Natural Solutions in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch

Learn about the causes of HIV & find a practitioner in Auckland, Hamilton, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin to help you overcome HIV within New Zealand.

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a retrovirus infection caused by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk or pre-ejaculatory fluid. HIV can lead to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) whereby the immune system begins to fail leaving the body open to life-threatening infections


Causes of HIV HIV | The Wellness Directory

The origins of HIV remain unclear but the Simeon Immunodeficiency Virus (SIVcpz), which is a form of HIV, is found in chimpanzees in Africa. The spread of the virus to humans is thought to have occurred due to human contact with the blood of infected chimpanzees.

For many years, the HIV virus was believed to have been limited to parts of Africa. As transportation and communications between Africa and other parts of the world opened, the virus spread to other continents.

The HIV virus spreads by the transfer of bodily fluids typically through sexual intercourse. Other ways for the virus to spread are through sharing needles when injecting illegal drugs or the virus spreading from an infected mother to her unborn child.

Blood transfusions in the UK have been screened since 1985 and since then no-one has been infected with HIV via this means. However, the same cannot be said for developing countries or in other parts of the world where screening policies are not as rigorous.

Once in the body, the HIV virus breaks down the immune system until it is not able to function properly. This leaves someone with HIV susceptible to serious infections or diseases such as cancer.


Symptoms of HIV

The associated symptoms of first stage HIV usually appear after 2-6 weeks after infection although research shows that this only occurs in 60% of people. During this initial stage (known as primary HIV infection) symptoms can include:

  • Sore throat
  • Joint pain
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen glands (lymph nodes)
  • Chest rash (blotchy in appearance)

These symptoms can be mild and mistaken for a cold or glandular fever. After the symptoms have passed, further complications may not appear for a number of years however the virus continues to spread and cause damage to the immune system.

Late-stage HIV can take up to 10 years at which point the virus will have caused critical damage to the immune system leaving someone at a high risk of serious or fatal infections. An infection caused by immunity damage may cause symptoms such as:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sweating (usually at night)
  • Weight loss which can't be explained
  • Blurred vision
  • Spots on the tongue or in the mouth (white in colour)
  • Cough
  • Breathlessness
  • Fever
  • Persistent swollen glands

Diagnosis of HIV

Symptoms of HIV are similar to other conditions and can be easily mistaken as such. High risk groups for HIV are encouraged to have a test as diagnosing the virus early increases the chances of successful treatment.

High risk groups include:

  • Those who have caught another STI (sexually transmitted infection)
  • People who inject illegal drugs
  • People who have had sex with those who inject illegal drugs
  • Those who have lived or travelled in sub-Saharan Africa or had sex with someone who has
  • Those who have had a blood transfusion in Africa, Asia, South America, Eastern Europe or the former Soviet Union
  • Gay men who have unprotected sex

An HIV test involves taking blood and looking for the presence of the virus. Detection of the virus only occurs after three months have passed from infection and therefore another test is recommended three months after the first HIV test.


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