The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome has been one of the key problems of modern society for more than forty years. Therefore, HIV diagnosis now attracts a lot of attention and resources. The sooner a virus that destroys the body's immune system is found, the higher the chances of avoiding a fatal outcome.
The essence of the problem
Under the abbreviation HIV hides the definition of the human immunodeficiency virus - one of the most dangerous among the currently existing. Under its influence, there is a deep inhibition of all the protective properties of the body. This, in turn, leads to the appearance of various malignant formations and secondary infections.
It can happen in different ways. Sometimes the disease destroys a person for 3-4 years, in some cases can last more than 20 years. It is worth knowing that this virus is unstable and quickly dies if it is outside the carrier's body.
Contain HIV can in sperm, blood, menstrual secretions and the secretion of the vaginal glands. As the causes of infection, you need to remember about such problems as periodontitis, abrasions, trauma, etc.
HIV can be transmitted artificially, gemokontaktnym and by means of a biocontact mechanism.
If there was a single contact with the carrier of the virus, then the risk of infection will be low, but with constant interaction, it significantly increases. Diagnosis of HIV infection is something that can not be neglected, especially when you change your sexual partner
Pay attention to the parenteral route of infection. It can occur during blood transfusions of infected blood, injections using needles that are contaminated with HIV-infected blood, as well as with non-sterile medical procedures (tattoos, piercings, dental procedures using tools that are not properly handled).
It is worthwhile to know that there is no need to fear contact-household transmission of the virus. But the fact remains that a person has a high susceptibility to HIV infection. And if the subject is infected at the age of 35, then the development of AIDS is much faster than those who have not yet overcome the thirty-year boundary.
Of course, the best way to identify a problem or its absence is to diagnose HIV infection. But what reasons can a person who leads a healthy lifestyle have to go and check himself for the fact of infection? Naturally, such an initiative should be something substantiated. Therefore, it is important to know what symptoms may indicate the destructive processes that depress the immune system.
The stage of incubation of the virus without a blood test is unlikely to be revealed, since the organism at this time still does not react to hostile elements.
The second stage (primary manifestations) without the help of a doctor can also go unnoticed. But sometimes there is active replication of the virus, and the body begins to react to it - fever, various polymorphic eruptions, lienal syndrome and pharyngitis. In the second stage, it is possible to attach such secondary diseases as herpes, fungal infections, pneumonia, etc.
For the third, latent stage, a gradual increase in immunodeficiency is characteristic. Due to the fact that the cells of the protective system are dying, the dynamics of their production is increasing, and this makes it possible to compensate for tangible losses. At this stage, several lymph nodes belonging to different systems can become inflamed. But strong painful sensations thus are not observed. On average, the latency period lasts from 6 to 7 years, but it can be delayed by 20.
During the stage of secondary diseases, which is the fourth, there are concomitant infections of fungal, bacterial protozoal, viral origin, as well as malignant formations. All this occurs against a background of pronounced immunodeficiency.
Methods of diagnosing HIV infection
Speaking about the deep oppression of the protective mechanisms of the body due to the impact of the virus, it is worth noting that the future of the patient in this case directly depends on timely and accurate diagnosis.
To do this, modern medicine uses a variety of test systems, which are based on immunochemiluminescent, as well as enzyme immunoassay . These techniques allow to determine the presence of antibodies belonging to different classes. Such a result helps to significantly increase the informative value of methods of analytical, clinical specificity and sensitivity when dealing with infectious diseases.
It is also interesting that the polymerase chain reaction method made it possible to deduce the diagnosis of HIV to a fundamentally new level. The material for the study is suitable for a variety of biological materials: blood plasma, biopsy, scraping, whey, spinal or pleural fluid.
If we talk about methods of laboratory research, they are primarily focused on identifying several key diseases. We are talking about HIV infection, tuberculosis, all infections that are sexually transmitted, and viral hepatitis.
Molecular genetic and serological tests are also used to identify the immunodeficiency virus. In the first case, the RNA of the virus and the DNA of the provirus is determined, in the second case, the antibody is analyzed for HIV and the P24 antigen is detected.
In clinics that apply, so to speak, the classic methods of diagnosis, a predominantly standard serologic testing protocol is used.
Early diagnosis of HIV
This type of detection of the fact of infection is necessary in order to identify the threat of damage to the immune system as early as possible. This, first, avoids the spread of infection, and secondly, affect the disease in the initial stage.
If we consider the example of Russia, the army and the Russian fleet introduced a clinical classification of HIV infection. This gave its positive results: the process of early clinical diagnosis became much easier.
As common symptoms that indicate a possible defeat of the immune system, you can identify headache, night sweats and unmotivated fatigue. It is also possible to develop fever, accompanied by signs of tonsillitis. This means that the temperature rises to 38 degrees and above, and thus the palatine tonsils increase, and pain occurs during swallowing. All this is supplemented by rapid weight loss. However, these symptoms often have a complex character.
In some cases, HIV infection in the early stages can manifest itself in the form of various changes in the skin condition. These are stains, roseola, pustules, furunculosis, etc. Early HIV diagnosis Also includes work with symptoms such as generalized or limited increase in peripheral lymph nodes.
If there is simultaneous growth of several lymph nodes lasting for three months or more, and in different groups, with the exception of the inguinal region, then there is every reason to suspect the human immune system virus.
Speaking about the diagnosis in a later period, you need to pay attention to the manifestation of secondary immunodeficiency, which often occurs under the guise of different clinical symptoms. These are the following manifestations:
- Unmotivated generalized peripheral lymphadenopathy;
- Arthralgia of unexplained etiology, which has an undulating course;
- ARVI (ARI), inflammatory lesions of the lungs and airways, which make themselves felt quite often;
- Fever of unknown origin and long subfebrile condition;
- General intoxication, which manifests itself through unmotivated weakness, rapid fatigue, lethargy, etc.
HIV diagnosis at a later stage includes examination in a disease such as Kaposi's sarcoma, manifested by the appearance of multiple neoplasms often in the upper part of the body in young people with subsequent dynamic development and metastasis.
Polymerase chain reaction
Considering different methods of diagnosing HIV infection, this should be given special attention. Immediately it should be noted that this blood test can be aimed at quantitative and qualitative characteristics.
The following tasks can be defined as the goal of this method of virus detection:
- Conducting early diagnosis of HIV infection;
- Clarification in the presence of doubtful results as a result of immunoblotting research;
- Identification of a specific stage of the disease;
- Control of the effectiveness of treatment aimed at suppressing the virus.
If we talk about primary infection, it should be noted that this technique allows you to determine HIV RNA in the patient's blood after 14 days from the time of infection. This is a very good result. In this case, the result of the study itself will have a qualitative expression: either positive (the virus is present) or negative.
The quantitative expression of PCR
This type of polymerase chain reaction is used to determine the possible rate of development of AIDS and to make a prediction of the patient's life expectancy.
The quantitative determination of HIV RNA cells in the blood makes it possible to understand when the disease goes to the clinical stage.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that the methods of laboratory diagnosis of HIV give a more accurate result if the biomaterial required for analysis is correctly determined and its fence is made correctly.
In order to carry out quality monitoring of the infected, it is necessary (if possible) to use an integrated approach to the study of the patient's immune status. It is a question of quantitative and functional definition of all links of the defense system: cellular, humoral immunity and nonspecific resistance as such.
Increasingly, in modern laboratory conditions, a multi-stage method of assessing the state of the immune system is used. Such a technique often involves the definition of a subpopulation of immunoglobulins, lymphocytes in the blood. This means that the ratio of CD4 / CD8 cells is taken into account. If the result is less than 1.0, then there is reason to suspect immunodeficiency.
Laboratory diagnosis of HIV infection should include this test without fail, since this virus is characterized by selective damage to CD4-lymphocytes, which leads to a noticeable violation of the above-mentioned ratio (less than 1.0).
To assess the immunological status, physicians can conduct a test for the presence of "gross" or general defects in the system of the humoral and cellular link of immunity. It is a question of hypogammaglobulinemia or hypergammaglobulinemia in the terminal stage, as well as a decrease in the production of cytokines, an increase in the concentration of circulating immune complexes, a weakening of the response from lymphocytes to mitogens and antigens.
It is worth paying attention to the fact that laboratory diagnosis of HIV has two key stages:
- Screening laboratory. If a positive result was obtained in ELISA (enzyme immunoassay), then it is repeated two more times in the same system and without changing the serum. In the event that two out of three surveys led to the detection of the effect of the virus, the serum is sent for further investigation to the reference laboratory.
- The second stage, which includes methods of laboratory diagnosis of HIV infection, Is the definition of the state of the immune system. It is carried out in the above-mentioned reference laboratory. Here, the positive serum is again examined in ELISA, but already using another test system that is different from the previous composition of antigens, antibodies or the format of the tests themselves. In determining the negative result, a second test is carried out in the third test system. If the impact of the virus in the end was not found, then the absence of HIV infection is recorded. But with a positive result, the serum is examined in a linear or immune blot.
Ultimately, such an algorithm leads to positive, neutral or negative results.
Every citizen should be aware that HIV diagnosis is available to him. AIDS can be identified in the institutions of a private, municipal or state health system.
Naturally, the identification of the virus would be of little use in the absence of different methods of influencing the infection. And although at the moment there is no vaccine that could completely neutralize the virus, competent diagnosis, treatment for HIV and subsequent prevention can significantly improve the patient's condition, thereby prolonging his life. This thesis confirms the fact that the average life expectancy of men who started timely HIV treatment is 38 years. Women who started fighting the immunodeficiency virus live an average of 41 years.
After the diagnosis was carried out, the treatment of HIV is reduced to the application of several methods. As one of the most common, it is possible to determine active antiretroviral therapy, it is also HAART. If this method of treatment is timely and correctly applied, then it is possible to significantly slow down the development of AIDS or completely stop it.
The essence of HAART is that several pharmaceuticals are simultaneously used, the purpose of which is to influence various mechanisms of the development of the immunodeficiency virus.
After different methods of diagnosing HIV have determined the fact of infection, medicines that have the following effects can be used:
- Immunological. The immune system is stabilized, the level of T-lymphocytes rises, and also the defense against various infections is restored.
- Clinical. It prevents the development of AIDS and any of its manifestations, prolongs the life of patients with preservation of all body functions.
- Virological. There is a blockage of the multiplication of the virus, thereby reducing the viral load and subsequently fixed at a low level.
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of such measures of influence on the disease, as diagnosis, treatment, prevention of HIV infection. Therefore, the best thing that can be done after a positive result of the study for infection is to start fighting the disease right away. As another method that will help to do this, you can identify virological treatment.
In this case, we are talking about the use of drugs that do not allow the virus to attach to the T-lymphocyte and enter the body. Such preparations are called penetration inhibitors. As a specific example, you can cite "Celzentri".
Viral protease inhibitors can be used to suppress HIV. The purpose of this group of drugs is to prevent the infection of new lymphocytes. These are such drugs as "Viracept", "Reataz", "Kaletra", etc.
The third group of topical drugs are reverse transcriptase inhibitors. They are needed to block an enzyme that allows the virus RNA to multiply in the nucleus of a lymphocyte. Such methods can significantly affect the problem, such as HIV infection. Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of AIDS is a matter for qualified doctors, so the algorithm for using drugs must be made by them.
If necessary, immunological and clinical effects may also be used.
The World Health Organization proposes the following methods of combating HIV infection:
- Prevention of sexual transmission. This is protected sex, the distribution of condoms, treatment of STDs and training programs.
- For pregnant women who have been diagnosed with HIV, diagnosis, prophylaxis using appropriate chemicals, as well as professional counseling and treatment.
- Organization of prevention through blood products. In this case, we are talking about antivirus processing and verification of donors.
- Social and medical care for patients and their families.
In order to prevent HIV-infection from detecting the presence of a virus, one should follow simple safety rules:
- If the blood of an infected person has got on the skin, it should be washed off immediately with soap and water, then treat the place of contact with alcohol;
- If the damage was obtained with an item with virus elements, then the wound should be squeezed, squeezed blood, treated with hydrogen peroxide, and the edges prizhech iodine;
- Never use syringes whose sterility was impaired;
- At sexual contacts to use a condom, and it is better to check the partner for infection first.
Due to the fact that HIV diagnostics do not stand still, thousands of people get the chance to start treatment on time and significantly increase life expectancy. The main thing is not to ignore the obvious symptoms and not be afraid to go to the doctor.