Common Types of HIV, Causes & It’s Treatment


Types of HIV

There are two main types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2.

HIV-1 is the most common type of HIV worldwide and is responsible for the majority of HIV infections. It is further divided into groups, subtypes, and strains.

HIV-2 is found primarily in West Africa and is less common than HIV-1. It is also less easily transmitted and progresses more slowly to AIDS.

Both types of HIV attack and destroy the CD4 cells in the immune system, which can lead to a weakened immune system and eventually to AIDS if left untreated.

HIV Symptoms in Women

The symptoms of HIV in women can vary, and some women may not experience any symptoms at all. However, some of the common symptoms of HIV in women may include:

  • Fever

  • Fatigue

  • Swollen glands

  • Night sweats

  • Vaginal yeast infections or other vaginal infections

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

  • Menstrual irregularities

  • Skin rashes or lesions

  • Headaches

  • Weight loss

It is important to note that many of these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions and are not necessarily indicative of HIV infection. The only way to know for sure if someone has HIV is to get tested. It is also worth noting that some women with HIV may not have any symptoms for many years, so regular testing is crucial for early detection and treatment.

HIV Causes Death?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can lead to death if left untreated. HIV attacks and damages the immune system, which can make the body more vulnerable to other infections and illnesses. When the immune system becomes severely weakened, a person with HIV can develop life-threatening infections or cancers that the body cannot fight off.

HIV can progress to a more advanced stage known as AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). AIDS is diagnosed when a person with HIV has developed certain opportunistic infections or when the CD4 cell count drops below a certain level. Without treatment, people with AIDS typically survive for only a few years.

However, with appropriate medical care and antiretroviral therapy (ART), people with HIV can live long, healthy lives and reduce their risk of developing AIDS and other serious complications. It is important for people with HIV to start treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis and to continue taking their medications as prescribed to keep the virus under control and prevent progression to AIDS.

Rise of HIV Cases in Women in the USA

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), women accounted for 19% of new HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2020. In 2020, there were an estimated 6,370 new HIV diagnoses among adult and adolescent women in the United States. The majority of these diagnoses were among women of color, particularly Black/African American and Hispanic/Latina women.

It is important to note that these numbers only represent reported cases, and the actual number of women living with HIV in the United States is likely higher. The CDC recommends routine HIV testing as a part of healthcare for all individuals aged 13-64, regardless of risk factors, to ensure early detection and prompt treatment.

Is HIV also a STI?

Yes, HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is considered a sexually transmitted infection (STI). HIV is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex with someone who has HIV. HIV can also be transmitted through sharing needles or other injection drug equipment with someone who has HIV, or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

It is important to practice safe sex to reduce the risk of HIV transmission and other STIs. This includes using condoms consistently and correctly during sexual activity, getting tested regularly for HIV and other STIs, and disclosing your HIV status to sexual partners. People who inject drugs should also avoid sharing needles or other injection drug equipment to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

Emergency Treatment of HIV

Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) is an emergency treatment for HIV that can help prevent HIV infection if started as soon as possible after exposure to the virus. PEP is a course of antiretroviral medications that are taken for a period of 28 days after potential exposure to HIV. The medications work by preventing the virus from replicating and spreading throughout the body.

PEP is recommended for individuals who may have been exposed to HIV through sexual activity, sharing needles or other injection drug equipment, or as a result of occupational exposure (such as healthcare workers who have been exposed to HIV-contaminated blood).

It is important to start PEP as soon as possible after exposure to HIV, ideally within 72 hours (3 days), although it can still be effective up to 72 hours after exposure. PEP is not 100% effective, but it can significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission.

It is important to note that PEP is not a substitute for practicing safe sex and taking other preventive measures to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.