Syphilis is a disease caused by Treponema palladium, a bacteria. It enters the body mainly through mating with an infected person, It is also transmitted to a fetus from the placenta and can also be transmitted to a baby during child birth. Its signs and symptoms are hard to catch.
Signs and Symptoms
Syphilis is hard to detect. It has four phases of action. The first being the primary syphilis. In this phase a sore grows on the penis or the cervix called a chancre. The person does not feel any pain. After a 2 to 6 weeks the chancre disappears and the patient fells normal. In the secondary syphilis, a sore throat and a non itchy rash develops on the skin mainly on the palms and the sole of the feet. The lymph nodes may also swell, this causes fever, headaches and tiredness. After a few weeks the symptoms disappear. The person normalizes again and remains that way for a few years. This period without any symptoms is called the latent phase. The last phase is the tertiary syphilis. Its symptoms are hard to detect. It is mainly detected by checking the affected organs such as heart, bones, skin etc. Its symptoms are heart disease, paralysis, blindness, insanity, stroke, loss of coordination.
Syphilis does not have a cure. It can be avoided by having one sexual partner. However, it can be treated with penicillin but it cannot reverse the damage already done by the bacteria. The bacteria has, however, developed resistance against quite a few antibiotics making it harder to treat patients with Syphilis.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
This virus is the main reason for the cause of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). It is spread mainly by mating, by sharing needles for drugs, and it may also be transmitted to the fetus of the mother who has HIV. Those people with AIDS or HIV are called HIV positive. This is caused by a virus as the name says. The virus enters our body and into the blood. There it uses the CD4 cells to reproduce. The CD4 cells are part of the immunity system and are necessary for our protection against diseases. Once the CD4 cells are reduced greatly the immunity system becomes useless creating an opportunity for diseases like Hepatitis, Pneumonia, and Tuberculosis to develop, these are called opportunistic infections. Once the immunity system destroys we say that the patient has developed AIDS. The patient becomes fragile to even small diseases which do not affect a normal person.
Signs and Symptoms
Once infected there are no symptoms, in some cases a person might develop a mild fever, rash and sore throat but normalizes soon. Then the person remains normal for years until the immunity system is completely destroyed. At that moment the patient develops AIDS. That person then gets infected with opportunistic infections and dies. In some cases the patient develops the Kaposi’s Sarcoma.
It can be controlled by:
- By providing education of the virus and its effects and encouraging them of having one sexual partner.
- By using sterile and unused needles and syringes when injecting a drug.
- By giving Antiviral drug to a HIV positive pregnant woman to prevent the fetus from having HIV as well.
- By convincing a HIV positive woman to bottle feed her baby.
- By using Condoms.
HIV does not have any cure. But in advanced countries the doctors gives the patients Anti Viral drugs which delay the onset of AIDS and they use this time to treat the opportunistic diseases. With an early diagnostic the person can live a normal and healthy life.