Whats The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV and AIDS are not the same thing. And people with HIV do not always have AIDS.
HIV is the virus thats passed from person to person. Over time, HIV destroys an important kind of the cell in your immune system that helps protect you from infections. When you dont have enough of these CD4 cells, your body cant fight off infections the way it normally can.
AIDS is the disease caused by the damage that HIV does to your immune system. You have AIDS when you get dangerous infections or have a super low number of CD4 cells. AIDS is the most serious stage of HIV, and it leads to death over time.
Without treatment, it usually takes about 10 years for someone with HIV to develop AIDS. Treatment slows down the damage the virus causes and can help people stay healthy for several decades.
Stage : Chronic Hiv Infection
During the chronic HIV stage, HIV is active, but you may have no symptoms. You can still transmit the virus to others.
If you take HIV medication, you may remain in this stage indefinitely and never progress to the next phase. However, if you are not treated, this stage may last a decade or longer but could progress faster.
Whats The Hiv Window Period
As soon as someone contracts HIV, it starts to reproduce in their body. The persons immune system reacts to the antigens by producing antibodies .
The time between exposure to HIV and when it becomes detectable in the blood is called the HIV window period. Most people develop detectable HIV antibodies within 23 to 90 days after transmission.
If a person takes an HIV test during the window period, its likely theyll receive a negative result. However, they can still transmit the virus to others during this time.
If someone thinks they may have been exposed to HIV but tested negative during this time, they should repeat the test in a few months to confirm . And during that time, they need to use condoms or other barrier methods to prevent possibly spreading HIV.
Someone who tests negative during the window might benefit from post-exposure prophylaxis . This is medication taken after an exposure to prevent getting HIV.
PEP needs to be taken as soon as possible after the exposure it should be taken no later than 72 hours after exposure but ideally before then.
Another way to prevent getting HIV is pre-exposure prophylaxis . A combination of HIV drugs taken before potential exposure to HIV, PrEP can lower the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV when taken consistently.
Timing is important when testing for HIV.
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What Is Hiv Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that attacks the bodys immune system specifically, white blood cells called CD4-positive T-helper cells.
When the immune system is weakened from AIDS, the body may have difficulty fighting off certain cancers or viral, fungal, or bacterial infections, and these conditions may prove fatal.
How Can Hiv And Aids Be Prevented
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Common Questions & Answers
HIV is an abbreviation that stands for human immunodeficiency virus. If you are HIV positive it means that an HIV test has detected the presence of the virus in your body. HIV attacks your body’s immune system.
AIDS is an acronym that stands for the disease caused by HIV, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is a late stage of infection in which the HIV virus has actively damaged the immune system.
Lifestyle Changes And Complementary Treatments
A healthy lifestyle can ease some of the effects of HIV or its treatment:
- Stick to a balanced diet. Energy and nutrients help your body fight HIV. A healthy diet may also let your medications work better and could ease side effects. But be careful to prevent foodborne illness by avoiding raw meat and eggs.
- Get regular exercise. It boosts strength and endurance, lowers your risk of depression, and helps your immune system work better.
- Donât smoke. Smoking can make you more likely to get a serious condition like cancer, pneumonia, heart disease, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease . People with HIV who smoke tend to have shorter lifespans than those who donât.
- Get your vaccinations. Ask your doctor about whether they recommend that you get vaccines against pneumonia, flu, hepatitis A or B, or HPV.
Some people say that complementary therapies — those done in addition to standard medical treatment — help them feel better and live fuller lives with HIV. These may include:
Always talk with your doctor before adding a traditional practice or nutritional supplement to your HIV treatment plan.
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Can Hiv Symptoms Appear After 20 Years
Chronic HIV infection occurs during this stage. It is possible that you will not experience any symptoms for many years after your body has been exposed to HIV. In the absence of treatment, the HIV virus will continue to destroy CD4 cells and attack your immune system. The years and decades that follow.
Treatment Options For Hiv
Treatment should begin as soon as possible after a diagnosis of HIV, regardless of viral load.
The main treatment for HIV is antiretroviral therapy, a combination of daily medications that stop the virus from reproducing. This helps protect CD4 cells, keeping the immune system strong enough to take measures against disease.
Antiretroviral therapy helps keep HIV from progressing to AIDS. It also helps reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.
When treatment is effective, the viral load will be undetectable. The person still has HIV, but the virus is not visible in test results.
However, the virus is still in the body. And if that person stops taking antiretroviral therapy, the viral load will increase again, and the HIV can again start attacking CD4 cells.
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Whats The Treatment For Hiv
Theres no cure for HIV, but there are treatments that help people with HIV live long, healthy lives. Antiretroviral therapy is a combination of medicines that slows down the effects of HIV in your body and can help you stay healthy for many years. It can also lower or even stop your chances of giving HIV to anyone else.
ART lowers the amount of HIV in your body sometimes to the point where HIV wont show up on standard blood tests. If your HIV viral load is so low that certain tests cant see it, its called undetectable. When someone has an undetectable viral load, they cant spread HIV to others during sex.
Its important to remember that even with an undetectable viral load, HIV is still present in your body. If you stop treatment your viral load can go up, making it possible to pass HIV to others you have sex with. Your doctor or nurse can help you find the treatment thats best for you to help keep your viral load low, so you can stay healthy.
Paying attention to your lifestyle can help you stay healthy too. This means eating well, getting enough sleep, exercising, learning how to deal with stress, and avoiding alcohol, smoking, and drugs.
Hiv Symptoms In Men: Is There A Difference
Symptoms of HIV vary from person to person, but theyre similar in men and women. These symptoms can come and go or get progressively worse.
If a person has been exposed to HIV, they may also have been exposed to other sexually transmitted infections . These include:
While not related to HIV symptoms, another risk for women with HIV is that the virus can be transmitted to a baby during pregnancy. However, antiretroviral therapy is considered safe during pregnancy.
Women who are treated with antiretroviral therapy are at very low risk for transmitting HIV to their baby during pregnancy and delivery. Breastfeeding is also affected in women with HIV. The virus can be transferred to a baby through breast milk.
In the United States and other settings where formula is accessible and safe, its recommended that women with HIV not breastfeed their babies. For these women, use of formula is encouraged.
Options besides formula include pasteurized banked human milk.
For women who may have been exposed to HIV, its important to know what symptoms to look for.
AIDS refers to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. With this condition, the immune system is weakened due to HIV thats typically gone untreated for many years.
If HIV is found and treated early with antiretroviral therapy, a person will usually not develop AIDS.
Symptoms of AIDS can include:
- recurrent fever
HIV does NOT transfer through:
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How Do Hiv Medicines Work
HIV attacks and destroys the infection-fighting CD4 cells of the immune system. Loss of CD4 cells makes it hard for the body to fight off infections and certain HIV-related cancers.
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.
Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy
In 1996, highly active antiretroviral therapy was introduced for people with HIV and AIDS. HAART â often referred to as the anti-HIV “cocktail” â is a combination of three or more drugs, such as protease inhibitors and other anti-retroviral medications. The treatment is highly effective in slowing the rate at which the HIV virus replicates itself, which may slow the spread of HIV in the body. The goal of HAART is to reduce the amount of virus in your body, or the viral load, to a level that can no longer be detected with blood tests.
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Patients Cured Of Hiv Infection
The so-called “Berlin patient” has been potentially cured of HIV infection and has been off of treatment since 2006 with no detectable virus. This was achieved through two bone marrow transplants that replaced his immune system with a donor’s that did not have the CCR5 cell surface receptor, which is needed for some variants of HIV to enter a cell. Bone marrow transplants carry their own significant risks including potential death and was only attempted because it was necessary to treat a blood cancer he had. Attempts to replicate this have not been successful and given the risks, expense and rarity of CCR5 negative donors, bone marrow transplant is not seen as a mainstream option. It has inspired research into other methods to try to block CCR5 expression through gene therapy. A procedure zinc-finger nuclease-based gene knockout has been used in a Phase I trial of 12 humans and led to an increase in CD4 count and decrease in their viral load while off antiretroviral treatment. Attempt to reproduce this failed in 2016. Analysis of the failure showed that gene therapy only successfully treats 11-28% of cells, leaving the majority of CD4+ cells capable of being infected. The analysis found that only patients where less than 40% of cells were infected had reduced viral load. The Gene therapy was not effective if the native CD4+ cells remained. This is the main limitation which must be overcome for this treatment to become effective.
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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How Do Hiv/aids Medicines Work
HIV/AIDS medicines reduce the amount of HIV in your body, which helps by:
- Giving your immune system a chance to recover. Even though there is still some HIV in your body, your immune system should be strong enough to fight off infections and certain HIV-related cancers.
- Reducing the risk that you will spread HIV to others
Risks And Side Effects
HIV medicines can sometimes cause side effects. Some side effects happen for a short time. Other side effects can cause long term health problems. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effects you are having. Do not stop taking your medicine without first talking to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider may tell you tips to help you cope with the side effects. Your healthcare provider may also tell you to take different medicines.
- This page does not give the specific side effects and warnings for each HIV medicine.
- Talk to your healthcare provider about the side effects and warnings for the medicines you take.
- Check the FDA Web site to find more HIV medicine information.
It is important that you take your HIV medicines just as your healthcare provider tells you. Your medicines may not work if you skip a dose or do not stick to your schedule. Over time, you can get sick if you do not take your medicines as directed. Your HIV may become resistant to your medicines. This means your medicines could stop working and more HIV could build up in your body.
Here are some tips to help you remember when to take your HIV medicines.
- Use a schedule or planner.
- Set the alarm on your watch or phone.
- Use a pillbox to help you organize your pills.
- Ask a friend or family member to help you.
Chart to help you remember when to take your HIV medicine
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A Comprehensive Guide To Treatment Options
This article is part of Health Divide: HIV, a destination in our Health Divide series.
Thanks to advances in treatment, people with HIV are living longer, healthier lives than ever before. Although there is still no cure for the disease, HIV is today considered a chronic, manageable condition with numerous medications able to control the infection.
What Should I Do Until Theres A Cure For Hiv
For now, the best thing to do for your health is to test regularly for HIV. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have the virus.
If youve already tested and your result is positive, youll be advised to start antiretroviral treatment as soon as possible. Treatment is the only way to manage HIV and prevent it from damaging your immune system. It also reduces the risk of passing HIV on to your sexual partners. With treatment, people living with HIV can have long and healthy lives.
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Researching An Hiv Cure: The Main Approaches
Although the stem cell approach has had some success in the past, its very dangerous for the patient. It would only be considered a viable option, if the person needed a stem cell transplant to treat another more deadly condition, such as very advanced leukaemia which, unlike HIV, doesnt have as many other safe and effective treatment options available.
While there is promising research being carried out in these areas, there is no viable cure on the horizon.
When Should You Start Hiv Treatments
It is difficult to know exactly when an individual should begin taking medication for their HIV. Unlike other infections, starting treatment early on is not necessarily beneficial. However, waiting until your HIV infection has progressed to late-stage HIV may also not be ideal. Depending on the state of your immune system, some people may be better off to prolong starting antiretroviral treatment while others may benefit from starting early.
If you are HIV positive, it is important to work closely and talk openly with your health care provider. Because HIV symptoms are often not noticeable until the infection has really advanced, regular monitoring of your immune system can help determine just how much of your system the infection has taken over. Regular CD4 tests can give valuable insight as to the state of your immune system. The lower the CD4 cell count, the more reason you have to start drug therapy since your immune system is weakening.
Alternatively, you can also have regular viral load tests. These tests indicate just how much of the virus is in your system. Depending on the amount , you may be advised to start or hold off on treatment.
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