AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It can be caused when the Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) enters the immune cells and multiplies.
It is possible to be infected with HIV without manifesting symptoms for as long as 5 years. Symptoms vary from person to person, but may include digestive problems, diarrhoea, weight loss, skin lesions, swollen lymph nodes, candidiasis and other viral infections.
For full blown AIDS to be diagnosed, the presence of specific infections or cancers associated with HIV need to be detected. It is estimated that 50-60% of people with HIV might go on to develop AIDS. Individuals with compromised immune systems are the most likely to be affected.
People with AIDS may die from infections and cancers that the immune systems can no longer deal with rather than from AIDS itself.
Get tested if you feel you have been at risk of contracting AIDS. STD clinics offer free testing and counselling. It is important to use protection in the form of condoms and spermicides that can kill HIV. For youths under 18 years of age (or anyone), abstinence is obviously safest.
Nutritionally, the main aim is to support the immune system and to remove the challenges that compromise the body. A diet of whole natural organic foods rich in fruit and vegetables is recommended. Sugar, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and foods to which you are intolerant can all challenge the immune system, so these offenders should be avoided.
Digestion and absorption can be supported with digestive enzymes and probiotics.