Does Being Durably Undetectable Mean That The Virus Has Left My Body
Even when viral load is undetectable, HIV is still present in the body. The virus lies dormant inside a small number of cells in the body called viral reservoirs. When therapy is halted by missing doses, taking a treatment holiday or stopping treatment, the virus emerges and begins to multiply, becoming detectable in the blood again. This newly reproducing virus is infectious. It is essential to take every pill every day as directed to achieve and maintain a durably undetectable status.
How Do Hiv Medicines Work
HIV medicines prevent HIV from multiplying , which reduces the amount of HIV in the body . Having less HIV in the body gives the immune system a chance to recover and produce more CD4 cells. Even though there is still some HIV in the body, the immune system is strong enough to fight off infections and certain HIV-related;cancers.
By reducing the amount of HIV in the body, HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission. A main goal of HIV treatment is to reduce a persons viral load to an undetectable level. An undetectable viral load means that the level of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected by a viral load test. People with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex.
If The Viral Load Is Undetectable Can You Stop Treatment
No! Having a viral load below levels that laboratory tests can measure tells us that the HIV drugs are working. An undetectable viral load doesn’t mean the HIV virus is gone from your body, though. Even though the virus is not detected in the blood, it is still present in other parts of your body, such as the lymph nodes, brain, and reproductive organs. If you stop treatment, the virus will start reproducing again and your viral load will increase, putting your health at risk.
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Get Information On Older Adults With Hiv
- Access the latest data on HIV and older Americans from the CDC.
- Get more informationexternal icon on HIV and older people from the National Institute on Aging.
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Pharmacologic Enhancers Or Drug Boosters
Ritonavir , taken in a low dose, increases blood levels of lopinavir and the drug LPV/r .
- Zidovudine + Lamivudine or ZDV/3TC
Descovy and Truvada have also been approved as ways to prevent HIV infection for people who are at high risk. But if you take either of them, you have to practice safe sex, too.
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Recommended Initial Regimens In Certain Clinical Situations
Multiple antiretroviral regimens are available that are effective and tolerable, but are considered inferior to the regimens listed above. The Adult and Adolescent ARV Guidelines denotes this category as Recommended Initial Regimens in Certain Clinical Situations. This category also addresses regimens to consider when abacavir, tenofovir alafenamide, and tenofovir DF cannot be used or are not optimal to use, as well as addressing specific circumstances that apply to certain 2-drug regimens.
Substance Abuse Increases The Risk Of Hiv/aids
Substance abuse can indirectly and directly increase the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. For instance, ten percent or more of HIV cases annually can be attributed to injection drugs.
Indirect risks are changes in behavior that increase the chance that someone would be exposed to the virus. The abuse of alcohol and other non-injection drugs is associated with an increased risk of HIV infection 9. Many drugs, including alcohol, reduce inhibitions and impair judgment. As a result, alcohol may make risky behavior more likely, such as unprotected sex and sex with multiple partners. In cases such as this, the use of alcohol is not directly related to HIV/AIDS risk, but the actions as a result of substance abuse can lead to increased risk. This is true for nearly all substance abuse. Anything that impairs judgment also increases risk.
Direct risks of HIV exposure occur in the form of contaminated needles and drug injection supplies. When needles are shared among users, traces of blood may be transferred between individuals as well. Even when a clean needle is used, such as the ones obtained through needle-exchange programs, any other materials used for the injection may also contain blood or body fluids. For example, solutions used to dissolve drugs or cotton balls that have come in contact with the needles can easily become contaminated between users. Even in the case of injection drugs, sexual practices while under the influence are a common route of HIV infection 10.
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Phosphodiesterase Type 5 Inhibitors
Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors are frequently prescribed in men with HIV for symptoms of erectile dysfunction; pharmacokinetic interactions between antiretroviral therapies and the PDE-5 inhibitorsavanafil, sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafilare well recognized. Protease inhibitors and pharmacologic boosters generally increase the levels of PDE-5 inhibitor medications, which can result in priapism, hypotension, and other adverse effects. In contrast, etravirine and efavirenz lower levels of PDE-5 levels and may necessitate dose increases for the PDE-5 inhibitors sildenafil, tadalafil, and vardenafil; rilpivirine has been studied with sildenafil and tadalafil, and no dose adjustment appears to be necessary with either combination. Due to lack of data, coadministration of antiretroviral therapies from any class with avanafil is not recommended.;The 2013 HIVMA/IDSA Primary Care Guidance and the 2018 Endocrine Society Testosterone Therapy Guidelines recommend testing for testosterone deficiency in adult men with HIV who have decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, or other signs of androgen deficiency; if testosterone therapy is warranted and symptoms of sexual dysfunction resolve with testosterone therapy, treatment with a PDE-5 inhibitor is not warranted.
What Is Antiretroviral Therapy
Antiretroviral therapy is an HIV treatment that uses a combination of two or more drugs.
Specialists introduced antiretroviral therapy in 1996 in response to the poor success rate among those taking only one HIV medication at a time.
The beginnings of three-drug antiretroviral treatment marked a turning point in the history of HIV treatment. The new treatment design transformed what used to be a diagnosis with a very poor outlook into a manageable condition.
Antiretroviral therapy has a twofold effect on the body. It increases the number of immune cells while also decreasing the number of virus cells present in the body.
Antiretroviral therapy has the following positive effects on HIV:
- stops it from multiplying in the blood
- reduces viral load, which is the number of HIV copies in the blood
- increases the number of CD4 cells, which are immune cells that HIV targets, to improve immune system function
- slows down and prevents the development of stage 3 HIV, or AIDS
- prevents transmission
- reduces the severity of complications and increases survival rates
- keeps virus counts low in the blood
When prescribing antiretroviral therapy, healthcare providers a regimen of three or more drugs for the best chances of lowering the amount of HIV in the body.
A person can, however, talk to their healthcare provider about a single pill that contains several medications.
This concept is called undetectable = untransmittable, or U=U.
- integrase strand transfer inhibitors
- fusion inhibitors
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Hiv Entry And Entry Inhibitors
The initial step in the HIV life cycle involves a complex interaction between HIV envelope spikes and host surface proteins. The HIV envelope consists of two structural components: surface envelope glycoprotein and transmembrane envelope glycoprotein . The surface of HIV is studded with approximately 14 envelope spikes, with each spike consisting of a trimer of three gp120 and gp41 subunits;. Both gp120 and gp41 play an essential role in HIV entry into the host cell.
- gp120: The gp120 subunit is the component of the envelope that interacts with the host receptors and coreceptors; these interactions involve the gp120 CD4 binding site on the outermost surface of gp120 and the more internal variable 3 region of gp120. The gp120 V3 region plays a major role in determining the coreceptor tropism of HIV.
- gp41: The gp41 subunit consists of three domains: ectodomain , the transmembrane domain , and the cytoplasmic tail . The gp41 ectodomain has several functional components that include the N-terminal hydrophobic region and the N-terminal heptad repeat region 1 and the heptad repeat region 2 . Prior to cell binding, the HIV gp41 exist in a conformation in which the gp41 is folded back on itself in an energy loaded state.
HIV Entry Inhibitors
The FDA-approved HIV entry inhibitors includes three subclasses: CD4 postattachment inhibitor, CCR5 coreceptor antagonists, and fusion inhibitors; each one of these subclasses of entry inhibitors has one FDA-approved drug.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Similar to the interactions noted between antiretroviral medications and antipsychotics, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may also interact with pharmacologic boosters , PIs, and NNRTIs. In general, most SSRIs are safe with concurrent antiretroviral therapy; nonetheless, the effects of coadministration are variable, and treatment should be titrated to response. For example, lopinavir-ritonavir raises paroxetine levels, darunavir given with ritonavir lowers paroxetine levels, and efavirenz does not significantly impact paroxetine levels. Bictegravir, dolutegravir, and raltegravir do not appear to impact SSRI levels.
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Hiv Treatment Options: An Overview
If you are diagnosed with HIV infection, you will have many questions about treatment options, advantages, and side effects.
Today, it is well-known that early diagnosis, combined with advanced current treatments and regular medical follow-up, can significantly improve the health outcomes of patients living with HIV. In fact, many people with HIV who are treated appropriately, take their medications as directed, and are monitored closely can live close to a normal life-span.
Diagnosis and early treatment is still important even though HIV has become more of a chronic disease for many people. In 2018, the latest year that CDC data is available, the number of new HIV diagnoses in the United States was almost 38,000.
There is no cure or vaccine for HIV/AIDS yet, but research has greatly expanded since the 1980s. It’s important to know your status: HIV screening is recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for patients between 13 and 64 years of age at least once in their lifetime. People should be notified that testing will be performed, but should be able to option to decline testing or do at a later date.
What is antiretroviral therapy ?
Antiretroviral drugs slow the growth and replication of HIV. ART works to lower the viral load, which is the amount of HIV in your blood.
How is ART given?
Most treatments for HIV and AIDS are given as a three medication regimen in combination .
Learning Objective Performance Indicators
- List the major classes of antiretroviral medications and describe the mechanism of action with each class of drugs
- Discuss evidence supporting antiretroviral treatment of all persons with HIV
- List recommended antiretroviral regimens for treatment-naïve individuals and discuss factors to consider when selecting an initial regimen
- Summarize recommended laboratory studies to obtain at baseline and while monitoring response to therapy
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How Do I Talk To My Partner About Their Risk Of Acquiring Hiv
People living with HIV can involve their partners in their treatment plans. Research shows that adhering to treatment often can improve with support from loving relationships and from the community.
Pre-exposure prophylaxis , in which an HIV-negative person takes antiretroviral medication to prevent infection, can be part of the conversation. Learn more about PrEP.
Prophylaxis Against Toxoplasma Gondii Encephalitis
- TMP-SMX double-strength , one tablet daily, is recommended by the CDC as the preferred regimen . TMP-SMX DS, three times weekly, is an alternative.
- Dapsone + pyrimethamine + leucovorin is an alternative in patients who cannot tolerate TMP-SMX .
- Atovaquone with or without pyrimethamine/leucovorin also can be considered.
- Aerosolized pentamidine is not recommended for prophylaxis.
Prophylaxis against toxoplasmosis should be discontinued among patients who have responded to an ART regimen with an increase in CD4+ counts to >200 cells/µL for at least 3 months.
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When Should I Start Antiretroviral Treatment
Its now recommended that people diagnosed with HIV start antiretroviral treatment straight away. This is because the sooner you start treatment, the sooner you can benefit from it. Starting treatment as soon as possible protects your immune system from damage and gives you the best chance of staying strong and healthy in the future.
I immediately started my treatment, and boy I have to tell you, I never experienced any sort of setback and have never been sick -;and now I am even undetectable.
– Mpho, South Africa
Sticking To Your Medicines
“Adherence” refers to how well you stay on your treatment plan–whether you take your medications exactly as your provider tells you.
If you follow your provider’s instructions, the HIV drugs will work well to lower the amount of virus in your blood. Taking your drugs correctly increases your likelihood of success.
But, if you miss doses, or don’t follow a regular schedule, your treatment may not work, and the HIV virus may become resistant to the medicines.
Before you start a treatment plan, you should:
- Get your provider to write everything down for you: names of the drugs, what they look like, how to take them , and how often to take them. This way, you’ll have something to look at in case you forget what you’re supposed to do.
- With your provider’s help, develop a plan that works for you.
Pop question: True or false. Missing doses and not following a regular schedule can lessen the effect of your HIV medication.
Pop question: True or false. Missing doses and not following a regular schedule can lessen the effect of your HIV medication.
Answer: TRUE. Missing doses and not following a regular schedule can lessen the effect of your HIV medication. It is very important that you stay on your treatment plan and follow your provider’s instructions for taking your medicine.
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What Is The Best Hiv Treatment To Start With
The drugs used to treat HIV are called antiretroviral drugs . There are several different types and they work in different ways. HIV treatment is made up of three or more antiretroviral drugs normally combined into one pill.
There are lots of antiretroviral drugs, and they can be combined in different ways. The World Health Organization recommends that adults and adolescents starting HIV treatment take a combination of HIV drugs with dolutegravir as one of the main components. Your healthcare worker will help you to find the best treatment for you.
Why Is Hiv Treatment Important
Getting and staying on HIV treatment because it reduces the amount of HIV in your blood to a very low level. This keeps you healthy and prevents illness. There is also a major prevention benefit. 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. This is called treatment as prevention.
If left untreated, HIV attacks your immune system and can allow different types of life-threatening infections and cancers to develop. If your CD4 cell count falls below a certain level, you are at risk of getting an opportunistic infection. These are infections that dont normally affect people with healthy immune systems but that can infect people with immune systems weakened by HIV infection. Your health care provider may prescribe medicines to prevent certain infections.
HIV treatment is most likely to be successful when you know what to expect and are committed to taking your medicines exactly as prescribed. Working with your health care provider to develop a treatment plan will help you learn more about HIV and manage it effectively.
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Things To Know About Hiv Suppression
A vial of blood
A vial of blood
Development of antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV has turned what was once an almost always fatal infection into a manageable chronic condition. Daily antiretroviral therapy can reduce the amount of HIV in the blood to levels that are undetectable with standard tests. Staying on treatment is crucial to keep the virus suppressed. NIAID-supported research has demonstrated that achieving and maintaining a durably undetectable viral load not only preserves the health of the person living with HIV, but also prevents sexual transmission of the virus to an HIV-negative partner.
Hiv/aids Patients Also Have An Increased Risk Of Several Cancers
In some cases these cancer risks are due to other factors commonly associated with HIV/AIDS. For example, smoking is more common among HIV/AIDS patients, and the increased smoking rate among HIV/AIDS patients may account for much of the increased incidence of lung cancer among that population. However, other cancers appear to be more common as a result of HIV infection and disease progression.
Because HIV primarily targets immune cells, HIV/AIDS can lead to lymphoma, which is a cancer of the white blood cells.Another cancer common in HIV/AIDS patients and rare in uninfected people is Kaposis sarcoma. This cancer affects blood vessels and causes the characteristic reddish lesions that have often been associated with AIDS patients. Other cancers, including Hodgkin disease and testicular seminoma also appear to occur at a higher frequency in HIV/AIDS patients as a result of decreased immune function 8.
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