HIV, also known as the human immunodeficiency virus, attacks and destroys the immune system. Over time, the virus can develop into AIDS. As of now, over 39 million people worldwide have died of HIV- or AIDS-related complications. Typically, HIV and AIDS carriers can no longer fight off infection. This leaves the immune system open to harmful diseases such as cancer and lymphoma. Here is a look at some of the causes of HIV.
Cause of HIV
There is not a singular cause of HIV. There are several ways that a person can transmit the virus to others. Some of the most common ones include:
- Blood: HIV can be transmitted through the blood by sharing needles with someone. If an open wound is exposed to HIV blood, you could potentially contract the virus.
- Vaginal fluids: The virus can be transmitted through vaginal fluids, especially during sexual intercourse.
- Sperm: You can be exposed to HIV via sperm by having unprotected sex with someone who has the virus.
- Breast milk: HIV causes can be transmitted to newborn babies through breast milk. Mothers with the virus should use baby formula to feed their infants.
Individuals with HIV may not know they have the virus. This is called the symptom-free period, which can last over ten years. Once this period passes, you may begin to experience some of the following symptoms:
- Headache with fever: Many victims will experience migraine headaches and moderate fevers. This can easily be confused with the flu or common cold.
- Diarrhea: HIV causes diarrhea, which reveals itself during the later stages of the virus.
- Lethargy: Depending on the white blood cells, people with the virus may be fatigued with a lack of energy.
- Sudden weight loss: HIV causes you to lose weight quicker than normal.
- Swollen glands: HIV causes the lymph nodes and other glands in the body to swell up.
- Rashes: HIV causes the body to break out with rashes, which can leave reddening spots over and under the skin.