By now, all of us are sure to be familiar with the acronym AIDS. It stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease, which makes the body inefficient in fighting off infectious diseases. The cause of this disorder is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Precisely speaking HIV damages the white blood cells of an infected person known as CD4 helper lymphocytes.
The only known way through which the viral passage takes place is through infected fluids. Body fluids such as such as semen, vaginal fluids and blood act as carriers through which the infectious microbe gets transmitted from one person to another. Even the slightest exposure to minimal amounts of the infected fluid is enough to make a person HIV positive.
Sexual intercourse is the major means through which the disease is transmitted. If one of the sex partners is HIV positive, by all means his sex partner will also be infected if no means of protection is taken. It has been found that human immunodeficiency virus also get transmitted from one person to another through cuts and sores on the penis, rectum (the last part of the intestine that connects to the anus), vagina, or genital skin of the infected person. Any contact with the wound in the mouth or near the mucous membrane can also lead to transmission.
HIV can be spread both through bisexual and homosexual relationships. People who inject themselves with drugs are also at an increased risk of being infected t with HIV. Sharing needles while using intravenous drugs or steroids often make a person HIV positive. Sharing needles also can pass hepatitis and such other ailments as well.
Newborn babies are at also at risk of getting the HIV virus from their mothers if they happen to be infected. In this case, the baby becomes HIV positive even before its birth. However, medications are available to minimize the risk of spreading virus from infected mother to child.