Viruses are a form of fungus. They are small, possibly only a few microns in length, and they can cause you great harm if they get into your system. Most viruses cause chicken pox, colds, diarrhea, flu, and several other common ailments. However, there is one that can cause serious disease: HIV. This form of virus is called a human immunodeficiency virus or HIV for short.
The virus affects the immune system of the human body. When the immune system is impaired, it allows the virus to take over your entire body, causing various types of infections. This includes HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Since this virus does not recognize human tissue as foreign, it has the ability to affect almost every part of the body, even the smallest of cuts or punctures. It can also infect new areas of the lungs and other areas of the body once the infection has spread to another area.
This virus is transmitted through contact with infected bodily fluids. A lot of people get the virus through insect bites, through sharing of needles during medical treatments, and through unprotected sex. HIV may be contracted from a partner who has the virus, or it may be transmitted from a person who is HIV positive (but not necessarily having the full-blown infection). Someone who is aware of their HIV status could have the virus; however, the chances of contracting it are much smaller than someone who is not. If someone wants to know if they have HIV, there are several tests they can undergo.
Some people do not develop the HIV virus in their lifetime. Others develop the infection and it is too late for them by the time they are diagnosed. There are several ways to protect yourself from being infected. Being aware of the process called infection is vital so you can avoid becoming infected in the first place.
There are two different types of HIV: The type that causes disease is called the lentivirus. Lacedivirus does not cause disease, but it causes genetic material to be produced which is sometimes called a retrovirus. Sometimes these retrovirus particles can find their way into other people’s immune systems and infect them, leading to serious illness. Some viruses can remain dormant inside the human body for many years; however, most of these viruses will produce a symptom-free life if they are killed. Some viruses also have the ability to multiply uncontrollably.
Some of the most widespread viruses in existence today are: AIDS-related retroviruses, Hepatitis A virus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and Lassa virus (Lassa). These viruses attack the cells in the blood, causing inflammation and allowing the cells to attack nearby healthy cells. Other viruses, such as herpes, can infect the cells in the genital area and lead to painful outbreaks. These viruses can be prevented by practicing safe sex and having regular checkups with a doctor.
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