Ever since AIDS became a scourge of humanity, there have been glaring misunderstandings on various aspects of the disease.
One of these misunderstandings is with regards to how the disease is distinguished from HIV and in this article, we shall try to carefully go over the differences between the two terms so you won’t have to use them interchangeably next time.
Defining The Terms
HIV are initials for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, a virus that enters the body through various ways and compromises the immune system, leaving the patient feeble, frail and susceptible to attacks from other infections referred to as opportunistic diseases.
AIDS is an acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and it’s basically a spectrum of conditions that emanate from a compromised immune system as a result of attack by the HIV virus.
Risk To Our Health Status
Being a virus, HIV is relatively considered a lesser cause for concern because it is more or less a causative agent. Before researchers discovered ways of dealing with the virus, it was considered a death sentence. However, there have been massive developments in the medical research sectors and there are now drugs, referred to as antiretroviral drugs that are meant to control the dangerous repercussions of this virus.
On the other hand, AIDS, being a syndrome or a spectrum of conditions is considered more harmful to our health. The syndrome is characterized by a deeply compromised immune system, meaning the patient has to be undertaken through various intensive care procures for them to recover and have their immune system functioning properly again.
While the symptoms of HIV are not clearly defined, those of AIDS are well-known. They are what are referred to as opportunistic infections and they include diseases such as tuberculosis, typhoid, pneumonia, certain types of cancer and many more.
Being a virus, HIV can be transmitted from one person to another. The virus is transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, the most common of which is sexual intercourse. It may also be transmitted during child birth or through the use of non-sterilized surgical tools
On the other hand, AIDS cannot be passed from one person to another because it’s considered the latest stage of HIV infection.
The diagnostic procedures for HIV are considered rather simpler compared to those of AIDS. As simple blood sample is what is needed to determine whether a person has the virus or not. Additionally, the test is normally done and results revealed in a matter of minutes.
The diagnosis for AIDS, on the other hand is more complex. First, it involves the assessment of the patient to determine whether they are suffering from opportunistic infections. It’s however important to note that the mere presence of these infections is not a surety that the person has AIDS. Aids may also be diagnosed by the counting of CD4 cells. Generally, a person with CD4 cells less than 200 is considered to be infected with AIDS.