Infection with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) compromises the body’s immune system thereby making it prone to various infections and rare cancers. It is the immune system that normally protects a person from invading microorganisms and prevents the excessive growth of abnormal cells as is seen in cancer. However, with HIV infection the immune ability is impaired and diseases that are otherwise uncommon can arise more frequently in these patients.
Current Health Articles
What is scurvy?
Scurvy is a condition that arises with a severe lack of vitamin C in the diet. The deficiency of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) impacts on various organs and tissues in the body since vitamin C is an important micronutrient for health. It is important to note that scurvy arises only with a severe and prolonged deficiency of vitamin C and in some cases it can be serious enough to cause death. However, a better understanding of the pathophysiology has made scurvy easy to treat with simple measures like dietary modification and supplementation. Within days to weeks the symptoms resolve and there may be no permanent complications.
What is balantidiasis?
Balantidiasis refers to the protozoal infection of the large intestine, caused by Balantidium coli. Pigs may be the primary reservoir of this ciliated protozoan, which can also infect humans and infest the colon. B. coli transmits through the fecal-oral route and humans can acquire balantidiasis by ingesting contaminated food and water, which has come into contact with feces of infected humans or animals.
Many patients harboring B. coli infection do not present any symptoms, however, patients with other serious illnesses are more affected by balantidiasis. Such people may experience symptoms like persistent abdominal pain, diarrhea, and occasionally a perforated colon. Balantidiasis is rare in the United States, but is more common in the endemic tropical countries with warmer climates. B. coli is also more prevalent in developing countries with poor sanitation and hygiene practices.
What is a periapical abscess?
A dental abscess is a broad term used to describe an abscess in the tooth and structures around it. A periapical abscess is an inflammatory reaction with the accumulation of pus at the root of an infected tooth. It can lead to death of the central region of the tooth known as the dental pulp. Generally a periapical abscess is an acute dental infection requiring immediate dental intervention. The condition is associated with significant discomfort and extreme pain. If left untreated it can lead to various complication and permanent loss of the affected tooth. A periapical abscess is the most common type of dental abscess among children. Another type, a periodontal abscess, is where the abscess is located in the tissue around the tooth, including the alveolar bone. A periodontal abscess is more commonly seen among adults.
What is knee osteonecrosis?
Knee osteonecrosis (osteo = bone, necrosis = death) refers to the condition, in which knee pain results from death of a segment of bone. In knee osteonecrosis, the otherwise normal bone circulation in the knee region is impaired the diminished blood supply causes the bone tissue to die. The condition is also known as avascular necrosis, meaning the compromised blood supply leads to tissue death, or bone infarction. Knee osteonecrosis mostly affects the elderly and women are three times more likely to develop knee osteoporosis than men.
In osteonecrosis, the lesion can affect the region beyond the growth plate of the bone (called epiphyseal plate) and can reach the next inner layer called the subchondral plate. If the lesion reaches the subchondral plate, the dying or necrotic segment of the bone may collapse. As a result, the joint line may disrupt and painful conditions (like secondary arthritis) develop.