AIDS Awareness | Episode 036

Episode summary introduction:

To understand AIDS, we should first start with how it progresses through HIV.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases.

  • It’s spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV

  • most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV)

  • Through sharing injection drug equipment.

  • Untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

Topic 1:

Acute and Chronic HIV is discussed. In acute HIV signs and symptoms; Some people have flu-like symptoms. This is the body’s natural response to infection. But some people may not feel sick right away or at all. In chronic HIV is called asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency. People may not have any symptoms or get sick during this phase.

Topic 2:

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is the most severe phase of HIV infection.

People with AIDS have such badly damaged immune systems that they get an increasing number of severe illnesses. Without treatment, people with AIDS typically survive about three years.

Topic 3:

Medicines that slow the progression of the virus in your body. ART can keep you healthy for many years by reducing the amount of virus (or viral load) in your blood and body fluids.

ART is usually taken as a combination of 3 or more drugs to have the greatest chance of lowering the amount of HIV in your body. They do have side effects that should be discussed with your medical provider.

Topic 4:

Scientists have come up with a method for mapping in extraordinary detail the thickets of slippery sugar molecules that help shield HIV from the immune system. Drawing these shields will give researchers a more understanding of why antibodies react to some spots on the virus but not others, and may pave a new way to create vaccines that target the most vulnerable sites on viruses.


Nursing considerations in regards to medication compliance and HIV drug resistance d/t noncompliant patients: It is easier for HIV to change form, causing your medication to stop working. This is called drug resistance. HIV can become resistant to your medication and to similar medications that you have not yet taken. This limits your options for successful HIV treatment. Drug-resistant strains of HIV can be transmitted to others, too.

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