Disease Specific Nutrition TipsHealth and Fitness

What Is AIDS? Symptoms and Care To Be Taken

Since the year 1988, 1st December of every year is dedicated worldwide as World AIDS Day, to raise awareness for AIDS [Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome] which is spread due to a HIV infection. It is one of the most destructive diseases and nearly 37 million people worldwide carry HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) and nearly 13000 deaths are reported every year.

Causes and Prevention

HIV is responsible for causing spectrum of diseases including HIV infection and AIDS. The virus was discovered in 1983. HIV and AIDS spread most commonly through contaminated needles or syringes and through sexual contact. In rare cases, it is transferred during childbirth from a mother to her child. It is not a contagious disease and doesn’t spread through mere touching, shaking hands, coughing or sneezing. The HIV virus infects cells of our body and the immune system, which is our body’s defense mechanism and makes them weak and unable to fight against diseases and infections. It is spread through blood, fluids from the vagina and semen.

Aids can be prevented by limiting ones sexual partner or through abstinence, using protection in the form of condoms, and not sharing needles or intravenous syringes. A healthy balanced diet rich in immune nutrients and avoiding a diet high in cholesterol and restricting junk food helps in slowing progression of the disease. Minimum 30 minutes of physical activity/exercise is recommended for overall fitness.

Symptoms and Progression of disease

HIV/AIDS is diagnosed only after a blood test. Common symptoms of HIV/AIDS are fever, sore throat, ulcers in the mouth, chills and sweating at night, weight loss, mouth and genital sores, muscle ache, rashes, and fatigue. These may last for a few days or several weeks. If proper treatment is not undertaken when diagnosed with HIV, a chance of developing AIDS is very high.

Dietary Treatment and Importance of Key Nutrients

A nutritious and well balanced diet is extremely essential to fight rapid progression of diseases and for overall well-being. Fresh and organic fiber rich food such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products provide us with proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and essential fat which helps in functioning well, boosting immunity, regulating our body process boosting our immune system. HIV/AIDS infected people need more vitamins and minerals to ward to heal and repair the cells damaged and to boost the immune system. Food rich in Vitamin E, vitamin C, iron, zinc, selenium, folic acid, vitamin A and D are a must for boosting immunity. Eating less spicy and oily foods, having small meals throughout the day, increasing our fluids intake and avoiding junk, oily and processed foods helps us in slowing down the progression of HIV infection to AIDS.

HIV virus can be contained and prevented from turning into AIDS by proper medication, nutrient rich diet and treatment. Thus, it is very important to be aware about prevention of disease and its progression.

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