Relationship Between HIV, AIDS and STIs

HIV/AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
Acquired means “to get from” this means that AIDS is gotten from other people,
“Immune” means “protect”, this means that the body is normally protected
against many diseases. Deficiency means “lack: and syndrome means a
group of different symptoms of diseases.
AIDS is the pandemic disease, which is caused by a certain type of organism
called virus. These types of viruses are called Human Immunodeficiency
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus destroys the Immune system, destruction of
the immune system makes it easy for the body to be attacked by other
It takes a long time for HIV to damage the immune system. It takes years
before the body’s immune system is destroyed. That is why some people
may have HIV in their bodies but not look or feel sick yet. We call
these people HIV carriers because they carry the virus in their bodies.
When HIV carriers finally begin to show the sign and symptoms of AIDS
then we say they have AIDS.
STDS and STIs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Sexually Transmitted Infections)
STDs and STIs are diseases and infections, which are transmitted through
sexual intercourse. Examples of diseases and infections are: gonorrhea,
syphilis, trichomoniasis, candidiasis, chlamadia, genital herpes and
hepatitis B.
The Relationship between HIV and STIs
The link between HIV and other STIs might seem obvious. After all, the same
sorts of risk behaviour are involved. However, numerous studies seem to indicate that there is a stronger association between HIV and otherSTIs than would be expected simply from a behavioural link. Infection with STIs (including syphilis, gonorrhoea and herpes) seems to increase the risk of both acquiring and transmitting HIV over and above a behavioural link. So does bacterial vaginosis, a condition not formally classed as an STI, since it appears not to be transmitted, but which is associated with poor sexual health generally.

Depending on the STI involved and the population, studies have reported that having an STI magnifies the risk of acquiring HIV by anything from two to eight times or more. In the case of people with HIV, having an STI increases viral loads both in the blood and genital secretions, thus making people more infectious – even when taking antiretroviraltreatment.

Transmission of HIV/AIDS
HIV can be transmitted by:
  1. Sexual intercourse with infected person
  2. Blood Transfusion from an infected person
  3. Organ transplant from an infected donor
  4. An infected mother to her child during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding
  5. Using unsterilized surgical instrument e.g. scalpel, needles etc
  6. Sharing toothbrushes, sharing blades, nail cutter with infected person
Symptoms and Signs of HIV/AIDS
The following are symptoms of HIV/AIDS
  1. Loss of weight
  2. Persistent fever that lasts longer than a month
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Coughing for more that a month
  5. Itchy rashes on the skin
  6. White layer in the mouth and throat
  7. Swollen gland especially in the neck and armpit
  8. Genital rashes
  9. Shortened breath
Effects of HIV/AIDS
People with AIDS get opportunistic infections and diseases, example of these infections and diseases are:
  1. Chest infection such as pneumonia and Tuberculosis (TB)
  2. Brain infection leading to mental confusion
  3. Sever headaches and fits (seizures)
  4. Stomach infection leading to diarrhea lasts for weeks
  5. Skin cancer known as carposis sarcoma


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