Monday, June 24, 2024

Does Hiv Cause Breathing Problems

What Imaging Studies Will Be Helpful In Making Or Excluding The Diagnosis Of Pneumonia

Cat Breathing Problems
  • All patients with suspected pneumonia should have a posteroanterior and lateral chest X-ray scan, if possible.

  • Many patients will benefit from noncontrasted chest computed tomography âparticularly if there is no focal abnormality on the CXR scan and the patient appears ill.

CXR findings :

  • Alveolar pattern with acute onset of symptoms suggests bacterial pneumonia.

  • Alveolar pattern with subacute onset of symptoms suggests atypical pneumonia, fungal pneumonia, or mycobacterial infection .

  • Cavitary infiltrate is strongly suggestive of TB; patient should be placed in respiratory isolation .

  • Nodules or masses are associated with an alternative diagnosis, such as malignancy, and a CT chest scan should be obtained.

Figure 1:

Typical chest X-ray and computed tomography findings of right upper lobe cavitary disease in tuberculosis.

CXR findings :

  • A normal CXR does NOT rule out pulmonary disease, particularly PCP; high-resolution CT is warranted for further evaluation.

  • Alveolar, reticular, or interstitial pattern with acute onset suggests bacterial pneumonia.

  • Alveolar pattern with subacute onset may suggest PCP, fungal pneumonia, TB, or a noninfectious process.

  • Reticular or interstitial pattern with subacute onset may suggest PCP or other fungal pneumonia, particularly Cryptococcus.

  • Nodular pattern may suggest fungal or bacterial pneumonia, TB , or neoplasm .

Most common radiographic manifestations of specific opportunistic infections
Table IV.

British Columbia Specific Information

Human Immunodeficiency Virus causes an infection that damages the immune system. The immune system is the part of the body that fights infection and disease. If untreated, HIV infection will lead to a serious disease called Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome .

For information on HIV infection and care in British Columbia, visit BC Centre for Disease Control and BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS. For information on HIV drug coverage in B.C., please visit the Ministry of Health BC PharmaCare website.

In B.C. HIV testing guidelines recommend that everyone have an HIV test at least every 5 years. They recommend more frequent testing for people who belong to populations that have a greater chance of having HIV, are pregnant, experience a change in their health that suggests HIV, or if someone requests a test. For information on HIV testing, see HealthLinkBC File #08m HIV and HIV Tests and HealthLinkBC File #38a HIV Testing in Pregnancy.

Figuring Out The Cause

Some people with HIV experience emotional problems such as anxiety, depression, sleep disorders and nightmares, or mental problems such as foggy thinking, memory difficulties and loss of the ability to concentrate or focus. If you are experiencing these symptoms or have friends, family or coworkers telling you they are observing such problems in you, it is important to work with your doctor and possibly other health professionals to obtain an accurate diagnosis and to establish a treatment plan.

There are a number of possible causes of emotional problems in people living with HIV. Sometimes, multiple causes can interact to create problems. The causes may or may not be associated with HIV disease and its treatments.

It is particularly important to discuss symptoms of anxiety or depression with your doctor. It is normal to have feelings of worry or anxiety about different issues in your life from time to time. However, if anxiety persists, symptoms can intensify beyond general worrying and include irritability, changes in appetite and weight, difficulty falling or staying asleep and sexual problems. Anxiety is a health problem that can and should be treated. Moreover, if anxiety does not resolve, it can, in some cases, turn into depression.

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How To Deal With Colds And Flu

  • Drink plenty of water or other fluids and have plenty of rest.
  • Prepare special teas for colds and drink them for as long as symptoms last.

A cold normally lasts about a week. If it lasts longer, or other symptoms are present such as a high fever or a cough with a lot of mucus, blood or odorous discharge, see a health worker because there may be an underlying infection.

Tb And Other Mycobacteriosis


The coincidence of TB and HIV epidemics has created a devastating international public health crisis. At least one-third of HIV-infected persons worldwide are infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and HIV infection is, in global terms, the largest risk factor for developing TB disease . Additionally, TB is a leading cause of death for people living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries . HIV-infected persons have a substantially greater risk of progressing from latent TB infection to active TB compared with persons without HIV infection . The use of HAART has been found to be associated with a notable reduction in the risk of TB, but incidence rates remain higher than in the general population . In a study of patients initiating HAART over a follow-up period of 4.5 yrs, the risk of TB only decreased when the CD4 threshold was >500 cells per mm3 .

Africa is experiencing the worst TB epidemic since the advent of antibiotics, with rates increasing sharply in the past two decades . Conversely, in the USA and Western Europe, a decline in the incidence of TB in HIV-infected patients has been observed in the last decades; however, remarkable regional differences have been found in Europe, with rates four to seven times higher in southwest Europe than in other European regions .

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How Can You Prevent Hiv

HIV is often spread by people who don’t know they have it. So it’s always important to protect yourself and others by taking these steps:

  • Practice safer sex. Use a condom every time you have sex until you are sure that you and your partner aren’t infected with HIV or other sexually transmitted infection .
  • Don’t have more than one sex partner at a time. The safest sex is with one partner who has sex only with you.
  • Talk to your partner before you have sex the first time. Find out if he or she is at risk for HIV. Get tested together. Use condoms in the meantime.
  • Don’t drink a lot of alcohol or use illegal drugs before sex. You might let down your guard and not practice safer sex.
  • Don’t share personal items, such as toothbrushes or razors.
  • Never share needles or syringes with anyone.

If you are at high risk for getting infected with HIV, you can take antiretroviral medicine to help protect yourself from HIV infection. Experts may recommend this for:footnote 1, footnote 2

  • People whose sexual practices put them at high risk for HIV infection, such as men who have sex with men and people who have many sex partners.
  • People who inject illegal drugs, especially if they share needles.
  • Adults who have a sex partner with HIV.

To keep your risk low, you still need to practice safer sex even while you are taking the medicine.

Sleep Problems In People With Hiv

At some point in time, all of us will have had problems falling asleep. For some people living with HIV, other factors can seriously compound sleeping issues. Whether it be the effects of certain HIV drugs or conditions like night sweats that can sometimes occur, the inability to fall asleep can often;chip away at a person’s general sense of;well-being.

A lack of quality sleep can result in periods of fatigue during the day, making it difficult to work, go to school, or even carry on day-to-day activities. Simple tasks we take for granted suddenly become a huge drain on an already-stressed body and mind.

In time, the body’s ability to fight off infection is reduced, placing a person at risk for HIV-associated illnesses and complications.

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How Is Psoriatic Arthritis Treated

Mild forms of psoriatic arthritis can be treated with over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling. Corticosteroids may also be injected into the affected joints.

For more severe forms of the disease, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs may be prescribed to decrease signs and symptoms. In some cases, biologics may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and prevent further damage.

If You Don’t Have A Doctor

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Public health units and other organizations may provide free or low-cost, confidential testing and counselling about HIV and high-risk behaviour.

If you don’t have a doctor, contact one of the following for information on HIV testing in your area:

  • Your local health unit
  • CATIE: 1-800-263-1638 or online at

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Eating Sleeping Exercising And Socializing

A healthy lifestyle contributes to mental and emotional health. Eating a nutrient-rich healthy diet is important for mental and physical health in people with HIV. Many studies have shown that regular exercise can help to improve mood and counter anxiety, stress and depression. Getting a good nights sleep is also very important for maintaining a good mood in general, as well as for ensuring you have sufficient energy to address your health and well-being.

Socializing with friends and family and finding social support can contribute significantly to emotional wellness, too. People with HIV who are isolated or have little social support are more likely to experience depression and anxiety. Making the effort to socialize, or joining a peer support group can be very helpful for restoring and maintaining good emotional health.

Effects Of Hiv/aids On The Body

The human immunodeficiency virus seeks and destroys CD4+ cells, a type of T lymphocyte . T cells are critical to the immune system. Theyre responsible for warding off diseases and most infections, including viral infections.

HIV targets the type of cells that would normally fight off an invader like HIV. As the virus replicates, it damages or destroys the infected CD4+ cell and produces more virus to infect more CD4+ cells. Without treatment, this cycle continues in most infected people until the immune system is badly compromised, leaving them open to many serious infections and illnesses. Many of the illnesses that people compromised immune systems get are rare in people with functioning immune systems.

How quickly the virus progresses varies from person to person. Factors like your age, overall health, and how quickly youre diagnosed and treated can make a difference.Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is the final stage of HIV. At this stage, the immune system is severely weakened, and the risk of contracting opportunistic infections is much greater. Not everyone with HIV will go on to develop AIDS.

Importantly, many of the effects described here are related to the failure of the immune system in progressing HIV and AIDS. Many of these effects are preventable with early antiretroviral treatment, which can preserve the immune system. However, for anyone without access to effective antiretroviral treatment, these effects remain possible.

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How To Deal With Nausea And Vomiting

General recommendations

  • Sit up when eating. Try not to lie down until one or two hours after eating.
  • Drink plenty of fluids after meals.
  • Try not to prepare food yourself. The smell of preparing or cooking food may worsen the feeling of nausea. Ask somebody else to prepare food or eat foods that require little preparation.

Recommended foods to eat and drink

  • If vomiting occurs, keep drinking small amounts of water, soups and spice teas . Eat soft foods and go back to solid foods when the vomiting stops.
  • You may be able to relieve the feeling of nausea by smelling fresh orange or lemon peel, or by drinking lemon juice in hot water or a herbal or ginger tea .
  • Eat dry and salty foods such as toast, crackers and cereal.

Foods to avoid

  • Fatty, greasy and very sweet foods can make nausea worse. Try to remove one food at a time from the diet to see if it makes a difference. If so, avoid that food. What affects one person may not affect others. People need to find out what suits them best.
  • There are medicines that can reduce nausea. Discuss with a doctor or health worker.

Better Treatment Outcomes With A Healthy Gi Tract

HIV Rashes

GI symptoms in HIV are extremely common and can have a profound effect on treatment outcome. Symptoms like nausea and diarrhea affect quality of life and can make adherence a challenge, while changes in absorption can make some HIV drugs much less effective. Keep your healthcare providers informed of your symptoms and try different interventions to reduce them. Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs are available to relieve GI symptoms and treat infections of the GI tract. Some of these drugs interact with HIV medications, so be sure to talk with your provider and pharmacist about any drugs that you’re taking or considering. By minimizing the impact of symptoms — and investigating the possibility of GI infections — you have a better shot at long-term treatment success.

Anne Monroe, M.D., is an Internal Medicine resident with a longstanding interest in HIV treatment and clinical trials. A Virginia native, she is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the SUNY Stony Brook School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, she was a study coordinator for HIV clinical trials at New York Presbyterian Hospital. She currently resides in Miami, where she is training at Jackson Memorial Hospital and pursuing her Masters in Public Health.

Anne Monroe, M.D., M.S.P.H.

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Treating The Rash At Home

  • 1Apply medicated cream to the rash. Your doctor may prescribe anti allergy creams or medication to help with any discomfort or itching. You can also buy over-the-counter antihistamine cream to help with these symptoms. Apply the cream as directed on the package.
  • 2Avoid direct sunlight or extreme cold. These are both triggering factors for HIV rashes, and can make your HIV rash worse.XResearch source
  • If you are going to go outside, apply sunscreen to your body to protect your skin or wear long sleeves and pants.
  • Wear a coat and warm clothing when going outside to avoid exposing your skin to extreme cold.
  • 3Take cold water baths and showers. Hot water will irritate your rash. Skip the hot baths or showers and go for a cold water bath or sponge bath to soothe your skin.XResearch source
  • You can use lukewarm water and pat, rather than rub, at your skin in the shower or the bath. Apply an all natural moisturizer to your skin to help it heal, such as creams that contain coconut oil or aloe vera, as soon as you get out of the bath or shower. The top layer of your skin is like a sponge, so applying moisturizer once you have stimulated your pores will trap water inside your skin and prevent dryness.
  • 4Switch to mild soap or herbal body wash. Chemical based soap can irritate your skin and cause dryness and itching. Look for mild soap, such as baby soap, or herbal body wash at your local drugstore.XResearch source
  • Tight clothing can also rub against your skin and worsen the HIV rash.
  • If You Already Have Hiv

    If you are infected with HIV, you can greatly lower the risk of spreading the infection to your sex partner by starting treatment when your immune system is still healthy.

    Experts recommend starting treatment as soon as you know you are infected.footnote 21

    Studies have shown that early treatment greatly lowers the risk of spreading HIV to an uninfected partner.footnote 22, footnote 23

    Your partner may also be able to take medicine to prevent getting infected.footnote 17 This is called pre-exposure prophylaxis .

    Steps to avoid spreading HIV

    If you are infected with HIV, you can greatly lower the risk of spreading the infection to your sex partner by starting treatment when your immune system is still healthy.

    • Take antiretroviral medicines. Getting treated for HIV can help prevent the spread of HIV to people who are not infected.
    • Tell your sex partner or partners about your behaviour and whether you are HIV-positive.
    • Follow safer sex practices, such as using condoms.
    • Do not donate blood, plasma, semen, body organs, or body tissues.
    • Do not share personal items, such as toothbrushes, razors, or sex toys, that may be contaminated with blood, semen, or vaginal fluids.

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    When Should I Contact My Caregiver

    Contact your caregiver if:

    • You have chills or night sweats.
    • You have sore or large lymph nodes in your neck, jaw, armpit, or groin.
    • You feel tired, and it does not go away.
    • You have diarrhea that does not get better.
    • You have lost more than 10 pounds in a short period of time.
    • Your skin is bleeding or bruising.
    • You have white spots or sores in your mouth, throat, vagina, or rectum.
    • You have a cough, shortness of breath, or chest tightness.
    • You notice changes in your menstrual cycle or flow.
    • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash. This may mean you are allergic to your medicine.
    • You have other body changes that worry you.
    • You have questions or concerns about your illness, medicine, or treatment.

    Hiv Effects On The Eyes

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    Some eye problems are mild, but others can be severe enough to cause blindness. Some of the most common are infections that can lead to bleeding in your retina and retinal detachment. About 7 in 10 people with untreated AIDS will have AIDS-related trouble with their eyes, usually because of cytomegalovirus.

    You may not have any symptoms until the problems are far along, so if you have advanced HIV, it’s important to get regular eye exams. Call your doctor if your vision changes, including if:

    • You get blurry or double vision.
    • Colors don’t look right.

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    How Is Hiv Treated

    There is no known cure for HIV or AIDS. Treatment of HIV focuses on decreasing the amount of the virus in your body and preventing infections.

    • Blood tests: You will need to have your blood tested to check your T-cell count. A healthy adult’s T-cell count should be more than 500. A T-cell count less than 200 means you are at a higher risk of getting sick, and that you have AIDS. Your caregiver will watch your response to treatment by checking your T-cell count and your viral load.
    • Medicines: You will be started on medicines. These medicines may change often over time. HIV can become resistant to certain medicines, making it harder to treat. It is very important to take all medicines correctly. Let your caregiver know if you are having any problems taking your medicine. Some medicines to treat HIV may not work for you. Caregivers will do tests before you begin these medicines to check if they might work for you.
    • Treat any other medical conditions: You may have other sexually transmitted diseases, such as herpes or syphilis. You should be tested for such diseases as tuberculosis or hepatitis . It is very important to treat these diseases as soon as possible.
    • Self-care: Follow a healthy lifestyle to help your immune system. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, get enough rest, and take steps to prevent infections. This includes not smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking illegal drugs.

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