How to Prevent HIV or AIDS?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome):

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body’s natural defense system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease. Both the virus and the infection it causes are called HIV. White blood cells are an important part of the immune system.

Fig: HIV or AIDS

Standard Precaution or Preventive Measures of HIV/AIDS:

1. Education:

a) Modification of sexual behavior.

  • Avoidance of indiscriminate sex,
  • Use of condom,
  • Regular venerological screening for high risk grupes, eg. Prostitutes.

b) Avoidance of shared razors and tooth brushes.

c) Avoidance the sharing of needles and syringes of intravenous drug users.

d) Women suffering from AIDS or who are at high risk of infection. Should avoid becoming pregnant through the use of contraceptives.

e) All mass media channels should be involved in educating the people on AIDS, its nature, transmission and prevention.

2. Prevention of blood born HIV transmission:

a) Exclude the high risk donors from donating blood, body organs, sperm and other tissue.

b) All blood should be screened for HIV – 1 and HIV-2 before transfusion.

c) Strict sterilization practices should be ensured in hospitals and clinics.

d) Disposal syringes and needles should be used.

e) One should avoid injections unless they are absolutely necessary.

Diagnosis of AIDS in Clinical Laboratory:

1. Clinical features:

Major signs:

  • Weight loss 10% of body weight,
  • Chronic diarrhea > 1 month,
  • Prolonged fever > 1 month (intermittent or constant).

Minor signs:

  • Persistent cough for> 1 month,
  • Generalized pruritic dermatitis,
  • History of herpes zoster,
  • Oro-pharyngeal candidacies,
  • Chronic progressive or disseminated herpes simplex infection,
  • Generalized lymphadenopathy,
  • Sore throat,
  • Lethargy.

2. Laboratory diagnosis of AIDS:

Detection of HIV antibody:

  • Screening test,
  • ELISA,
  • Particle agglutination tests,
  • Confirmatory tests,
  • Western blot (WB) most commonly used.

Detection of HIV antibody in new born: PCR (Polymerase chain reaction)

Detection of HIV antigen and nucleic acid: P24, Viral load,

HIV culture

Non-specific tests:

  • Lymphopenia,
  • Reversal of T4: T8 ratio,
  • Cutaneous energy,
  • Functional abnormalities of macrophage, B cells.

Who are the People at Risks of Having AIDS / HIV?

Risk Groups of HIV:

Age: Mostly 20 – 50 years, Children under 15 years (less than 3%).


  • Homosexual,
  • Bisexual,
  • And heterosexual all can be affected. Certain sex practices are at risk, such as multiple sex partners, anal intercourse and male homosexuality.
  • Females are more vulnerable than male due to anatomical structure.

High risk group:

  • Male homosexual and bisexuals,
  • Prostitutes,
  • Intravenous drug users,
  • Transfusion recipients of blood and blood products,
  • Hemophiliacs and clients of STD.

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