Since there is no cure nor a vaccine against HIV, the only possible prevention measure is to avoid behaviors that involve the risk of becoming infected with the virus, such as having unprotected sex or sharing needles.
Because HIV does not always cause symptoms, and when the cause may be similar to those of other diseases, it is extremely important to get tested to prevent those who have recently been infected infect others.
The virus is diagnosed by a blood test that detects the presence of HIV-specific antibodies (proteins that react against the disease). As in some cases, once contracted the infection, it may take up to six months before a number of antibodies is high enough to be detected in a normal blood test, it is important to consult your physician about the need for additional tests.
At first, a person with HIV cannot deduce any visible symptoms. HIV symptoms may also be similar to those caused by other diseases. The only way to determine symptoms it to make sure if a person has the virus is through an HIV test. A few weeks after infection, many patients have similar symptoms that may go away after a while. These symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue and swollen glands in the neck and groin.
Other People with HIV may show no symptoms. However, even if a person with HIV infection feels healthy, virus keep affecting his body. Once HIV enters the body, it infects large numbers of cells and quickly spreads throughout the body and comes to many organ systems.
During this initial period, people with HIV are able of transmitting the virus during sex without protection or other risk situations, and HIV is present in large quantities in genital fluids and Blood.
When AIDS emerged in the U.S, there was no medicine to combat the underlying immune deficiency and there were few treatments for diseases that are contracted as a result of the virus. NIAID researchers, among others, have managed to develop effective drugs to attack both HIV infections and different kinds of cancer that generate.
These treatments, along with early detection, have managed to extend the life expectancy of patients and significantly improve their quality of life. As a result, in recent years there has been a drastic reduction in the number of AIDS deaths in the United States.