Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1)

What is Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1)

Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) is a lentivirus that causes the deadly disease AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). It is the most common form of HIV and is the predominant strain worldwide. HIV-1 is a retrovirus, meaning that it contains RNA instead of DNA as its genetic material.

HIV-1 is transmitted primarily through contact with body fluids such as semen, blood, and breast milk. It can be passed through practices such as sexual contact, intravenous drug use, and mother-to-child transmission during childbirth.

Symptoms of HIV-1

Many people with HIV-1 don’t show any symptoms, while others may experience a flu-like illness several weeks after infection. This is called acute HIV-1 infection and may include fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, rash, muscle and joint aches, and headache. In some cases, a person may experience severe symptoms, including weight loss, extreme fatigue, and frequent infections.

Treatment for HIV-1

The most effective treatment for HIV-1 is antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART is a combination of drugs that are used to suppress HIV levels in the body and reduce the risk of transmission. ART also helps to reduce the risk of other HIV-associated illnesses and allows people living with HIV to lead healthy lives.

Other preventive measures:

  • Abstain from sexual contact or reduce the number of sexual partners.
  • Always practice safe sex by using condoms.
  • Avoid sharing needles, syringes, razor blades, or any other sharp objects.
  • Undergo regular HIV testing.
  • Get vaccinated against hepatitis B.
  • Avoid breast feeding if the mother is HIV positive.