Q.96. What is AIDS? Is it curable?

Ans. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by Human sex  immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) or human T4 cell lymphotrophic virus III (HTLV-III) or lymphadenopathy associated virus (LAV) that rapidly deteriorates the immune system of the body leading to fatal infections and some cancers due to loss of immunological body resistance. The virus is acquired by sexual behavior transmission, direct blood contact as by blood transfusion, infected parenteral needle insertion surgery, dentistry, needling, ear piercing, tattooing, infected razor of barber, skin breaches and prolonged intense licking of tongue and oral cavity and from infected mother to foetus during pregnancy or parturition called congenital AIDS and during lactation to the infant by breast milk. The retrovirus causing AIDS is present in all body fluids like semen, sexual seerction, blood, saliva, urine and milk. The disease does not normally occur by mosquito and other insect Bite, handshaking and sharing clothes. HIV can survive only in human body and proliferates in the DNA of T-4 lymphocytes of white blood corpuscles and ultimately all the T-4 lymphocytes are destroyed and the body defence against foreign infection is lost. AIDS develops after an incubation period of six months to fifteen years with an average of eight to ten years of acquiring the infection. Of all the people who are infected with HIV, about 20 percent develop clinical features and only about 10 percent develop full blown diseases. The majority of the infected person however act as asymptomatic carriers without the manifestation of the disease but are capable of disseminating the virus to other persons. The sexual development in life of the disease de 09pends much on the virulence of HIV, repeated contacts and body resistance. However if the infected person once develops the full blown disease, it causes nearly cent percent fatality with the infected person dying within two years of having full blown disease. It should be noted that a woman is more likely to get infected from a diseased man rather than the reverse during sexual intercourse.

The clinical features of full blown AIDS are due to attenuated immunological system of the body. The patient easily develops pneumonia, tuberculosis, fungal infection of oral cavity and lungs, watery diarrhea, itching dermatitis, prolonged intermittent fever, bluish-violet patches on skin, persistent inflammatory lymphadenopathy and vascular sarcoma. The body becomes prone to various infections and tumors which result in death of a person.

The related varieties of HIV as 0, 1,2 and 3 types, each with several subtypes as A, B, C, D and Exercises and each subtype with several strains have been identified which have probably evolved by mutation. Because of hundreds of strains with minor modifications whose number is gradually swelling up, one attack of HIV does not guard against further attacks. For the same reason, a preventive vaccine against AIDS could not be prepared as the surface antigen of the virus changes very frequently nor its treatment became possible.

> AIDS, once developed, is almost incurable. A person suffering from the disease is never cured except in rare instances when the body resistance becomes very high. It is estimated that there are almost 40 million AIDS cases with about 10 million already dead in the world and their number is gradually swelling up with the passage of time AIDS is likely to become the number one cause of death in the world in near future and can even wipe the whole of humanity. Some natural herbs, shrubs, plants and minerals have proved to be useful in AIDS. It is herbal medicine which has shown some effectiveness in raising the immune status of a person thereby treating the disease if it is mild and at least prolonging death. The main present aim of therapy is to prolong low and sex and avoid secondary infections by increasing body resistance. Immune status can be increased by using large quantity of vitamins, minerals and proteins in diet. Donkey’s milk has a large quantity of immuno-stimulants in it. Neem bark oil, while Japanese pine juice, garlic, onion , gooseberry, jackfruit, ginger , honey, milk, zinc, calcium and dextran sulphate tone up the body resistance. Immuno-stimulants, antivirals and interferons tone up the resistance of the body. All precautions must be taken to prevent the infection of AIDS. What is desirable for a person is to stick to one life partner throughout life .