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ScotCharles
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Reged: 05/06/05
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Key facts about HIV/AIDS - Note Last Item
      08/10/06 05:27 PM

Key facts about HIV/AIDS
Reuters NewMedia - August 10, 2006
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The world's largest international AIDS conference opens in Toronto, on Sunday, 25 years after the epidemic was first reported.

Here are some key facts about AIDS, the world's leading cause of death among adults aged under 60:

WHAT IS AIDS AND WHAT CAUSES IT?

* AIDS stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It is caused by a virus called HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

INCUBATION PERIOD AND SYMPTOMS:

* The HIV virus does not live for long outside the body. It is carried in semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk and blood.

* The virus can multiply for weeks or even months before the body's immune system produces antibodies to fight it , by which time it is too late. People with HIV can look and feel normal and may not develop full-blown AIDS for several years.

* Early symptoms include chronic fatigue, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, mental changes such as memory loss, persistent cough, severe recurrent skin rashes and swelling of the lymph nodes.

HOW DOES AIDS KILL?

* As the virus attacks the immune system, people become less able to fight illnesses.

* Unless treated, AIDS-related opportunistic infections like pneumonia, Kaposi's sarcoma, tuberculosis and candida can kill.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED?

* Worldwide, 39 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS.

* Sub-Saharan Africa remains the hardest-hit region, with about 25 million people infected with HIV.

* In Asia, about 8.3 million were living with AIDS at the end of 2005. More than two-thirds were in India.

* The 2006 UNAIDS Report says the epidemic appears to be slowing down globally, but new infections are continuing to increase in certain regions and countries.

* Since the first cases of AIDS were detected 25 years ago, 65 million people around the world have become infected with the HIV virus and 25 million have died.

WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE?

* Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are the main treatment.

* Cocktails of these drugs can help suppress the virus, and some single drugs can help slow its transmission, for instance, from mother to baby. The first HIV drug was launched in 1987 and there are now more than 20 of them. They attack the virus at various points in its cycle.

* HIV drugs cannot eradicate HIV from the body completely, so patients must take them for life.

* It is important that the drugs are taken properly -- the right dose, at the right time, every day.

* Death rates in the developed world fell by more than 80 percent after the launch of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in 1997, according a 2003 study. Before that, half those infected died within 10 years. Today, 90 percent of those on drugs live at least 10 years and often longer.

Sources: Reuters, WHO




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* Key facts about HIV/AIDS - Note Last Item ScotCharles 08/10/06 05:27 PM
. * Re: Key facts about HIV/AIDS - Note Last Item still_here   08/10/06 06:42 PM
. * Re: Key facts about HIV/AIDS - Note Last Item ScotCharles   08/11/06 12:10 PM
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. * Re: Key facts about HIV/AIDS - Note Last Item ScotCharles   08/11/06 01:08 PM
. * Re: Key facts about HIV/AIDS - Note Last Item Bear60   08/11/06 02:36 PM
. * Re: Key facts about HIV/AIDS - Note Last Item still_here   08/11/06 03:09 PM
. * Re: Key facts about HIV/AIDS - Note Last Item ScotCharles   08/11/06 05:28 PM

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