The Human Immunodeficiency Virus is known to many as HIV. The disease can be traced back to 1981 when it was first named. HIV eventually transfers into AIDS, which was known as GRITS at the time. This was commonly known as the “gay disease” but with more research, it is known that anybody is at risk of catching it.
History of human immunodeficiency virus
It was between 1981 and 1983 that the western world found out about the disease and in 1983, researchers started to do tests into what caused it. AIDS was the disease that was known about and they were able to trace the disease back to HIV. HIV was part of a virus group known as retroviruses.
A person cannot catch AIDS; this is only developed from someone who has HIV. This is due to the CD4 cell count being low, which is part of the complications of HIV.
ue to the tests and treatment, there are chances that a person will never develop AIDS even though they are HIV positive.
Testing for human immunodeficiency virus
A blood test was introduced in 1985 and this was able to measure the amount of antibodies to the virus that were in the system.
The first test done is the ELISA test, which will measure the antibodies first. The test needs to be confirmed and this is done with the Western blot.
How is the human immunodeficiency virus spread?
There are many misconceptions about how the human immunodeficiency virus spreads. Some believe that it is just from contact with an infected person but this is not true. Blood or secretions from the genitals are needed to pass the disease and then it will only happen when there has been contact with tissue on the body or through broken skin – such as a bleeding wound.
Sexual contact is the most common way that the disease is spread around the world but sharing needles is catching up. Another problem is due to a mother who is infected by the disease passing it to an unborn baby during pregnancy or during labor and breastfeeding.
It is not just men who will be infected – women from sexual intercourse with a man or a woman are also at risk.
Avoiding catching human immunodeficiency virus
Abstinence is seen as the best way to avoid catching the disease – especially until both partners have been tested for the disease and know that they are not in other relationships. It can take up to 24 weeks for the virus to show up positive on the tests.
Condoms are another option and they only form of contraception that will prevent the passing of viruses. Unfortunately, they can fail but they are effective 97 percent of the time. Oral sex should be avoided until negative results have been noted.
It is important to note that just because someone has HIV, it does not mean that you will catch the disease by being their friend. This is only contagious from blood and secretions; you just need to act with caution when it comes to being with the friends, especially during an injury.