Hiv Prevention And Treatment
If a person is HIV positive, there are treatment options to keep them healthy and prevent them from transmitting it. Thankfully, with proper treatment for HIV, people can live long, healthy lives by keeping their viral load under control in Stage 2.
HIV treatment drugs suppress a persons viral load or the number of HIV cells in the body. Doctors will monitor the cell count and when it falls an undetectable range, they are considered to be non-transmittable.
Scientific research has proven that a person cannot transmit HIV to another partner if their viral load is undetectable. This is commonly which stands for undetectable = untransmittable.
Of course, the best way to stop HIV transmission is to understand how to protect yourself and others from exposure. Using condoms and avoiding sharing needles is effective but taking PrEP can provide the greatest protection even if you are accidentally exposed.
PrEP is a medication prescribed by a doctor which can lower the risk of HIV transmission significantly. This drug stops HIV from being able to reproduce in the body. So, it can be taken before exposure and stop HIV transmission.
If a person has knowingly been exposed to HIV and is not currently on PrEP or has missed numerous doses, then they will be prescribed PEP. This is a medication regimen of HIV prevention drugs that must be administered with 72 hours of exposure. This can stop HIV from reproducing and diminish a persons viral load.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv And Aids
Within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV, some people may have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, or rash. The symptoms may last for a few days to several weeks. Other possible symptoms of HIV include night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and mouth ulcers. Having these symptoms do not mean you have HIV. Other illnesses can cause the same symptoms. Some people may not feel sick during early HIV infection . During this earliest stage of HIV infection, the virus multiplies rapidly. After the initial stage of infection, HIV continues to multiply but at very low levels.
More severe symptoms of HIV infection, such as a badly damaged immune system and signs of opportunistic infections, generally do not appear for many years until HIV has advanced to AIDS. People with AIDS have badly damaged immune systems that make them prone to opportunistic infections.
Without treatment with HIV medicines, HIV infection usually advances to AIDS in 10 years or longer, though it may advance faster in some people.
HIV transmission is possible at any stage of HIV infectioneven if a person with HIV has no symptoms of HIV.
How Does Hiv Start In The Body
. Beside this, how does HIV start?
You can get HIV when an infected person’s body fluids — including blood, semen, fluids from the vagina, or breast milk — get into your blood.
One may also ask, what does HIV feel like in the body? Early HIV symptomsPeople usually look and feel totally healthy for a long time after they’re infected. The first 2-4 weeks after being infected with HIV, you may feel feverish, achy, and sick. These flu-like symptoms are your body’s first reaction to the HIV infection.
Similarly, you may ask, what happens when HIV enters the body?
Once the human immunodeficiency virus enters your body, it launches a direct attack on your immune system. 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.
How quickly do HIV symptoms appear?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , primary HIV symptoms may show up two to four weeks after initial exposure. Symptoms can continue for up to several weeks. However, some people may exhibit the symptoms only for a few days.
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What Conditions Are Considered To Be Opportunistic
Some of the most common of these OIs/cancers among HIV-positive people include:
Cancer: The types of cancers that are you are more likely to get if you have AIDs include lymphoma, Kaposis sarcoma, invasive cervical cancer, anal cancer, liver cancer, and cancers of the mouth, throat and lungs.
Candidiasis : This condition is caused by Candida fungus. It can happen in the skin, nails and mucous membranes throughout the body, such as the mouth or the vagina. The cases can be troublesome, but thrush is especially dangerous when it affects the esophagus or parts of the respiratory system .
Pneumonia: This respiratory condition is most commonly caused by _Pneumocystis jirovecii and the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae._
Salmonella: This infection is spread through contaminated food and water. It causes diarrhea, vomiting and nausea.
Toxoplasmosis: This disease is caused by a parasites that live in cats and rodents and other warm-blooded animals. The infection is spread through the feces. Toxoplasmosis can cause severe problems in the lungs, heart, brain and other organs. If you have a cat, wear gloves to change the litter and be thorough in washing your hands.
How Do You Get Hiv
HIV infection can occur in the following ways:
- Unprotected sexual intercourse, especially receptive anal intercourse
- Multiple sexual partners
- Sexually transmitted diseases: Chlamydia and gonorrhea infections increase the HIV transmission risk by three times syphilis raises the transmission risk by seven times and genital herpes raises the infection risk by 25 times during an outbreak
- Sharing IV needles or injections
- Receiving HIV infected blood products
- Needle-stick injuries
- Maternal HIV infection : The risk of transmission can be reduced at birth by practices like cesarean delivery and prenatal antiretroviral therapy in the mother, and antiretroviral therapy in the newborn immediately after birth
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What Can Effective Hiv Treatment Do
HIV medication keeps you healthy so you can live a normal lifespan.
Treatment can also reduce your viral load to undetectable levels so that you wont be able to pass on HIV to anyone else. It can take up to six months from starting treatment to become undetectable, so its important to test and start treatment on time.
Hiv And Mental Health
Receiving a diagnosis of HIV and living with the condition can have significant effects on a persons mental health.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, people living with HIV are twice as likely to have depression than those without HIV. They are also at a higher risk for mood, anxiety, and cognitive disorders.
There are specific sources of stress relating to the condition, such as having to find and manage medical support, managing the lifelong use of medications, and dealing with the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV.
Some antiretroviral drugs may also cause mental health side effects, such as anxiety.
Many mental health problems are treatable. Talking therapies, medications, and social support can all help.
The CDC provide a list of services that can help people manage the stigma and discrimination linked with HIV and receive additional support.
For more information about where to find support when living with HIV, people can visit the HIV.gov website.
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What Are The Tests For Detecting Hiv
Various tests may be used for HIV detection:
- HIV antibody test: This test detects the antibodies produced in the body in response to HIV.
- Antigen test: This test can be done at an earlier stage than an HIV antibody test. It measures a protein called p24 antigen, present in the virus and produced in high amounts after the infection.
- Nucleic acid test : It is also called an RNA test. It is a very specific test that looks for the virus itself and can detect HIV as early as about 10 days of infections.
- In-home test kits: Although less accurate than the laboratory-based tests, home-based kits have the advantage of testing in the privacy and comfort of the home. Only FDA approved home-based kits should be used.
- Viral culture: This involves using the patients sample and growing the virus in the lab. It takes longer to get the results and is not the most preferred test for HIV.
How Hiv Infects The Body
HIV infects the immune system, causing progressive damage and eventually making it unable to fight off infections.
The virus attaches itself to immune system cells called CD4 lymphocyte cells, which protect the body against various bacteria, viruses and other germs.
Once attached, it enters the CD4 cells and uses it to make thousands of copies of itself. These copies then leave the CD4 cells, killing them in the process.
This process continues until eventually the number of CD4 cells, also called your CD4 count, drops so low that your immune system stops working.
This process may take up to 10 years, during which time you’ll feel and appear well.
Page last reviewed: 22 April 2021 Next review due: 22 April 2024
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How Hiv Suppresses The Immune System
To understand how HIV damages the immune system, we have to dive into some pretty scientific concepts.
The genetic makeup of an HIV viral cell has genetic material called RNA which helps it to reproduce more cells. For HIV cells to replicate, they need to latch onto healthy white blood cells called T cells. These cells contain certain proteins which HIV needs to duplicate itself and grow.
Your bodys immune system produces T cells to fight off infections but when an HIV cell takes hold, it will destroy the T cell to reproduce.
So, when a person is exposed to HIV, these cells will start to slowly reproduce in the body. The immune system will naturally pump out more T cells to try and fight off the virus but these cells will be destroyed by the HIV cells.
Eventually, this will leave the bodys immune system overwhelmed and totally defenseless to any disease. Once the bodys immune system is significantly weakened, then they may be diagnosed with AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome. This progression of HIV to AIDS occurs over 5 to 10 years if the person does not receive any treatment.
What Is The Outlook For Someone With Hiv/aids
If you are diagnosed with HIV and you start ART soon after, your immune system will not be as compromised. If you continue to take your medicines every day, your outlook is very good.
ART can keep blood levels undetectable but cannot entirely rid the body of the virus . If you do not keep up on your medication, the virus goes back into the blood.
If you have HIV and dont treat it, it can take about 10 years to lead to AIDS. If you have AIDS and dont treat it, the survival rate is about three years.
It is so important to know that people who have HIV and who follow treatment guidelines are able to live full lives for nearly as long as HIV-negative people.
How Does Hiv Affect The Body
Posted By Claudia on Aug 9, 2018 |
HIV is one of the most dreaded diseases of the 21st century. Its origin dates back to 1981 when it was first diagnosed in 5 homosexuals in the city of Los Angeles, in the United States. Back then it was referred to as the GRID a short form for Gay-Related Immune Deficiency because it was only believed to affect only homosexuals. Later that theory was thrown away after cases were reported from all over, and after it was discovered that it affects anybody.
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Today HIV has reached its proportions, hitting across all nations of the word and is considered the most dangerous disease. Significant advancements have been made in the fields of medications and mass awareness as nations gather efforts to fight this dreaded disease. However, even with the much talk about HIV, people are always constantly warned about the disease but are seldom told how HIV affects the body.
So how does HIV does affects the body?
Body Pains That May Be An Early Sign Of Hiv
This is an article by Cara Smith. I offer it with the authors permission for informational purposes. The author and I have no financial involvement.
THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE HER OWN AND DO NOT REPRESENT MY VIEW OR MEDICAL ADVICE.
HIV is a disease that scratches out the immunity system and makes a person vulnerable to more opportunistic diseases which kill the person and not the HIV.
A person who is diagnosed with an HIV faces numerous health issues that affect both physiological and bodily aspects of the person.
One of the most serious symptoms that can raise an HIV alarm is severe body pains at poles of the body.
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Days To 20 Years After Exposure
The chronic stage of infection occurs once the immune system brings the virus under control. During this phase, HIV will go into hiding, where it resides in various cells and tissues throughout the body in a dormant state known as latency. HIV latency can persist without symptoms for 10 years or more, although some people may experience signs within a year or two.
During the early chronic phase, lymphadenopathy may be the only notable sign of an HIV infection. In some cases, the glands may be visibly enlarged and reach up to an inch or more in size. If the condition persists for more than three months, its referred to as persistent generalized lymphadenopathy .
Even during latency, the virus will multiple imperceptibly and gradually deplete immune cells known as CD4 T-cells. As immune deficiency develops, a number of nonspecific symptoms are likely to appear, including:
- Oral candidiasis , a fungal infection that causes the formation of creamy, white lesions on the sides of the tongue and lining of the mouth
- Unexplained fevers and drenching night sweats that soak through bedsheets and nightclothes
- Severe, uncontrolled diarrhea that lasts for more than three days
Each of these symptoms is commonly seen in persons with immune deficiency. They may, in some cases, be caused by HIV itself or by an infection that has yet to be diagnosed.
Why Do We Care Does All This Research Into How The Virus Got Started Tell Us Anything About How To Stop It
Hunting chimps in West Central Africa.
Research into the HIV’s origins may eventually yield practical results. It could help scientists understand why HIV’s viral ancestor, SIV, doesn’t kill or even sicken chimps who carry it. With that knowledge, researchers might be able to make drugs with fewer side effects, or broad-spectrum vaccines that protect against all the strains of the disease that infect people today.
Korber suggests that in an era of emerging diseases, looking back on the virus’ shadowy origins offers a “history lesson,” or perhaps even a fable, with a moral attached. By the time doctors realized that HIV/AIDS existed, it had already taken up permanent residence in humans. They couldn’t have known about it before then, but, Korber says, at least now they know to be wary as the virus continues its shape-shifting spread around the globe. “The fact that it could be with us for quite a long time before we even realized it was there is kind of eye-opening,” she says. “I think it’s something to keep us on our toes. It helps us understand that we can be surprised.” And of course, HIV research may have a few surprises left for us, too.
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How Is Aids Diagnosed
Symptoms such as fever, weakness, and weight loss may be a sign that a persons HIV has advanced to AIDS. However, a diagnosis of AIDS is based on the following criteria:
- A drop in CD4 count to less than 200 cells/mm3. A CD4 count measures the number of CD4 cells in a sample of blood.OR
- The presence of certain opportunistic infections.
Although an AIDS diagnosis indicates severe damage to the immune system, HIV medicines can still help people at this stage of HIV infection.
Can Hiv Pass From Mothers To Their Babies
Infection can pass from pregnant women living with HIV to their babies in the womb and during birth. Taking HIV medications during pregnancy and childbirth dramatically lowers the risk of a baby becoming infected with HIV.
After birth, transmission can occur through breast milk. The highest risk may be in the early months after birth. It is recommended that new mothers who are living with HIV formula-feed their babies rather than breast-feed.
If you are a woman living with HIV and you intend to become pregnant, or you find out that you have during your pregnancy, talk to your provider immediately about ways to minimize the chances that your baby will become infected, too.
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Symptoms Of Hiv/aids And Stages
Many people donât have symptoms at first, and sometimes even for years or decades. But there are signs that can happen, such as flu-like symptoms soon after you become infected with HIV. Even if you donât feel sick, HIV damages the immune system. It hijacks infection-fighting white blood cells called CD4 cells and uses them to churn out thousands of copies of itself. Without treatment, HIV destroys so many of these cells that your body canât protect you from life-threatening infections. If your CD4 count drops below 200, you have AIDS.
There are three stages of HIV infection:
Stage 1: This the earliest stage. You may also hear it called the âacuteâ stage. You might have a fever, rash, fatigue, chills, and other flu-like symptoms. But you might not have any symptoms. If you do, they may start 2-4 weeks after youâre infected. During this time, the virus quickly makes many copies of itself.
Stage 2: During this stage, HIV continues to reproduce, and it slowly damages your immune system over time. You might not feel sick or have symptoms. But HIV isnât gone, and you can still spread it to other people. This stage can last for years or even decades.
Stage 3: This is when you have AIDS. Your immune system has been severely damaged, leaving you vulnerable to other illnesses. With AIDS, many people have symptoms such as chills, fever, sweats, swollen lymph glands, weakness, and weight loss.