HIV specialist and information on infection and AIDSThe Immunodeficiency disease AIDS (acquired immuno deficiency syndrome) is the disease caused most dangerous sexually transmitted disease (STD: sexually transmitted disease) of all, since it is still incurable and leads to death even about 25 years after its first occurrence. AIDS is caused by the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which occurs in highly concentrated form especially in the bodily fluids (blood, semen, vaginal secretions) of an infected person and is transmitted in most cases through unprotected sexual intercourse, more rarely also through non-sterile injection or tattoo needles. HIV infection gradually damages the infected person's immune system and, in the late stages, eventually progresses to the fatal disease AIDS via.
HIV infection and AIDS cases in Germany
1.224 cases in 2019
1.247 cases in 2022 ( Forecast )
The projected growth in the number of cases is based on data on population trends from the Federal Statistical& State offices. The calculation is made per age group, so that demographic effects are taken into account. The case numbers are based on a network of different publicly accessible sources. Data analysis methods are used to process these figures. Made available to our users. Since the first cases of AIDS appeared in the early 1980s, the immunodeficiency disease AIDS. Causing HIV infection to evolve into a global pandemic. According to estimates by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), there are 25 million people have died of AIDS so far; around 33.4 million people are currently infected with HIV worldwide. In 2008, about two million people died of AIDS; another 2.7 million became newly infected with HIV. In Germany are about 67.000 people of a HIV infection affected; at 11.300 of them had already contracted the AIDS disease in 2009.
Causes of HIV infection and AIDS
The immunodeficiency disease AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and is the most common form of the disease late stage of HIV infection dar. Infection with HIV occurs through direct contact with the body fluids of an already HIV-infected person, such as blood, semen, vaginal or anal secretions, as the concentration of HI viruses is particularly high here. Various transmission routes are possible, with sexual contact being by far the most common cause of infection in Germany. For example 90 percent of HIV infections can be attributed to unprotected sexual intercourse with a person infected with HIV.
In about 8 percent of cases, transmission of HIV infection occurs through the sharing of Injection needles and syringes – if, for example, a drug addict injects drugs into a vein with a contaminated injection needle previously used by an HIV-infected person.
It is also possible to transmit HIV from an HIV-infected pregnant woman to her unborn child. However, since preventive measures are usually taken here to prevent infection of the child, less than 1 percent of HIV infections are meanwhile caused by a mother-to-child transmission caused during childbirth.
Other possible, but in the meantime rather rare, ways of transmission of an HIV infection are Transfusions of HIV-infected blood, organ transplantation or, in the case of members of medical professions, non-disinfected medical equipment or pricks with an infected needle.
symptoms and stages of HIV infection
The disease stages of an HIV-infection resp. AIDS disease are classified according to the 1993 Center for Disease Control and Prevention classification into divided into three stages: Stage A describes the acute symptomatic initial infection with HIV as well as the subsequent symptom-free latency phase. In stage B of the HIV infection, the first (non-AIDS-specific) signs of an impaired immune system appear. Finally, stage C describes the outbreak of AIDS.
HIV infection: stage A
In stage A of HIV infection, half of those affected develop acute HIV disease a few days to weeks after initial infection with the HIV virus. This so-called acute symptomatic HIV infection manifests itself through flu-like symptoms as
– fever, – headache and sore throat, – fatigue, – loss of appetite, – swollen lymph nodes, and – skin rashes that subside after a few days to weeks.
This is followed by symptom-free latency phase – also called asymptomatic HIV infection – which can last from several years to decades, but on average ten years persists. Nevertheless, the HI viruses continue to multiply during this time and damage or destroy the immune system. increasingly destroy certain cells of the immune defense.
HIV infection: stage B
In stage B of HIV infection, there is an increase in symptoms that are a consequence of the already strongly attacked immune system are. Because the body can no longer adequately fight bacteria, viruses and fungi, HIV patients are more susceptible to infections and diseases that can also occur in non-HIV-infected people. This includes among other things
– fungal infections in the mouth, throat or genital area, – herpes infections, – repeated episodes of fever, – shingles, as well as – bacterial infections of blood vessels.
Other symptoms that can occur in this stage of HIV infection are
– chronic diarrhea, – nerve diseases of the arms and legs, and – persistent swelling of the lymph nodes.
HIV infection: stage C and AIDS
In stage C of the HIV infection, the body's immune defense finally collapses completely, resulting in onset of the AIDS disease. At this stage of HIV infection, the body can no longer defend itself against bacteria, viruses and fungi, which can lead to severe – so-called – symptoms and stages of HIV infection opportunistic – infections, diseases and symptoms which are typical of AIDS. These include
– severe weight loss, – prolonged diarrhea, – fungal infections, – herpes infections, – pneumonia, – viral infections of various organs, – chronic intestinal infections, and – malignant lymphomas and tumors.
Many of these infections would usually be harmless in healthy people, but are life-threatening for people with AIDS.
Diagnosis of HIV infection
The diagnosis of an HIV infection is made on the basis of a Blood examination, in which the blood is tested for antibodies against the HI virus. If antibodies against HIV are detectable in the blood, it can be amed that the HI viruses themselves are also present in the body. The affected person is therefore HIV-positive.
Since it can take six to twelve weeks until the body has formed antibodies against HIV, such an HIV test is Only three months after the supposed HIV infection really meaningful. If the tested blood shows no antibodies against HIV after three to six months, an HIV infection can usually be excluded with certainty.
Therapy of an HIV infection
The treatment of HIV infection is primarily aimed at inhibiting the multiplication and growth of the HI viruses and thus delaying the transition to stage C, i.e. the actual AIDS disease, as long as possible. The therapy is therefore primarily directed against the HI virus itself. However, if AIDS has already broken out with the typical concomitant diseases, these must also be treated.
As a therapy against HIV infection, nowadays the so-called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) is used, which is usually done by the combined administration of three different drugs. The main drugs available to treat HIV are entry inhibitors, reverse transcriptase inhibitors, integrase inhibitors and protease inhibitors, which inhibit the growth and multiplication of the HI virus in various phases of its life.
Prognosis and prospects of cure for HIV infection and AIDS
Since the first occurrence of HIV infections and AIDS cases in the 1980s, numerous new drugs have been developed, and the prognosis for HIV infection has improved considerably. For example, antiretroviral therapy (HAART) can be used to delay the significantly delay the onset of AIDS, the life expectancy and quality of life of HIV-infected people is significantly increased and the susceptibility to opportunistic infections is greatly reduced. HIV infection can be cured or. AIDS at the present time, however, do not. Therefore, it is still very important to prevent HIV infection by using a condom during sexual intercourse.