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Dr Khoo Su King, Primary Care Doctor

1 December, 2023

Understanding AIDS, HIV, and Effective Prevention Strategies

The early 1980s marked the emergence of a mysterious disease that would later become a global health crisis. In December 1982, Françoise Barré-Sinoussi, a young researcher, was working in the laboratory of Jean-Claude Chermann, part of Luc Montagnier’s Viral Oncology Unit. They received a request from clinicians and virologists at Bichat Hospital in Paris to isolate an unknown retrovirus, suspected to be related to the Human T-Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV). In January 1983, the laboratory received its first lymph node sample from a patient in the pre-AIDS phase. Within just two weeks, they identified a new human retrovirus, initially named Lymphadenopathy-Associated Virus (LAV). On May 20, 1983, their groundbreaking work on this retrovirus was published in the journal Science, eventually being renamed Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in 1986.

AIDS

Origins of HIV

HIV infection in humans has its roots in a type of chimpanzee found in Central Africa. Research suggests that HIV may have crossed over from chimpanzees to humans as far back as the late 1800s. This transmission likely occurred when humans hunted chimpanzees for meat and came into contact with their infected blood. 

AIDS

Understanding HIV and AIDS

HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a formidable infection that specifically targets the body’s immune system. It primarily attacks white blood cells, particularly CD4 cells, a type of T-cell, leading to the weakening of the immune system. This weakened immunity makes the body more susceptible to various diseases, such as tuberculosis, fungal infections, viral infections, and certain types of cancer.

AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is the most advanced stage of HIV infection, reached when the immune system has been significantly compromised. HIV infection progresses to AIDS when the CD4 cell count drops below a certain level, and the person begins to experience severe health problems.

thyroid function

Modes of HIV Transmission

HIV is primarily transmitted through various bodily fluids, including blood, breast milk, semen, and vaginal fluids. It is important to note that HIV is not spread through casual contact, such as kisses, hugs, or sharing food. It can, however, be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

AIDS

Symptoms of HIV Infection

Most individuals infected with HIV experience a short, flu-like illness within 2 to 6 weeks after infection. After this initial phase, HIV may remain asymptomatic for several years. It is estimated that up to 80% of HIV-infected individuals experience this initial flu-like illness. Common symptoms during this phase include fever, sore throat, body rash, and swollen glands or lymph nodes.

AIDS

Prevention Strategies

Preventing HIV infection is of utmost importance, and several measures can significantly reduce the risk of transmission. Practicing safe sex, particularly by using condoms, is essential, especially with unknown or unfamiliar partners. Additionally, avoiding the sharing of instruments or objects that may encounter contaminated blood, such as needles, razors, or toothbrushes, is crucial in preventing transmission.

HIV

Prevention and Treatment

Effective prevention and treatment strategies are crucial in the battle against HIV. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has proven to be a highly effective treatment for HIV. ART can significantly slow the progression of the virus and allow individuals with HIV to live longer, healthier lives. Timely diagnosis through a blood test is essential, as it enables early intervention with ART.

Despite significant advances in the treatment of HIV, a cure remains elusive. Antiretroviral therapy has extended the life expectancy of HIV-positive individuals, but the ultimate goal is to reduce the transmission of the virus. It is essential to continue research and public health efforts to combat HIV and AIDS effectively. With ongoing dedication and progress, there is hope that a cure for HIV can be found in the not-too-distant future.

Comprehensive STD Profile Male

RM850.00

  • Athritis Screening – Rheumatoid Factor
  • Blood Grouping – ABO
  • Coronary Risk Screening – hs-CRP
  • Diabetes Screening – Fasting Glucose
  • Diabetes Screening – HbA1c
  • Full Blood Exam
  • Gastritis Screening – H.pylori
  • Hepatitis A Antibody
  • Hepatitis B Antibody & Antigen
  • Hepatitis C Antibody
  • Kidney Function Test
  • Lipid Profile
  • Liver Function Test
  • Syphilis Screening – RPR
  • Thyroid Screening – Free T3 & Free T4
  • Colon Cancer – CEA
  • Liver Cancer – AFP
  • Nose Cancer – EBV VCA IgA
  • Pancreas/Stomach Cancer – CA 19-9
  • Prostate Cancer – PSA
  • Urine Full Exam & Urine Microscopy
  • Urine Microalbumin
  • Body Composition Analysis
  • Chlamydia* – PCR
  • Doctor Consultation
  • Genital Herpes – Herpes Simplex Type 1 & 2 IgG
  • Gonorrhea* – Gonococcal PCR
  • HIV I & II Antibody
  • Treponema pallidum haemmaglutination – TPHA
  • Please wear clothing that allows easy access to the upper arm for blood-taking.
  • Fasting is required for a minimum of 6 hours before the check-up; however, during this fasting period, you are allowed to drink plain water. This requirement is specifically applicable to blood tests for lipid profile & fasting glucose, as well as abdominal ultrasound.
  • If you are taking hypertension medicine, please continue to do so before your visit.
  • If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, kindly bring along your test results or reports for the doctor’s review and assistance in diagnosis.
  • The health screening process will take approximately Half Day (4-6 hours), depending on the specific tests you are undergoing.
  • “Selective Health Screening Packages” purchased online can be redeemed within 3 months from the date of purchase. Buy now and use it later.
  • To schedule an appointment, please contact us via WhatsApp: Bangsar South 0122923610 and Cheras South 01127213620.

Comprehensive STD Profile Female

RM900.00

  • Athritis Screening – Rheumatoid Factor
  • Blood Grouping – ABO
  • Coronary Risk Screening – hs-CRP
  • Diabetes Screening – Fasting Glucose
  • Diabetes Screening – HbA1c
  • Gastritis Screening – H.pylori
  • Hepatitis A Antibody
  • Hepatitis B Antibody & Antigen
  • Hepatitis C Antibody
  • Kidney Function Test
  • Lipid Profile
  • Liver Function Test
  • Syphilis Screening – RPR
  • Thyroid Screening – Free T3 & Free T4
  • Breast Cancer – CA 15-3
  • Colon Cancer – CEA
  • Liver Cancer – AFP
  • Nose Cancer – EBV VCA IgA
  • Ovarian Cancer – CA 125
  • Pancreas/Stomach Cancer – CA 19-9
  • Urine Full Exam & Urine Microscopy
  • Urine Microalbumin
  • Body Composition Analysis
  • Chlamydia* – PCR
  • Doctor Consultation
  • Genital Herpes – Herpes Simplex Type 1 & 2 IgG
  • Gonorrhea* – Gonococcal PCR
  • HIV I & II Antibody
  • Treponema pallidum haemmaglutination – TPHA
  • Please wear clothing that allows easy access to the upper arm for blood-taking.
  • Fasting is required for a minimum of 6 hours before the check-up; however, during this fasting period, you are allowed to drink plain water. This requirement is specifically applicable to blood tests for lipid profile & fasting glucose, as well as abdominal ultrasound.
  • If you are taking hypertension medicine, please continue to do so before your visit.
  • If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, kindly bring along your test results or reports for the doctor’s review and assistance in diagnosis.
  • The health screening process will take approximately Half Day (4-6 hours), depending on the specific tests you are undergoing.
  • “Selective Health Screening Packages” purchased online can be redeemed within 3 months from the date of purchase. Buy now and use it later.
  • To schedule an appointment, please contact us via WhatsApp: Bangsar South 0122923610 and Cheras South 01127213620.
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