Clinical Manifestations of AIDS
The clinical manifestation of AIDS Acquired immune deficiency syndrome occurs in 4 stages namely:
i. Initial infection of the virus and antibody production:
Most HIV - infected people have no symptoms for the first five years or so. Few patients may show mild illness like fever, sore throat and rash. HIV antibodies usually appear within 2 to 12 weeks in the blood stream. The period between HIV infection and antibody production is called “Window Period.
II. Asymptomatic carrier state:
Infected people have antibodies, but no overt signs of disease except persistent generalised lymphadenopathy. (enlargement of lymph nodes).
iii. Aids - Related complex (ARC):
ARC is due to damage to the immune system but without opportunistic infections and cancers.
ARC exhibits clinical features like Diarrhoea lasting longer than a month, fatigue, loss of more than 10% of body weight, fever, night sweats & generalised lymphadenopathy.
Aids is the last stage of HIV infection. A number of opportunistic infections and cancers occur at this stage. Death is due to uncontrolled or untreatable infection.
Opportunistic infections & cancers are Tuberculosis, kaposi sarcoma (cancer) oropharyngeal candidiasis, penumocysuis carinii pneumonia, recurrent skin infections.
Aids is diagnosed by two methods namely
a. Clinical diagnosis and b. Laboratory diagnosis. a. Clinical diagnosis: An adult or adolescent (>12 years of age) is considered to have AIDS if at least 2 of the following major signs are present in combination with at least 1 of the minor signs listed below.
i. Weight loss> 10% body weight.
ii. Chronic diarrhoea for more than 1 month
iii. Prolonged fever for more than 1 month.
I. Persistant cough for more than 1 month.
ii. Generalised pruritic dermatitis.
iii. Oropharyngeal candidiasis
iv. Generalised lymphadenopathy.
v. History of Herpes zoster (a viral disease).
iii. AIDS-Laboratory diagnosis:
The AIDS can be diagnosed in a patient by using the following tests.
ii. Tridot - Test which are Screening Tests and
iii. Western - Blot Test which is Confirmatory Test.
These tests are used to detect HIV antibodies. A person whose blood contains HIV antibodies is said to be HIV positive
Aids is controlled by the following methods
i. Educating the people to make life saving choices (avoiding indiscriminate sex, using condoms etc.).
ii. Intra venous drug users should be informed that the sharing of needles and syringes involves special risk.
iii. Womens suffering from Aids should avoid becoming pregnant because infection can be transmitted to her children.
iv. Blood should be screened for HIV1 and HIV2 before transfusion transfusion. Pre sterilised disposable needles, syringes should be used as far as possible.
5. AIDS- Treatment
At present there is no vaccine or cure for treatment of HIV infection. The drugs like zidovudine, didanosine, zalcitabine and stavudine are proved to be useful in prolonging the life of Aids patients.