Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By destroying your immune system, HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight infection and disease. HIV is a sexually transmitted infection (STI). It can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding.
Within a few weeks or months of HIV infection, flu-like symptoms such as fever, sore throat and fatigue can occur. AIDS symptoms include fever or night sweats, weight loss, fatigue and recurrent infections.
What are the stages of HIV?
When patients don’t get treatment of HIV, they typically progress through three stages.
Stage 1: Acute HIV Infection
- People are very contagious they have a large amount of HIV in their blood.
- Patient may have flu-like symptoms. This is the body’s natural response to infection.
- But some patients may not feel sick.
- If patient have flu-like symptoms and think he/she may have been exposed to HIV, ask for a test to diagnose acute infection.
- Only antigen/antibody tests or nucleic acid tests (NATs) can diagnose acute infection.
Stage 2: Chronic HIV Infection
- This stage is also known as asymptomatic HIV infection or clinical latency.
- HIV is still active but active at very low levels.
- People may not have any symptoms or get sick during this phase.
- Without taking medicine, this time duration may last a decade or longer, but some may progress faster.
- People can transmit HIV in this phase.
- At the end of this phase, the amount of HIV in the blood goes up and the CD4 cell count goes down. The person may have symptoms as the virus levels increase in the body, and the person moves into Stage 3.
- Patients who didn’t get the treatment goes to Stage 3.
Stage 3: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- The most severe phase of HIV infection.
- People with AIDS have so much badly damaged immune systems that they get a numerous severe illnesses, called opportunistic infections.
- There CD4 cell count drops below 200 cells/mm, or if they develop certain opportunistic infections.
- People with AIDS are very infectious as they have a high viral load.
- Without treatment, people with AIDS are not able to survive more than three years.
Early symptoms of HIV
In the first few weeks after someone comes in contacts HIV. During this time, the virus reproduces rapidly. The person’s immune system start producing HIV antibodies. These are proteins that fight infection.
In this stage, some people have no symptoms at all. However, most of the people experience symptoms in the one or two months after having contact with the virus, but often don’t realize they’re caused by HIV. This is because symptoms of the acute stage can be very similar to those of the flu or other seasonal viruses. They may be mild to severe, they may come and go, and they may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks.
Early symptoms of HIV can include:
- swollen lymph nodes
- general aches and pains
- skin rash
- sore throat
- upset stomach
Because these symptoms are very much similar to common illnesses like the flu, the person with them might not think they need to see a doctor. And even if they do, their doctor might suspect the flu or mononucleosis and might not even consider HIV.
Whether a person has symptoms or not, during this duration their viral load is very high. The viral load is the amount of Human immunodeficiency virus found in the bloodstream. A high viral load means that HIV can be easily transmitted to someone else during this time.
Initial HIV symptoms usually resolve within a few months as the person enters the chronic, or clinical latency, stage of HIV. This stage can last many years or even decades with treatment. HIV symptoms varies from person to person.
What are the prominent symptoms?
After the first month or so, HIV enters the clinical latent stage. This stage can last from a few years to a few decades. Some people don’t have any symptoms during this time, while others may have minimal or nonspecific symptoms. A nonspecific symptom is a symptom that doesn’t pertain to one specific disease or condition.
These nonspecific symptoms may include:
- headaches and other aches and pains
- swollen lymph nodes
- recurrent fevers
- night sweats
- weight loss
- skin rashes
- recurrent oral or vaginal yeast infections
In this stage, HIV is still infectious even without symptoms and can be transmitted to another person. However, a person won’t know they have HIV unless they get tested. If someone has these symptoms and thinks they may have been exposed to HIV, it’s important that they get tested.
HIV symptoms at this stage may come and go, or they may progress rapidly. This progression can be slowed substantially with treatment. With the consistent use of this antiretroviral therapy, chronic HIV can last for decades and will likely not develop into AIDS, if treatment was started early enough.
Ayurvedic view in AIDS
In Ayurveda, the immune system (vyadhishmatva) is denoted by the term bala and ojas. Here the term bala does not stand for only bodily strength. It can be denoted by the terms stamina or vitality. It is the net result of healthy life in and healthy mind, when all the systems of the body work efficiently and the tissues of the body are pure and properly nourished. Faulty diet, negative thought such as anger, fear, worry, hatred and excessive improper and immoral sexual indulgence reduce bala.
Bala (immunity) is of three kinds, that which is inherent, that which is dependent of on age (in childhood it is less, in old age it is diminished), climate and other conditions and that which is created with particular type of food and medicine etc.
One of the eight “limbs” of Ayurveda is rasayana. It is intended for rejuvenating the system and improving bala (immunity). It is said in the texts that health is sustained by bala (immunity) and it is bala (immunity) which cures diseases. Medicines only assist its functions.
Bala is also said to be the result of proper digestion and absorption of food and Proper metabolism.
The digestive and assimilative capacity of the system is maintained by proper exercise.
Any impairment in the normal functioning of body, either it is impairment of digestion, absorption which leads to formation of aama(poison) or contact to any unwanted host(virus) to decrease in physical activities. These all leads to deterioration of ojas or bala.
Deterioration of ojas and bala of the body makes it a host of body.
Many of the drugs used as medicine in Ayurveda are known to have antibacterial activity, so with proper treatment, though not particularly directed against any specific organisms, they are destroyed and eliminated, making the system inimical for their existence. Medicine and regimen can be prescribed as prophylactic also. There are herbs with rejuvenating properties that can be used as items of daily diet.
To provide relief from such symptoms, Chandigarh Ayurved Centre had made a kit named “AIDS Care Kit” that composed a total of 7 products – Detox premium powder, Ashwagandha tablet, Giloy capsule, Kutajghan vati, Dhatupaushtik churna, Reactive powder, and Swarna guggulu. The medicines are purely herbal causing no side effects and complications to a person. A complete course of kit makes a person internally strong and also enhances immunity that fights against various secondary infections.
ALL PRODUCTS DESCRIPTION IN DETAIL:
1. Detox Premium Powder –
The powder consist a mixture of various natural herbs that help in overall detoxification of the body and normalize the function of all the system. Detox powder is made up of shankh bhasma, akik pishti, kamdudha rasa, giloy satv, gandhak rasayan, etc. that enhances the immunity and eliminates the toxins from the body.
Recommended Dosage – Take 1 sachet twice daily with normal water.
2. Ashwagandha Tablet –
Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb that have multiple benefits. It shows effect deeply and provide nourishment to deep situated dhatus (muscles). The tablet increases muscle mass and provide strength to the whole body. Further, it shows anti-cancerous properties that prevent further spreading of infections.
Recommended Dosage – Take 1 tablet twice daily with normal water.
3. Giloy Capsule –
Giloy capsule is made up of the extract of herb giloy that shows anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, analgesic properties, etc. It improves digestion, prevents weight loss, build up natural immunity, and other associated symptoms of AIDS. Regular intake of giloy helps in reducing stress, depression, etc. and keeps the mind calm.
Recommended Dosage – Take 1 capsule twice daily with normal water.
4. Kutazghan Vati –
Kutazghan vati are classical herbal tablets that are beneficial in patients dealing with the problem of diarrhea if associated with the AIDS patient. This herbal tablet improves the health of an individual.
Recommended Dosage – Take 1 tablet twice daily with normal water.
5. Dhatupaushtik Churna –
Dhatupaushtik churna is prepared from herbal ingredients like Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Gokhru (Tribulus terrestris), etc. This herbal churna provides effective result in weight loss, general weakness, & builds up natural immunity.
Recommended Dosage – Take 1 teaspoonful twice daily with normal water.
6. Reactive Powder –
Reactive powder is a herbal formula containing ingredients like Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Shilajeet (Asphaltum punjabianum), etc. The regular use of this herbal powder improves the immunity, provides strength to the body, & give effective results in AIDS.
Recommended Dosage – Take 1 teaspoonful twice daily with milk.
7. Swarna Guggulu –
Swarna guggulu is pure ayurvedic formulation containing ingredients such as swarna bhasma, kumkuma, & ashwagandha. The use of these tablets provide effective result to AIDS patients. These tablets show rejuvenating properties.
Recommended Dosage – Take 1 to 2 tablets twice daily with milk.