Disease Information for Immune deficiency , acquired (AIDS/HIV): Definition

  • Immune deficiency state with relentless loss of T4 immune cells caused by the HIV agent;an RNA virus with tribal subtypes;all tissues are involved especially nerve,lymph tissue and immune cells; complications are myriad with unusual opportunistic infections such as pneumocystis, MAC, and all fungi and unusual tumors;chronic disease treated with newer (expensive) anti-viral agents;it can be arrested but not cured;long latency after blood product,iv drug use or sexual transmission (homosexual OR heterosexual);often transmitted by mother to offspring;----------------------------------------------NORD 2005---------(Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

    Disorder Subdivisions include: AIDS Prodrome; AIDS related complex; AIDS-Related Complex (ARC); ARC; Mini-AIDS;

    Wasting/Lymph Node Syndrome; AIDS is an infectious disorder that suppresses the normal function of the immune system; It is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which destroys the body"s ability to fight infections; Specific cells of the immune system that are responsible for the proper response to infections (T cells) are destroyed by this virus; Characteristically a person infected with HIV initially experiences no symptoms for a variable period of time; This may be followed by the development of persistent generalized swelling of the lymph nodes (AIDS-related lymphadenopathy); Eventually most patients infected with HIV experience a syndrome of symptoms that includes excessive fatigue, weight loss, and/or skin rashes;

    The later stages of HIV infection are characterized by the progressive depression of T cells and repeated infections that can even occur during a course of antibiotic therapy for another infection (superinfections); People with AIDS are particularly vulnerable to "opportunistic infections" from bacteria that other people normally fight off; Pneumocystis carinii, which causes severe inflammation of the lungs (pneumonia), is a common infection that effects people with AIDS; Cancers (malignant neoplasms), and a wide variety of neurological abnormalities, most notably the AIDS dementia complex, may also occur; These neurological symptoms when of HIV infects the nervous system---------[NORD 2005]----------