Hiv Treatment As Prevention
Treatment as prevention refers to taking HIV medication to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV. It is one of the highly effective options for preventing HIV transmission. People living with HIV who take HIV medication daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners.
TasP works when a person living with HIV takes HIV medication exactly as prescribed and has regular follow-up care, including regular viral load tests to ensure their viral load stays undetectable.
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How Well Does Pep Work
PEP is effective in preventing HIV infection when its taken correctly, but its not 100% effective. The sooner you start PEP after a possible HIV exposure, the better.
While taking PEP, its important to use other HIV prevention methods, such as using condoms the right way, every time you have sex and using only new, sterile needles and works when injecting drugs
The Challenge Of The Replication Cycle
Instead of being able to focus on a single strain of HIV, researchers have to account for the fact that it replicates so quickly, which can cause mutations and new strains. The replication cycle of HIV takes a little more than 24 hours.
And while the replication process is fast, it’s not the most accurateproducing many mutated copies each time, which then combine to form new strains as the virus is transmitted between different people.
For example, in HIV-1 , there are 13 distinct subtypes and sub-subtypes that are linked geographically, with 15% to 20% variation within subtypes and variations of up to 35% between subtypes.
Not only is this a challenge in creating a vaccine, but also because some of the mutated strains are resistant to ART, meaning that some people have more aggressive mutations of the virus.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Hiv
No two people with HIV will have the same symptoms, and some may not have any at all. But the infection can cause some common changes over time.
In the first few weeks: These first, flu-like symptoms happen because your body is reacting to HIV. Your immune system is trying to fight it off. The symptoms at this stage can include:
- Aches and pains in muscles and joints
Keep in mind that even if you have these symptoms, that doesnât automatically mean you are HIV-positive. Many different illnesses can cause these problems. Talk to a doctor or an HIV testing facility if you think you might be infected.
At this early stage of HIV infection, itâs important to know that you may not get accurate results from an HIV test. It can take 3-12 weeks for enough signs of the virus to show up on routine tests for the infection, which measure antibodies against HIV. A new kind of screening, called a nucleic acid test, can detect the virus itself during this early stage, but itâs expensive and not usually used for routine HIV testing.
Let the testing site or your doctor know if you think you might be recently infected. Also, be sure to use a condom every time you have sex, and take other steps to prevent spreading the virus.
After years with untreated HIV, youâre likely to get infections caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi that your body is no longer strong enough to fight off. They can be a sign that your infection has gone from HIV to AIDS. You might have:
- Weight loss
Treatment Helps Prevent Transmission To Others
- If you have an undetectable viral load, you have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex.
- Having an undetectable viral load may also help prevent transmission from injection drug use. We dont have data about whether having an undetectable viral load prevents transmission through sharing needles, syringes, or other injection equipment . It very likely reduces the risk, but we dont know by how much.
- Having an undetectable viral load also helps prevent transmission from mother to baby. If a mother with HIV takes HIV medicine as prescribed throughout pregnancy, labor, and delivery and gives HIV medicine to her baby for 4 to 6 weeks after birth, the risk of transmitting HIV to her baby can be 1% or less.
- Having an undetectable viral load reduces the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby through breastfeeding, but doesnt eliminate the risk. The current recommendation in the United States is that mothers with HIV should not breastfeed their babies.
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When Is Hiv Contagious
In the early stage of HIV transmission, the levels of the virus in the blood and semen are high. A person can easily transmit the virus during this time, and transmission is more likely during this primary acute stage than during the following stage.
During the clinical latency stage, a person living with HIV experiences fewer symptoms. However, they are still able to transmit the virus to another person.
According to the , a person with an undetectable viral load cannot transmit HIV to someone else. It is not possible because the HIV treatment suppresses the virus, leaving a low presence of HIV in the blood.
When HIV is not detectable in a test, it is not transmissible.
What Treatments Are Helping People Live Longer
A collection of antiretroviral therapies has moved HIV into the chronic disease realm and given young people who are newly infected a close-to-normal life expectancy. In fact, more than half of people living with the virus now are over 50 years old, says Michael Virata, MD, director of HIV clinical services at YNHHs Saint Raphael Campus.
Really, the basic goal is to treat people with highly active drugs that combat the virus, so we get them to the point where they have undetectable levels of it, he says.
Patients may be given some combination or cocktail of three drugs, and doctors are moving toward two-drug combinations. We are even moving into a realm of longer-acting agents so that people wont have to take a pill every day, Dr. Virata says.
Some medicines will be delivered through such methods as injections that could protect people for weeks. In the past, there was controversy over when to treat newly diagnosed patients, but current guidelines recommend starting medications quickly. There are centers around the U.S. where, the day they diagnose you, they hand you your first doses of medication, Dr. Virata says.
There have been breakthroughs beyond the medications as well. For example, people with HIV with end-stage kidney disease are now being successfully transplanted, says Dr. Villanueva. And there are studies that show successful kidney and liver transplants from HIV-positive deceased donors.
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How Is Hiv Transmitted Or Spread
The following are the means by which the HIV virus is spread:
Vertical transmission. HIV can be spread to babies born to, or breastfed by, mothers infected with the virus.
Sexual contact. In adults and adolescents, HIV is spread most commonly by sexual contact with an infected partner. The virus enters the body through the lining of the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or abraded or irritated tissues in the lining of the mouth through sexual activity.
Blood contamination. HIV may also be spread through contact with infected blood. However, due to the screening of donated blood for evidence of HIV infection, the risk of acquiring HIV from blood transfusions is extremely low.
Needles. HIV is frequently spread by sharing needles, syringes, or drug use equipment with someone who is infected with the virus. Transmission from patient to health care worker, or vice-versa, through accidental sticks with contaminated needles or other medical instruments, is rare.
No known cases of HIV/AIDS have been spread by the following:
Enlarged lymph nodes
An HIV-infected child is usually diagnosed with AIDS when the immune system becomes severely damaged or other types of infections occur. As the immune system deteriorates, complications begin to develop. The following are some common complications, or symptoms, of the onset of AIDS. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
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Lock And Block Technique
The Lock and Block technique takes the opposite approach to Shock and Kill. This method aims to trap HIV in its reservoir cell so that it can never be reactivated. Whilst the virus is still present in the body, it is trapped away so that it cannot escape its host cell and cannot replicated.This technique is being looked into as an alternative to Shock and Kill. Scientists are currently testing drugs abilities to effectively trap HIV in a host cell without disrupting the genetic material of uninfected cells. Ideally, a drug would lock HIV away then deplete the reservoir so there was no possibility of the virus returning. Current issues that are being researched are drugs not locking away HIV tightly enough. Due to the non-inducible property of the deep viral reservoir, the permanent silencing approach could be considered as a suitable cure strategy. Unlike shock and kill strategies, this approach focuses on silencing or locking the HIV-1 proviruses in cells.
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Treatment To Prevent Hiv Infection
Health care workers who are at risk for HIV because of an accidental needle stick or other exposure to body fluids may need medicine to prevent infection.footnote 13
Medicine may also prevent HIV infection in a person who has been raped or was accidentally exposed to the body fluids of a person who may have HIV.footnote 14 This type of treatment is usually started within 72 hours of the exposure.
Studies have shown that treatment with antiretroviral medicine also can reduce the risk of an uninfected person getting infected through sex.footnote 15, footnote 16
How Is Acute Hiv Infection Treated
Proper treatment is crucial for people diagnosed with HIV.
Healthcare providers and scientists agree that early treatment with antiretroviral drugs should be used by all HIV-positive people who are ready to start taking a daily medication.
Early treatment may minimize the viruss effects on the immune system.
Newer antiretroviral medications are usually very well tolerated, but theres always the possibility of side effects.
If a person thinks theyre experiencing a side effect of or an allergic reaction to their medication, they should immediately contact their healthcare provider.
In addition to medical treatment, healthcare providers may also suggest certain lifestyle adjustments, including:
Theres no cure for HIV, but treatment allows people with HIV to live long and healthy lives. The outlook is best for people who begin treatment before HIV has damaged their immune system.
Early diagnosis and the right treatment help prevent HIV progressing to AIDS.
Successful treatment improves both the life expectancy and quality of life of someone living with HIV. In most cases, HIV is considered a chronic condition and can be managed long term.
Treatment can also help someone living with HIV reach an undetectable viral load, at which point theyll be unable to transmit HIV to sexual partners.
Acute HIV infection can be prevented by avoiding exposure to the blood, semen, anal secretions, and vaginal fluid of a person living with HIV.
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Is Hiv Curable If Caught Early
There is no cure for HIV yet. Antiretroviral treatment can, however, control the infection limiting the virus multiplication in the body. With proper treatment, people with HIV can lead long and healthy lives. Treatment lowers the viral load , which not only protects the person from progressing into an advanced stage of the disease but also reduces the chances of transmission of the virus to others.
It is important to get tested for HIV in the early stages of infection to minimize the damage to the immune system. Successful treatment aims to reduce HIV load to a level that is harmless to the body. However, some of the viruses may persist. Trials are underway for getting a safe and effective HIV vaccine.
What Is Acute Hiv Infection
There are three stages of HIV infection:
- Stage 1:Acute HIVinfection
- Stage 2:Chronic HIV infection
- Stage 3:AIDS
Acute HIV infection is the first stage of the infection. Usually within two to four weeks of infection, two-thirds of those with HIV will experience flu-like symptoms. These symptoms may last for several days or even weeks. However, some people may experience no symptoms at all.
In this stage, there is a large amount of HIV in your blood, which is known as the viral load. Studies have noted incredibly high viral loads during the acute stage, meaning you are more contagious at this time.
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Early Detection Could Lead To ‘functional Cure’ Of Hiv: Study
WASHINGTON – A small French study of 14 HIV patients who have remained healthy for years after stopping drug treatment offers fresh evidence that early medical intervention may lead to a “functional cure” for AIDS, researchers said Thursday.
The research, published in the US journal PLoS Pathogens, comes on the heels of a report last week that a baby in Mississippi appeared to be cured of HIV after aggressive antiretroviral drug treatment delivered within 30 hours of birth.
Experts agree that while parallels between the two studies are intriguing, the phenomenon is rare — and warn that most of the 34 million people infected with HIV worldwide would develop full-blown AIDS if they stopped taking drugs to repress the human immunodeficiency virus.
Myron Cohen, a well-known US expert on HIV and chief of the Center for Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina, described the French study as “provocative.”
“It provokes us to think. Who in the universe of people treated early can come off treatment? They showed us some clues, but it is a question that demands more science,” he told AFP.
The study involves 14 adults, a group known as the VISCONTI cohort, which stands for Viro-Immunologic Sustained Control After Treatment Interruption.
They were treated for HIV with a range of antiretroviral drugs, each within 10 weeks of infection, and stopped treatment around three years afterward on average.
What Are The Challenges
While research on a cure is promising, there are some challenges. One is that we donât fully understand how HIV reservoirs work. Scientists are learning how to find, measure, and destroy them.
What about stem cell therapy? The CCR5 mutation that protects you from HIV is very rare, so itâs hard to find donor cells. Also, stem cell therapy is risky. People can reject donor cells and become very ill. Scientists are trying to find therapies that make a personâs own cells resistant to the virus, so they wonât need donor cells.
Another challenge is that males are the subjects of most HIV clinical trials, but about half of people with the virus are female. We need more studies to look at whether treatments will work on women and girls.
Even though research is very promising, it could be a few years before these treatments are tested to be sure they work well and are safe to use in many people who have HIV.
AIDSinfo.gov: âHIV Treatments: The Basics.â
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: âHIV Cure.â
amfAR: âThe Countdown to a Cure for AIDS,â âPathways to an HIV Cure,â âMaking Sense of the Three Types of HIV Cure: The Berlin Patient, the Mississippi Child, and the VISCONTI Cohort.â
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: âWorld AIDS Day: Stepping up the search for a cure.â
Delaney Cell and Genome Engineering Initiative: âDefeat HIV: Scientific Overview.â
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Progressing To Stage 3 Hiv
If a person with HIV does not receive treatment, the condition may eventually progress to stage 3 HIV, also known as AIDS. Thanks to modern medical advances, HIV infection rarely reaches stage 3 in the U.S. nowadays.
Stage 3 HIV is not a specific disease but a syndrome with a wide range of identifiable symptoms. The symptoms can also stem from other illnesses that occur because opportunistic infections take advantage of reduced immune activity.
Treatment will depend on the individual and any complications. The persons healthcare team will help them make a suitable plan.
What Is The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
HIV is a potentially deadly virus that attacks the bodys immune system, specifically the T cell lymphocytes or CD4 cells. AIDS is a collection of symptoms and illnesses that can develop when HIV goes untreated and the CD4 cell count drops below 200.
There are four stages of HIV . People are diagnosed as having AIDS when their HIV is classifiedor if it has ever been classifiedas Stage 3, when people experience such symptoms as rapid weight loss, recurring fever or night sweats, body sores, memory loss, and fatal infections.
It first came to attention in the early 1980s when doctors started reporting unusual infections and rare malignancies in gay men. HIV is believed to have transferred from animals to humans possibly as far back as the late 1800s from a type of chimpanzee in Africa. This likely occurred when hunters looking for meat came in contact with infected blood from the animal. HIV is transmitted between humans through bodily fluids, specifically blood, semen, vaginal secretion, and breast milk.
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What Is Hiv What Is Aids
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system, the body’s natural defence system. Without a strong immune system, the body has trouble fighting off disease. Both the virus and the infection it causes are called HIV.
White blood cells are an important part of the immune system. HIV infects and destroys certain white blood cells called CD4+ cells. If too many CD4+ cells are destroyed, the body can no longer defend itself against infection.
The last stage of HIV infection is AIDS . People with AIDS have a low number of CD4+ cells and get infections or cancers that rarely occur in healthy people. These can be deadly.
But having HIV doesn’t mean you have AIDS. Even without treatment, it takes a long time for HIV to progress to AIDSusually 10 to 12 years.
When HIV is diagnosed before it becomes AIDS, medicines can slow or stop the damage to the immune system. If AIDS does develop, medicines can often help the immune system return to a healthier state.
With treatment, many people with HIV are able to live long and active lives.
There are two types of HIV:
- HIV-1, which causes almost all the cases of AIDS worldwide
- HIV-2, which causes an AIDS-like illness. HIV-2 infection is uncommon in North America.