Incidence of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria

AIDS (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a syndrome caused by a virus called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). The illness alters the immune system, making people much more vulnerable to infections and diseases. This susceptibility worsens as the syndrome progresses. According to research, the origins of HIV date back to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century in west-central Africa. AIDS and its cause, HIV, were first identified and recognized in the early 1980s.

Following initial infection, a person may not notice any symptoms or may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. Typically, this is followed by a prolonged period with no symptoms. As the infection progresses, it interferes more with the immune system, increasing the risk of common infections like tuberculosis, as well as other opportunistic infections, and tumors that rarely affect people who have working immune systems.

According to the United Nations children’s emergency fund’s HIV specialist, Dr Victor Isiramen, over 196,000 adolescent, representing 10 percent of the global burden, are said to be living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria with a high estimated number of AIDS- related deaths.

HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person (semen and vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk). The virus is passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood and sexual contact. In addition, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy, delivering the baby during childbirth, and through breast feeding.Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Methods of prevention include safe sex, needle exchange programs, treating those who are infected, and male circumcision. Disease in a baby can often be prevented by giving both the mother and child antiretroviral medication

There is currently no cure for HIV or AIDS. Treatments can slow the course of the condition – some infected people can live a long and relatively healthy life.

 

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