Wednesday, May 22, 2024

How Does Hiv Change Your Life

What Is The Connection Between The Hiv Life Cycle And Hiv Medicines

HIV life cycle: How HIV infects a cell and replicates itself using reverse transcriptase

Antiretroviral therapy is the use of a combination of HIV medicines to treat HIV infection. People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines every day. HIV medicines protect the immune system by blocking HIV at different stages of the HIV life cycle. HIV medicines are grouped into different drug classes according to how they fight HIV. Each class of drugs is designed to target a specific step in the HIV life cycle.

Because an HIV treatment regimen includes HIV medicines from at least two different HIV drug classes, ART is very effective at preventing HIV from multiplying. Having less HIV in the body protects the immune system and prevents HIV from advancing to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .

ART cannot cure HIV, but HIV medicines help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission .

Facts About Hiv: Life Expectancy And Long


The outlook for people living with HIV has significantly improved over the past two decades. Many people who are HIV-positive can now live much longer, healthier lives when regularly taking antiretroviral treatment.

Kaiser Permanente researchers found that the life expectancy for people living with HIV and receiving treatment increased significantly from 1996 on. Since that year, new antiretroviral drugs have been developed and added to the existing antiretroviral therapy. This has resulted in a highly effective HIV treatment regimen.

In 1996, the total life expectancy for a 20-year-old person with HIV was 39 years. In 2011, the total life expectancy bumped up to about 70 years.

The survival rate for HIV-positive people has also dramatically improved since the first days of the HIV epidemic. For example,

, a person with undetectable levels of HIV in their blood isnt able to transmit the virus to a partner during sex.

Between 2010 and 2014, the annual number of new HIV infections in the United States fell by

How Are Hiv And Aids Treated

Medicines can help people with HIV stay healthy. They can also prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS.

Health care providers prescribe a combination of different medicines for people with HIV and AIDS. They must be taken exactly as prescribed or they won’t work. These medicines:

  • help keep the number of CD4 cells high
  • reduce the viral load of HIV

Regular blood tests will check the number of CD4 cells in the body and the viral load.

If an HIV-positive person’s CD4 count gets low, doctors prescribe daily antibiotics. This prevents pneumocystis pneumonia, which happens in people with weakened immune systems.

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How Does Hiv Affect A Person In The Long Term

Though the outlook has gotten much better for those with HIV, there are still some long-term effects that they might experience.

As time passes, people living with HIV may begin to develop certain side effects of treatment or HIV itself.

These may include:

The body may also undergo a shift in how it processes sugars and fats. This can lead to having more fat in certain areas of the body, which can change the bodys shape. However, these physical symptoms are more common with older HIV medications. Newer treatments have far fewer, if any, of these symptoms affecting physical appearance.

If treated poorly or left untreated, HIV infection can develop into stage 3 HIV, or AIDS.

A person develops stage 3 HIV when their immune system is too weak to defend their body against infections. A healthcare provider will likely diagnose stage 3 HIV if the number of certain white blood cells in an HIV-positive persons immune system drops below 200 cells per mL of blood.

Life expectancy is different for every person living with stage 3 HIV. Some people may die within months of this diagnosis, but the majority can live fairly healthy lives with regular antiretroviral therapy.

Gains And Losses In Life Years

Living In An Era of HIV

Factors that influence life expectancy are either static or dynamic .

Static factors, like race or sexual orientation, influence life expectancy because they are ones people are often unable to escape. For example, high levels of poverty in Black communities combined with a lack of access to health care and high levels of HIV stigma take back many of the gains seen in White communities.

Dynamic factors, by comparison, have a strong cause-and-effect relation to survival times. For instance, treatment adherence is directly related to disease progression. The less adherence is maintained, the greater the risk of drug resistance and treatment failure. With each failure, a person loses more and more treatment options.

When looking at both static and dynamic risk factors, we can begin to identify where an individual can gain or lose life-years without even knowing it. Among them:

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Stages Of The Hiv Lifecycle

Binding and fusion

HIV attaches to a T-helper cell. It then fuses to it and releases its genetic information into the cell.

The types of drugs that stop this stage of the lifecycle are called fusion or entry inhibitor drugs because they stop HIV from entering the cell.

Reverse transcription and integration

Once inside the T-helper cell, HIV converts its genetic material into HIV DNA, a process called reverse transcription. The new HIV DNA then enters the nucleus of the host cell and takes control of it.

The types of drugs that stop this stage of the lifecycle are called NRTIs , NNRTIs and integrase inhibitor drugs.

Transcription and translation

The infected T-helper cell then produces HIV proteins that are used to produce more HIV particles inside the cell.

Assembly, budding and maturation

The new HIV is put together and then released from the T-helper cell into the bloodstream to infect other cells and so the process begins again.

The type of drugs that stop this stage of the lifecycle are called protease inhibitor drugs.

How Do You Balance Managing Diabetes And Your Mental Health

Remember, three months ago when you last checked in with us, we discussed how important your mental health would be. What have you tried to do to look after yourself, when it comes to your thoughts and feelings? Are you following us on Facebook, so you can get tips for living your best life with Diabetes?

Depression is still largely ignored by so many people, and its so important that you know you deserve help. If you didnt already know, our AllLife clients get access to a free 24hr Health Helpline. Our clients can confide in a qualified healthcare or mental healthcare professional and get sound advice, or just have someone to lean on in those dark moments. If youd like to learn more about what else you could get as an AllLife client, take a look at our dedicated Diabetes website.

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Talks About How People Need To Live Life In The Present But Responsibly

So focusing on the present moment and not running away from it was an important way of managing the future for some. Some even thought having HIV had the advantage of helping ‘you know what you want’ in life.

The futureWhile some concentrated on the present moment, others focused on hopes of what the future might be like. For instance many hoped for a cure: ‘I think my dream would be that there’s a cure for HIV And I see the future as very much as I did really before my diagnosis, tempered with the knowledge that I have HIV’.

Many people talked about how they now expected – or wanted – to live ‘as normal a life as possible’, much like people who do not have HIV. Medication was seen as the key to a normal future: ‘I don’t expect HIV is going to kill me,’ said many. Although some feared that HIV could ‘rear its ugly head.’ People with this outlook planned for the future, including paying into pension plans.AnxietiesDespite the success of anti-HIV drugs, a number of people said they lived with anxieties about the future’ ‘You don’t know when something’s going to strike you.’ Even people who were doing very well could worry about their health’ ‘I am scared of what is going to happen tomorrow, rather than what is going to happen in 10 years’ time,’ said one man. Poverty and social changes were also feared. For instance, one man thought, ‘There seems to be this attack on people that are sick.’ Others worried about healthcare in the future.

Last reviewed May 2017.

Reach Out To Others For Support

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Many people with HIV have a very hard time figuring out whom to tell about their diagnosis. The best person to approach first, says Dr. Johnson, is someone whose response you can more or less expect will be supportive. Often these are people who have had a personal experience with HIV, but they can also be close friends or coworkers.

Its important to find at least one person you can confide in about your HIV status. Just talking with someone can help alleviate emotional distress so you can become more focused on solving problems, says Johnson. After you open up to at least one person, find someone else who can offer practical insight, including information about doctors, clinics, and treatments . For many people, this means joining a local or online support group.

If someone finds they dont know anyone living with HIV or they havent told people about their own HIV status, it can be very challenging, Johnson says. Try to get linked up with a support group if thats an option. This helps to normalize the experience, to get perspective from other people who are dealing with it.

Note that in the United States, many states and some cities have partner-notification laws. This means that if you test positive for HIV, you or your healthcare provider must tell your current or past sexual or needle-sharing partners.

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How Do People Get Hiv

HIV spreads when infected blood or body fluids enter the body. This can happen:

HIV also can pass from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

HIV is NOT spread through:

  • pee, poop, spit, throw-up, or sweat
  • coughing or sneezing
  • sharing eating utensils or drinking glasses

Hiv And Telogen Effluvium

Telogen effluvium is the temporary thinning of hair caused by a variety of conditions. These include acute or chronic major illness, childbirth, emotional stress, rapid weight loss, nutritional deficiency, hormonal disorders, various drugs, and inflammatory or infectious conditions of the scalp.

These conditions may push hair follicles into a resting phase, where they stop growing hair. Typically, this develops a few months after the event. One study found that 8.4% of a group of people with HIV experienced telogen effluvium.

TE usually resolves without treatment, and the hair begins growing again. Its not fully understood why TE develops, but it is common among people living with HIV.

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How Does Hiv Affect Peoples Personal Lives

Stress, anxiety, and depression can increase when you live with HIV. In addition, opportunistic infections can affect the nervous system, causing changes in behavior and thinking as well. It is important for anyone concerned about their mental or emotional health to contact a healthcare professional.

How Is Life Expectancy Calculated

Hiv aids presentation

Life expectancy is the average number of years that a person can expect to live.

More precisely, it is the average number of years an individual of a given age is expected to live if current mortality rates continue to apply. It is an estimate that is calculated by looking at the current situation of a group of people and projecting that into the future.

However, HIV is a relatively new disease and HIV treatment is a rapidly changing area of medicine. It is therefore hard to know whether our current experience will be an accurate guide to the future.

At the moment, there are large numbers of people living with HIV in their twenties, thirties, forties, fifties and sixties. Current death rates are very low, resulting in encouraging figures for future life expectancy. But we have very little experience of people living with HIV in their seventies or eighties, so we know less about the impact HIV may have later in life.

Also, health care for people with HIV is likely to get better in the future. People living with HIV will benefit from improved anti-HIV medications that have fewer side effects, are easier to take and are more effective in suppressing HIV. Doctors understanding of how best to prevent and treat heart disease, diabetes, cancers and other conditions in people with HIV is improving. This could mean that people actually live longer than our current estimates suggest.

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Hiv Effects On The Circulatory System

Several things make your chances of heart-related problems go up. Because HIV affects your immune system, your body will be inflamed as it tries to fight the infection, like itâs on a constant simmer. This kind of inflammation has been linked to heart disease.

Some drugs you take for HIV can also make heart disease more likely. They can cause insulin resistance, which makes you more likely to get diabetes, and problems breaking down fats. Diabetes, in turn, raises your risk of heart disease. You might need medicines to control your blood sugar and cholesterol.

If you smoke, quit. Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, plenty of whole grains, and foods with omega-3 fatty acids. Choose lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products. Exercise, like taking a brisk walk, for 20 to 30 minutes most days of the week.

If you’re carrying extra weight, losing as little as 5 or 10 pounds could make a big difference.

Hiv Effects On The Nervous System

About half of people with AIDS have nerve problems related to the virus. Infection or inflammation can damage your spinal cord or brain and keep your nerve cells from working the way they should. Some medications can also affect your nervous system.


Inflammation in your brain and spinal cord can lead to confusion and other thinking problems as well as weakness, headaches, seizures, and balance problems.

When AIDS is far along, you might get dementia and have problems remembering things.

Having HIV can also affect your mental health. Many people living with it have depression or anxiety. Mental health professionals and support groups can help you work through your concerns and manage your life with HIV.


The opportunistic infection cytomegalovirus can attack your nerves, making it hard for you to control your arms and legs or your bladder.

Itâs common for tiny holes to form in spinal fibers when people with AIDS donât get treatment. This is called vacuolar myelopathy and causes trouble walking.

HIV or the drugs that treat it can also damage nerves all over your body, causing neuropathy. You might have pain, numbness, weakness, burning, stiffness, or tingling.

Antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV can lower your risk of getting these conditions or complications. If a medication is causing the problems, your doctor might switch you to a different one.

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How Long Can You Live If Born With Hiv

HIV-infected children today have a good chance of living as long as anyone else who has the disease, and that can last decades if they receive good care. The average life expectancy for HIV-positive children is about 10 years after diagnosis, but new treatments mean things are getting better every day

Is There Any Treatment Of A Cure For Hiv/aids

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Currently, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS. People living with HIV will need lifelong treatment. The best treatments right now are combinations of prescription drugs. These medications include antiviral treatment, protease inhibitors and other drugs that help people who are living with HIV stay healthy. People living with HIV also can stay healthy by doing things like eating properly, exercising and getting enough sleep.

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Can Hiv Be Prevented

To reduce the risk of getting HIV, people who are sexually active should:

  • use a condom every time they have sex
  • get tested for HIV and make sure all partners do too
  • reduce their number of sexual partners
  • get tested and treated for STDs having an STD increases the risk of HIV infection
  • consider taking a medicine every day if they are at very high risk of getting infected

For everyone:

  • Do not inject drugs or share any kind of needle.
  • Do not share razors or other personal objects that may touch blood.
  • Do not touch anyone else’s blood from a cut or sore.

What Are The Symptoms

If you have been diagnosed as being infected with HIV, you should routinely be going for medical visits to best control the infection. In addition to physical tests and examinations, your doctor and/or clinician should also be conducting an annual mental health assessment. Because feelings of depression commonly co-occur with a diagnosis of HIV, many patients may not immediately seek treatment, thinking it is a normal side effect of their diagnosis. Similarly, many clinicians fail to screen effectively for depression so as not to insult the patient. However, the following symptoms can be caused by depression in HIV-positive patients and should be on your radar:

  • Overall depressed mood

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Hiv Effects On The Eyes

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, its important to get regular eye exams. Call your doctor if your vision changes, including if:

  • You get blurry or double vision.
  • Colors dont look right.

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