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HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is the one of the worst diseases that the world is battling today. Till date, there has been no cure for this infection even though extensive research is being done on it. This article deals with the symptoms and medications that affects people afflicted with this deadly virus.

The complexity of the HIV infection lies in the fact that there is no specific symptom linked to it; thus detection becomes difficult. The only way to find out you have the disease is to test for HIV antibodies to be able to identify the disease. Some of the most common symptoms linked to it are rapid weight loss, unexplained fevers, night sweating, sudden loss of weight, loss of appetite, and swelling of the lymph nodes and sometimes even rashes though they not conclusively prove that one suffers from HIV. The main point to remember is that the infection can cause different symptoms in different people and that can confuse patients. The first sign of infection is an unexplained fever which comes 2-4 weeks after exposure. After that even if the person is infected, the patient continues normally without any symptoms. Yet the virus is active in the body destroying healthy cells. Eventually one day, the immune system is so destroyed that the patient falls in to full blown AIDS

The ELISA and the Western Blot are the most common tests recommended by doctors to identify HIV. When used in tandem and the results prove positive in a person, medical help is recommended. Though there is no cure for it as yet, medicines like AZT and Lamivudine are available in the market which can contain and isolate the virus to a very large extent. The HAART therapy is a grouping or a combination of 3 drugs that are used to combat the HIV virus effectively. This drug helps in minimizing the active concentration of the HIV virus in an affected person's bloodstream.

The HIV Virus is transmitted from one person to another mainly through body fluids. It's a common belief that oral s** does not transmit the HIV Virus but this is untrue. People suffering from HIV should not be left in isolation rather should be provided with all the support that a family can provide to the patient to help deal with the situation. Family support forms the decisive factor in the mental preparation of a patient to deal with such a disease.

The age old clich├ęd adage "prevention is better than cure" is the best antidote to prevent such a deadly disease. Even though there is no cure in sight for this deadly disease, a few simple suggestions can help you keep this disease at bay. Avoid multiple sexual partners or usage of protective measures (condoms) when sexually active with more than one partner. Avoiding sharing of needles are some of the most common ways that one can keep themselves out of HIV's reach.

Though many countries in recent times may have proclaimed that they have a conclusive cure for HIV; that fact is yet to be ascertained. If there was a cure a lot of people would be saved and the company which makes the cure could make millions. A large amount of money is spent every year on research and in the development of medicines to combat AIDS.

Author : Lavanay Bhadwal