Living with HIV/AIDS
Facts About HIV/AIDS HIV
Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a retrovirus which is believed to cause AIDS. It destroys certain essential white blood cells, CD4 cells, the conductors of the immune system.
AIDS - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
Acquired – The virus is acquired from someone else with the virus.
Immune – A protection against disease causing microorganisms.
Deficiency – A loss of this immune protection.
Syndrome – A group of signs or symptoms that together define AIDS as a human pathology.
So...AIDS is a deficiency of the human immune system which you get from someone else who has been infected. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines the progression from HIV to AIDS as occurring when a person is either:
a) Infected with HIV and has a CD4 cell count of less than 200 or
b) Infected with HIV and 1 of 26 opportunistic infections or neplasms. An opportunistic infection results when a normally benign "bug" such as bacteria or virus becomes pathogenic, or harmful, in people with suppressed immune systems.
Rights of People with HIV/AIDS
- Quality medical treatment and social service entitlements without regard to sexual orientation, diagnosis, economic status, age, or race.
- Full and understandable explanations of all medical procedures and risks, choice of treatment modalities, choice to refuse research participation without jeopardizing treatment, choice to make informed decisions about one's life.
- Privacy, confidentiality of condition and medical records, human respect, and to live
and die with dignity.