numbers of cells in the immune system decline to the point where other infections start to take over. This marks the the stage in which a person infected with HIV has symp- toms as a result of a severe drop in immune cells . The symptoms may include swollen glands, weight loss, and yeast infections. AIDS During the latter stage of HIV infection, more serious symptoms appear until the infection meets the official definition of AIDS. This includes the presence of HIV infection, a severely damaged immune system measured by numbers of helper T cells, and the appearance of one or more opportunistic infections or illnesses. By the time AIDS develops, HIV has often attacked brain cells, causing difficulty in thinking and remembering. Detecting HIV ndividuals who think they may have been exposed to HIV I should seek testing from a health care professional immediately. Testing to determine the presence of the virus can be done by a pri- vate physician or at a hospital, a health clinic, or a local health department. Most states have laws to protect the confidentiality of test results. EIA Test The first test usually performed is an ELISA, or a test that screens for the presence of HIV antibodies in the blood . The EIA reacts to even small numbers of HIV antibodies. However, the EIA may give inaccurate results. There are two reasons for this. Developing antibodies takes time —weeks or even months after initial infection. Before antibodies develop, the EIA may give a false negative result. This means the test is negative, but the person is positive; there aren’t enough antibodies for the test to detect. Most infected people will test positive in three to four weeks, but some take up to six months to test positive. Certain health conditions, such as hemophilia, hepatitis, and pregnancy, can cause the EIA to give a false positive read- ing. This means that although the test was positive, the person actually does not have the infection. EIA symptomatic stage 663 Lesson 4 Treatment for HIV and AIDS How do opportunistic illnesses attack? When the immune system is weakened by the HIV infection, diseases find an opportunity to attack the damaged system. There are over 30 common opportunistic illnesses, including Kaposi’s sarcoma and pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP)— a rare form of pneumonia.
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