HIV counseling is becoming an important proposition in HIV prevention and management. Though HIV counseling helps pregnant women to take good care of herself while minimizing the risk of spreading the infection to the fetus. Similarly, HIV counseling helps the patients to have better management of the condition and also prevents the spread of infection.
HIV AND HIV INFECTION
HIV also is known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus causes HIV infection in humans and the infection may progress to transform into Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV attacks the immune system of the patient and the person is not able to fight against this virus, resulting in infection. As the immune system of the patient gets compromised, the risk of opportunistic infection increases and the patients suffers from recurring infections. Further, the risk of cancer significantly increases as it is the immune system that keeps a check on the malignant cells in the initial stage.
Although HIV can develop in any person, but there are certain groups that are at more risk when compared to other people of the society. These people should have to take extra care of themselves and should implement sufficient precautionary measures to prevent developing HIV infection. Some of the high-risk groups include:
Medical Professionals: Contaminated blood may be a source of transmission of HIV infection and it has been recognized as one of the strongest sources of spreading not only HIV but also other pathological diseases in the health care workers. Thus, medical professionals should have detailed knowledge about how to prevent the transmission of this infection.
LGBT: LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. These groups are at high risk in contracting HIV infection. Of the above category, lesbian and bisexual female are at increased risk of HIV infection.
Sex Workers: Female sex workers are at high risk of developing HIV infection. The risk is even high in developing countries. Globally, the risk of female sex worker living with HIV are 13.5%, while the risk is increased to 30% when the geographic is narrowed down to Asia.
Person with frequent exposure to sex workers: People who have frequent exposure to sex workers and indulging in unprotected sexual intercourse are at higher risk of getting HIV.
CAUSES OF HIV INFECTION
There are various causes for HIV infection but the prerequisite for such an infection is the exposure of body fluid to HIV virus. This means that AIDS is not transmitted through air, water, shaking hands, kissing, dancing with the infected person or hugging. Following are the various causes of HIV infection:
1) Unprotected Sexual activity: If the sexual activity is done without any protection such as a condom and the partner is infected with the virus, the virus would enter the body through semen or vaginal secretion. It is always advisable to have protected sex.
2) Blood transfusion: Although seen in a small number of cases, if the infected blood is transfused into a healthy person, the infection gets transmitted.
3) Sharing Sex Toys: When a healthy person uses the sex toys already used by an infected person, the HIV infection may spread to the person.
4) Sharing needles: Commonly seen in the people taking drugs, the needle infected with HIV may lead to transmission of HIV infection. Further, of the infected needle in the hospital settings also results in HIV infection and hepatitis disease.
5) During delivery or breastfeeding: The HIV can be transferred to the fetus during pregnancy or the newborn may be infected with the virus during delivery or breastfeeding.
SYMPTOMS OF HIV
The patient suffering from HIV infection experiences the symptoms based on the stage of the disease. Following are the various symptoms at different stages:
a) Acute HIV: Although the viral load in the blood is high during the acute infective stage, the patient experiences mild symptoms. The symptoms experienced during this stage are:
• Swollen lymph nodes
• Painful joints and muscles
• Sore throat
• Body rash
The symptoms are mild as the immune system is fighting against the virus during this stage.
b) Symptomatic HIV infection:
This is the stage at which the patient starts experiencing severe symptoms. These symptoms include:
• Weight loss
• Enlarged lymph nodes
• Muscle and joint pain with increased severity
• Oral thrush
All the above symptoms are non-specific to HIV infection and can be caused due to various other diseases. If you are experiencing these symptoms and fear that you may have HIV infection, you should undergo an HIV test.
c) Progression to AIDS: If the HIV infection goes unnoticed for several years, the virus severely damages the immune system and the disease progresses to develop into AIDS. When the immune system gets damaged, the patient experiences the following symptoms:
• Severe weight loss
• Chronic diarrhea
• Skin rash
• Night Sweats
• Life-threatening disorders
• Recurrent infections
• White spots on the tongue
• Chronic fatigue
HIV infection or AIDS is not only a disease rather it is considered as a social stigma in our society. People fear to talk about it and even they do not visit the doctor because of their concerns of maintaining confidentiality. To sum up, HIV is the disease that involves both the physical as well as psychological health of the patient. The stress of social rejection, the progression of the disease and associated complications further complexes the situation. This results in the need of well-trained professionals better known as HIV counselor. These professionals manage the stress of the patient on a psychological level as it is also the part of the holistic approach in HIV/ AIDS management. The function of these professionals is to provide the tips to the people for the prevention of HIV infection and also to counsel the patients who suffer from this infection. The counseling is done on a one-to-one basis to have a frank discussion on various topics related to sexual health. A professional relation is built which provides confidence in the patient that their identities should be kept confidential.
BENEFIT OF HIV COUNSELLING
Active HIV counseling helps preventing HIV infection in high-risk individuals and also advice the patients as to how to deal with the disease. Following are the various benefits of HIV counseling:
a) Managing the condition: Through counseling, the counselor helps the patients in managing their condition and advice the benefit of taking medications. Further, the main aim of the counselor is to make the patient comfortable and help them realize that its just a disease.
b) Prevents further complications: Unless and until the patient feel comfortable in discussing his disease with the doctor, the HIV infection may lead to AIDS which is a life-threatening condition. This message should be given by the counselor in a convincing manner.
c) Stress management: Diagnosed with HIV infection creates havoc in the life of the patient and the person may be deeply depressed. The counselor should provide some exercises or techniques to manage stress.
d) Prevent the occurrence of HIV infection/AIDS: Counseling is also done for the people who are at high risk of developing HIV such as people indulged in taking drugs or are sexually active. Thus, the counselor helps in preventing the spread of HIV infection.
e) Remove fear from the mind of person: Various patients after unprotected sex became so tensed that they search for HIV doctor near me, best HIV treatment hospital in India, best HIV treatment in India, HIV Treatment Centre in Delhi, HIV Helpline number, best HIV specialist in India, HIV counselling in Delhi, HIV specialist doctor in Noida, HIV doctor, latest HIV treatment in India, ayurvedic clinic in Delhi, best HIV doctors in India, HIV treatment in India, HIV treatment in Gurgaon, and even HIV treatment cost per year. The symptoms of other STDs are similar to that of HIV infection and people may have the fear of suffering from HIV infection. Counselor clears the cloud of worries in such people and helps them reduce tension.
BEST HIV DOCTORS IN DELHI-NCR FOR HIV COUNSELLING
The best HIV doctors for HIV counseling should have the experience of counseling alarge number of patients of all ages. Further, the counseling done by them should be effective and the people have changed their attitude and lifestyle after counseling. Dr. Monga clinic Skin Hair, Piles/Hemorrhoids/Fistula/Anal fissure/Kshara Sutra & Sexology Clinic , the best Ayurvedic clinic in Delhi, are one of the best HIV counselors in Delhi-NCR region. If you have any question regarding HIV, please visit the clinic with a prior appointment and get relieved from all your tensions.