The Human Immune System
The immune system plays an important role to protect the host from infectious agents such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. In addition, it is also important in the identification and elimination of tumor cells as well as in response to injury and trauma. Thus, an effective and efficient immune system is essential as a host defense mechanism against infectious diseases and cancer. The immune system can be further subdivided into innate and acquired or adaptive immunity .
|Cutaneous and mucosal immune systems|
Components of the innate and acquired immune systems .
What Is The Treatment For Kidney Disease
People with kidney disease can take steps to protect their kidneys from further damage. For example, many people with kidney disease take medicines to control high blood pressure. They may also reduce the amount of salt and protein in their diet to manage their kidney disease.
Some people live with kidney disease for many years; in others, kidney disease progresses to kidney failure. The treatments for kidney failure are dialysis and a kidney transplant. Both treatments take over the job of the failed kidneys.
- There are two main types of dialysis. Like the kidneys, both types filter harmful waste and extra water out of the blood. In hemodialysis, a machine outside of the body is used to filter the blood. In peritoneal dialysis, the lining of the abdomen filters the blood inside the body.
- A kidney transplant is surgery to place a healthy kidney from a donor into the body of a person with kidney failure. The donated kidney can be from a person who just died or from a living person.
Both dialysis and a kidney transplant are used to treat kidney failure in people with HIV.
Hiv Effects On The Immune System
Your immune system has many types of white blood cells that fight infection. HIV gets inside a kind called CD4 cells and makes copies of itself. The virus kills the cell, and the new viruses go off to find more.
Your body responds by making more CD4 cells, but after a while, it canât keep up with the virus. This makes your immune system weak. Youâre more likely to get sick, even from common germs. Infections last longer, are more severe, and might come back more often.
If you follow your doctorâs directions with ART, it knocks out HIV, stopping it from infecting more CD4 cells and from weakening your immune system.
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What Do The Results Mean
CD4 results are given as a number of cells per cubic millimeter of blood. Below is a list of typical results. Your results may vary depending on your health and even the lab used for testing. If you have questions about your results, talk to your health care provider.
- Normal: 500â1,200 cells per cubic millimeter
- Abnormal: 250â500 cells per cubic millimeter. It means you have a weakened immune system and may be infected with HIV.
- Abnormal: 200 or fewer cells per cubic millimeter. It indicates AIDS and a high risk of life-threatening opportunistic infections.
While there is no cure for HIV, there are different medicines you can take to protect your immune system and can prevent you from getting AIDS. Today, people with HIV are living longer, with a better quality of life than ever before. If you are living with HIV, it’s important to see your health care provider regularly.
The Science Of Hiv And Aids
- HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, a pathogen that works by attacking the human immune system.
- HIV specifically targets CD4 cells, the bodys principal defenders against infection, using them to make copies of themselves.
- Antiretroviral drugs target specific stages of the HIV lifecycle to stop HIV from replicating.
Explore this page to find out more about , , and .;
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, a pathogen that works by attacking the human immune system. It belongs to a class of viruses called retroviruses and more specifically, a subgroup called lentiviruses, or viruses that cause disease slowly. 1
HIV cannot replicate on its own, so in order to make new copies of itself, it must infect cells of the human immune system, called CD4 cells. CD4 cells are white blood cells that play a central role in responding to infections in the body. 2
Over time, CD4 cells are killed by HIV and the bodys ability to recognise and fight some types of infection begins to decline. If HIV is not controlled by treatment, the loss of CD4 cells leads to the development of serious illnesses, or opportunistic infections. In people with normal CD4 cell levels, these infections would be recognised and cleared by the immune system. 3
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Lab Tests Are Important Tools
Having regular lab tests is necessary to care for your health. If you are living with HIV , you will probably have several such tests done. The complete blood count and blood chemistry tests described below check your overall health, including whether you have side effects from your HIV medications. See our fact sheets on Understanding CD4 Cells and CD4 Cell Tests and Understanding Lab Tests II: Viral Load, Resistance, and Tropism for information on other tests that your health care provider may order.
Hiv Effects On The Skeletal System
People who have the virus tend to lose bone faster than people who donât. Your bones may get brittle and can break more easily. Your hips, especially, may hurt and feel weak.
Things that might cause this include the virus itself, the inflammation it causes, the medicines you take to treat HIV or related illnesses , and an unhealthy lifestyle. It might also be from a vitamin D deficiency, which is common in people who have HIV.
To help keep your bones in good shape:
- Make sure you get plenty of calcium and vitamin D.
- Exercise in ways that put weight on your bones, like walking or lifting weights.
- Don’t smoke, and limit how much alcohol you drink.
- Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D level.
Talk to your doctor about supplements or other medications to help your bones.
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What Is A Cd4 Count
A CD4 count is a test that measures the number of CD4 cells in your blood. CD4 cells, also known as T cells, are white blood cells that fight infection and play an important role in your immune system. A CD4 count is used to check the health of the immune system in people infected with HIV .
HIV attacks and destroys CD4 cells. If too many CD4 cells are lost, your immune system will have trouble fighting off infections. A CD4 count can help your health care provider find out if you are at risk for serious complications from HIV. The test can also check to see how well HIV medicines are working.
Other names: CD4 lymphocyte count, CD4+ count, T4 count, T-helper cell count, CD4 percent
Why Do I Need A Cd4 Count
Your health care provider may order a CD4 count when you are first diagnosed with HIV. You will probably be tested again every few months to see if your counts have changed since your first test. If you are being treated for HIV, your health care provider may order regular CD4 counts to see how well your medicines are working.
Your provider may include other tests with your CD4 count, including:
- A CD4-CD8 ratio. CD8 cells are another type of white blood cell in the immune system. CD8 cells kill cancer cells and other invaders. This test compares the numbers of the two cells to get a better idea of immune system function.
- HIV viral load, a test that measures the amount of HIV in your blood.
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What Are The Current Treatment Guidelines For Anemia In Hiv
Address correctable causes of anemia. The clinical evaluation of an HIV-infected person with anemia should attempt to identify treatable underlying causes, including hypogonadism . A simplified approach to the assessment of anemia in patients with HIV infection is illustrated in . To the extent possible, treatable causes should be corrected. In patients whose anemia is severe, transfusion should be considered for alleviation of acute symptoms.
Simplified diagnostic approach to anemia in HIV-infected individuals . AZT, zidovudine; ddC, dideoxycytidine; DIC, disseminated intravascular coagulation; HB, hemoglobin; MCV, mean cell volume; TTP, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura.
Use of HAART. HAART use may result in improvement of existing anemia. A multivariate analysis of the WIHS study found that HAART was significantly associated with correction of anemia; improvement was noted within 6 months, and a greater resolution occurred after a longer duration of HAART use .
Consensus recommendations. The Anemia in HIV Working Group concluded that the following evidence-based treatment strategies should be implemented for anemia in HIV-infected patients:
Monitor hemoglobin levels routinely . Ask patients whether they are fatigued and determine whether there is impairment of physical functioning. Assess quality of life on an ongoing basis using such measures as the LASA or MOS-HIV.
Linear Analog Scale Assessment for determining quality of life
How Can People With Hiv Reduce Their Risk Of Kidney Disease
People with HIV can take the following steps to reduce their risk of kidney disease:
- Take HIV medicines every day to keep HIV under control.
- Eat a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits, fresh or frozen vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Cut back on foods high in salt and sugar.
- Be physically active for 30 minutes or more on most days.
- Keep all medical appointments. During medical visits, talk to a health care provider about the risk of kidney disease.
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How Is Hiv Diagnosed
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved tests that detect HIV antibodies in urine, fluid from the mouth , or blood. If a test on urine or oral fluid shows that you are infected with HIV, you will probably need a blood test to confirm the results. If you have been exposed to HIV, your immune system will make antibodies to try to destroy the virus. Blood tests can find these antibodies in your blood.
Most doctors use a screening blood test. If the screening is positive , the blood sample is tested again to verify the result. If the second test is positive, a test called a Western blot is performed for further confirmation.
It may take as long as six months for HIV antibodies to show up in a blood sample. If you think you have been exposed to HIV but you test negative for it:
- Get tested again in six months to be sure you are not infected.
- Meanwhile, take steps to prevent the spread of the virus. If you are infected, you can still pass HIV to another person at this time.
Some people are afraid to be tested for HIV. But if there is any chance you could be infected, it is very important to find out. HIV can be treated. Getting early treatment can slow down the virus and help you stay healthy. And you need to know if you are infected so you can prevent spreading the infection to other people.
Where To Get Tested For Hiv
For information on where to get tested for HIV, try one of the following:
- Ask your GP for an HIV test.
- Find a community testing site aidsmap.com/hiv-test-finder
- Request a self-sampling kit freetesting.hiv.
- Call the National Sexual Health Line 0300 123 7123.
- Call Worth Talking About on 0300 123 2930 .
- You can also buy an HIV self-test at a pharmacy or online.
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Hiv And Aids: Causes Symptoms Treatments And Future Prospects
Everything you need to know about HIV and AIDS including common symptoms and where to get tested.
HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system and is most commonly caught by having unprotected sex, sharing injection needles, infected blood products or in extremely rare cases the infection of a baby by its mother.
There are still a huge number of misconceptions around HIV and AIDS, so Dr Roger Henderson sets the facts straight:
White Blood Cell Count
White blood cells are a subset of cells produced in bone marrow whose primary role is to fight infection. A white blood cell count is one of the panel of tests included in the CBC that measures not only the total number of leukocytes but also the different types of white blood cells in a blood sample, namely:
Within the context of HIV, an elevated WBC typically means that your body is fighting an infection. Other tests can then be performed to pinpoint the cause.
An elevation of certain white blood cells may indicate a specific type of infection or an allergic inflammatory response. For example, higher than normal eosinophils may suggest a parasitic infection like toxoplasmosis, while elevated basophils can develop in people with a hypersensitive drug reaction.
CD4 T-cell lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that HIV preferentially targets and infects. For this reason, they serve as the primary marker of your immune status if you have HIV.
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Progression From Hiv To Aids
In the final stage of HIV, a patients T-cell count falls as viral load increases the immune system becomes severely compromised. When the patient is diagnosed with a stage-4 HIV-related condition such as tuberculosis or cancer or pneumonia, the virus has made its progression to AIDS, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Many of the symptoms and sickness at this point may be from opportunistic infections and not from AIDS itself. Once the virus has progressed to AIDS, the body is more likely to fail, though the time left to a patient ranges anywhere from just a few months to many years.
To learn more about what happens when HIV becomes AIDS, watch the video below, courtesy of YouTube:
How A Weak Immune System Affects Your Skin
For some people with HIV, skin conditions are one of the most obvious signs of infection. Skin conditions can appear in the earliest stage of HIV, but may increase in frequency as the disease progresses.;
HIV weakens your immune system, so your body is more likely to develop infection since it cant fight disease effectively. Common skin conditions that people with HIV experience include:
- Bacterial infections
- Inflammatory dermatitis
- Skin cancer
Inflammatory dermatitis can take many forms, and its common for people with HIV. Dermatitis can appear like areas of dry skin or red and itchy patches. Some examples of skin infections that people with HIV may contract include syphilis, oral thrush, and shingles.
Another condition that can develop if you have HIV is lipodystrophy. HIV can cause fat distribution in the body to change, resulting in fat loss around the face or fat buildup between the shoulder blades or elsewhere.
Taking antiretroviral medications for HIV generally helps reduce the number of skin conditions that people with HIV develop. Along with taking medication, getting regular skin exams and seeking treatment for specific skin conditions can help them from getting worse. For patients bothered by fat loss from HIV lipodystrophy, Sculptra® Aesthetic at Z-Roc Dermatology is an injectable filler to fill contours and improve your appearance.
Trust our team for all your skin care needs. Make an appointment at Z-Roc Dermatology online or call our office today.
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How To Raise Or Lower White Blood Cell Count
Whether or not a person needs to alter their white blood cell count will depend on the diagnosis.
If they have a medical condition that affects the number of white blood cells in their body, they should talk to a doctor about the goals for their white blood cell count, depending on their current treatment plan.
A person can lower their white blood cell count by taking medications such as hydroxyurea or undergoing leukapheresis, which is a procedure that uses a machine to filter the blood.
If a persons white blood cell count is low due to cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, a doctor may recommend avoiding foods that contain bacteria. This may help prevent infections.
A person can also take colony-stimulating factors. These may help prevent infection and increase the number of white blood cells in the body.
Hiv Effects On The Skin
Many people get a skin rash in the first stage of an HIV infection. It usually goes away without treatment in days or weeks. Over time, a number of things might cause more rashes. Itâs always important to let your doctor know about a rash, because it might be a sign of a serious problem, or an HIV medication could be causing it.
People who have HIV are more likely to get viral infections. Herpes zoster, herpes simplex, and Molluscum contagiosum can cause rashes or blisters.
Kaposiâs sarcoma causes lesions, patches, or nodules that are a different color from your skin. Sometimes, you can also get lesions on your internal organs. These may be life-threatening.
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Hiv Prevention: How To Avoid Infection
The main way of avoiding infection is to avoid activities that put you at risk. The three main ways of doing this are to;
Always use a condom
This is not a guaranteed method of avoiding infection, but using a condom reduces the risk considerably. It must be worn all the way through sex.
Don’t share syringes
Avoid using recreational drugs that are injected with a syringe. Do not share syringes or needles with others.
Avoid blood transfusions
Avoid blood transfusions in certain countries, where they may not test the blood for HIV.