Coronavirus (COVID-19) and HIV/AIDS Facts.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new contagious viral infection caused by SARS COV-2. Due to its spreading nature, it is now a pandemic disease as per the WHO.
Primarily, it is associated with the common cold, pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and affects the throat/gut.
Basically, there are various types of the coronavirus like SARS virus (2002 outbreak), MERS virus (2012 outbreak) and many more.
However, this COVID-19 spreads from person to person and kills faster than HIV/AIDS. For those who say it is airborne should redo their research because according to WHO, it is NOT.
Therefore, when you contract the coronavirus, either through a cough or sneeze from an infected person, that is a direct transmission.
In addition, you can infect yourself by touching contaminated surfaces.
Droplets containing coronavirus may land on your face, nostrils, mouth or hands and get to your immune system by attaching themselves (covid-19) on a nearby cell hence they penetrate and harm the living cells.
Thereafter, the COVID-19 starts to reproduce a little weird than the HIV virus.
Signs and Symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting (in some cases)
- Diarrhoea (in some cases)
In advanced cases, the patient can have very serious complications that may lead to death. They include severe pneumonia and renal (kidney) failure.
You have probably heard healthcare providers, police and the media urging everyone to keep social distance, right?
As a matter of fact, when such an infectious sneeze or cough occurs, about 3000 droplets containing the coronavirus are sprayed or rather released. Therefore, a close range of 1 metre will directly cause an infection.
Obviously, if you are a smoker you are at a high risk damaging your lungs and other parts of your body. Nevertheless, it may increase your risk of getting severe coronavirus (covid-19).
In the case of HIV/AIDS meanwhile, we do not allow social distance. Socializing is highly recommended to avoid stigma!
You cannot get HIV through a sneeze or cough unless it is, for example, TB (tuberculosis).
Unfortunately, if you have an existing condition or you are old enough say 70 years old, you may develop COVID-19 symptoms after infection.
The incubation period is shorter than that of HIV/AIDS. It is about 14 days after being infected with the COVID-19.
Cases of developing pneumonia as a result of coronavirus are everywhere because the lungs are the most vulnerable organs.
Luckily, researches are going on day and night to find a vaccine and well, others are actually looking for a cure! It is in our hopes that they succeed.
We all need to go back to our normal lives, isn’t it?
Meanwhile, stay at home, avoid gatherings/keep social distance at least 2 metres, wash your hands with soap for about 30 seconds and don’t touch your face.
More so, remember to put on a mask and sanitize as appropriate.
How About HIV?
HIV is a Human Immunodeficiency virus that attacks the white blood cells.
AIDS is an abbreviation for Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome whereby, acquired means not gone with the disease unlike most immuno deficiency diseases (except for mother-to-child transmission).
Immuno comes from immunity which is the ability to resist infections.
Therefore, immunodeficiency means AIDS is characterized by a weakened or ineffective immune system with no resistance to infections.
Syndrome on the other hand, is a combination of several signs and symptoms which occur together.
Moreover, HIV is specific to human unlike the COVID-19 that is mostly said that bats harbour it.
In addition, the HIV attacks your T-cells from your immune system which fight infections in your body. These T-cells give us the ability to fight common bacteria, viruses and fungal infections.
So, when one gets HIV, the body’s ability to fight or resist infections becomes impaired or compromised.
What is CD4 T-cells?
They are a cluster of differentiation cells found within the T-lymphocytes.
In layman’s language, they are your body’s soldiers or rather strength. PLWHA (People Living With HIV/AIDS) should have their CD4 T-cells monitored even though nowadays, we focus on viral load which is still fine.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION
Generally, a number of ways involve in transmission of HIV.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of HIV?
- Severe flu like illness
- Diarrhoeal illness
- Swollen lymph glands
Since this looks like many of the viral infections, people often avoid going to the doctor and get a HIV test. Instead, they treat themselves with some home remedies and get through this symptomatic stage.
Unlike the COVID-19 crisis, which is still new and efforts are being put in place in combating it, HIV/AIDS has made some progress e.g. Antiretroviral therapy.
However, when you do not get tested, the HIV virus slowly replicates in your body.
For the virus to cause infection, it has to stay for 2 – 10 years in your body while disintegrating your immune system unlike the coronavirus (COVID-19) as mentioned before.
This stage normally has no signs or symptoms and we therefore call it asymptomatic stage.
Now, let us focus on the most common way of HIV transmission which is:
- Man to woman,
- Man to man (Male homosexual, Gay men who have sex with men i.e MSM).
- Women to women (Female homosexual, lesbianism, women who have sex with women i.e WSW)