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.
The Benefits Of Regular Care
Bear in mind that compared to HIV-negative people, many HIV-positive people in Canada and similar countries are under a relatively high degree of medical scrutinythey undergo visits to the clinic for interviews and laboratory tests several times each year. This degree of heightened medical surveillance is likely to detect any complications early on, before they can become serious. This is yet another factor that may help extend the lifespan of HIV-positive people.
In the next article, we explore trends in survival among HIV-positive people in countries with health care systems similar to Canada and issues that can be addressed to help prolong survival.
Sean R. Hosein
Samji H, Cescon A, Hogg RS, et al. Closing the Gap: Increases in life expectancy among treated HIV-positive individuals in the United States and Canada. PLoS One. 2013 Dec 18 8:e81355.
Health Issues And Aging With Hiv
People aging with HIV share many of the same health concerns as the general population aged 50 and older: multiple chronic diseases or conditions, the use of multiple medications, changes in physical and cognitive abilities, and increased vulnerability to stressors. In addition, while effective HIV treatment has decreased the likelihood of AIDS-defining illnesses among people aging with HIV, many HIV-associated non-AIDS conditions occur frequently in older persons with HIV, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, renal disease, and cancer. These conditions are likely related to a number of interacting factors, including chronic inflammation caused by HIV. Researchers are working to better understand what causes chronic inflammation, even when people are being treated with ART.
HIV and its treatment can also have effects on the brain. Researchers estimate that between 25 and 50% of people with HIV have HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder , a spectrum of cognitive, motor, and/or mood disorders categorized into three levels: asymptomatic, mild, and HIV-associated dementia. Researchers are studying how HIV and its treatment affect the brain, including the effects on older people living with HIV.
HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day
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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
- 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 Signs & Symptoms Of Hiv And Aids
When first infected with HIV, a person may have:
- increased number of infections
- infections that are more severe than is typical
Without treatment, HIV can lead to a very weakened immune system and progress to AIDS. Illnesses that happen in AIDS are called “AIDS-defining conditions.”
AIDS-defining conditions include:
- very fast and severe weight loss
- a lung infection called pneumocystis pneumonia
- Kaposi sarcoma
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Despite Medical Advances People With Hiv Still Live Shorter Sicker Lives
THURSDAY, June 18, 2020 — HIV may not be the death sentence it was 20 or 30 years ago, but people who are HIV-positive still face much shorter lives than other adults — even if they’re treated with medications that make the virus undetectable.
A new study reports that people who were HIV-positive at age 21 had an average life expectancy of 56 years — nine years fewer than their virus-free peers.
The likely reason: a weaker immune system and a greater risk for other chronic health issues, even when HIV is kept in check.
“Our findings suggest that people with HIV who initiate treatment early are approaching the same lifespan as people without HIV, but that we need to be paying closer attention to preventing comorbidities among people with HIV,” said lead author Dr. Julia Marcus, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston.
When antiretroviral therapy — or HAART — was introduced for HIV treatment in 1996, it was a game-changer.
Taken daily, the medications can suppress the virus to undetectable levels, keeping patients healthy and eliminating the risk of sexual transmission. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends starting HAART immediately after an HIV diagnosis.
To find out, they reviewed disease and death histories drawn from Kaiser Permanente records for nearly 430,000 people between 2000 and 2016. About 39,000 were HIV-positive, and nearly nine in 10 of these patients were male .
JAMA Network Open
Avoid Excessive Alcohol Or Drug Use
If you are living with HIV, there are specific risks associated with alcohol and recreational drug use that you should be aware of. Alcohol can damage the liver which the body uses to process anti-HIV drugs, so it is good to keep your alcohol consumption within the recommended limits. Heavy drinking and taking recreational drugs can also weaken your immune system, making it harder for your body to recover from infections.
Certain anti-HIV drugs can interact with recreational drugs and alcohol to cause unwanted side effects, some of which can be severe. For example, you could feel dizzy or pass out, making you potentially vulnerable. If you are worried about drug interactions, have an honest conversation with a healthcare professional and they will be able to advise you. You should also be aware that being under the influence of alcohol or other drugs may stop you taking your HIV medication properly, for example, you may forget to take a dose or too much alcohol may make you vomit. If you are sick within one hour of taking your HIV medication you should retake the dose.
If youre concerned about your alcohol or drug use, talk to a healthcare professional for advice and support.
How Has Treatment Improved
Antiretroviral medications can help to slow damage caused by HIV infection and prevent it from developing into stage 3 HIV, or AIDS.
A healthcare provider will recommend undergoing antiretroviral therapy. This treatment requires taking three or more antiretroviral medications daily. The combination helps suppress the amount of HIV in the body . Pills that combine multiple medications are available.
The different classes of antiretroviral drugs include:
- non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- integrase inhibitors
Viral-load suppression allows people with HIV to live healthy lives and decreases their chances of developing stage 3 HIV. The other benefit of an undetectable viral load is that it helps reduce transmission of HIV.
The 2014 European PARTNER study found that the risk of HIV transmission is very small when a person has an undetectable load. This means that the viral load is below 50 copies per milliliter .
This discovery has led to an HIV prevention strategy known as treatment as prevention. It promotes constant and consistent treatment as a way to reduce the spread of the virus.
HIV treatment has evolved tremendously since the onset of the epidemic, and advancements continued to be made. Initial reports from a clinical trial in the United Kingdom and a from the United States showed promising results in experimental HIV treatments that could put the virus into remission and boost immunity.
What Do I Need To Know About Dating With Hiv
Some people feel like their love lives are over when they find out they have HIV, but its just not true. People with HIV can have fulfilling romantic and sexual relationships. People living with HIV can have relationships with partners who dont have HIV or with partners that are also living with HIV . HIV treatment helps keep you healthy and helps you avoid passing HIV to someone else. If your partner does not have HIV, they can also take a medicine called PrEP that can help protect them from getting HIV through sex.
Its important to tell your sexual partners about your HIV status. That way, you and your partners can make more informed decisions about safer sex, testing, and treatment that are right for the both of you.
Its normal to be worried about how your partners going to react. And theres no way around it: some people might get freaked out. If that happens, try to stay calm and talk about your plan to stay healthy and how they can stay HIV negative. It might help to give your partner a little time and space to process. You could also suggest they talk with your HIV doctor about ways to protect themselves from HIV.
If you tell someone you have HIV and they hurt you, shame you, or make you feel bad, its not ok. You deserve to be with someone who respects and cares about you, and there are plenty of people out there who will.
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What Are The Stages & Symptoms Of Hiv
First Stage of HIV: If you are suffering from HIV since 2 to 6 weeks, then it is known as primary HIV infection or acute retroviral syndrome. Symptoms of first stage HIV subside in 1 to 2 weeks and consist of:
- Red rash.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
Second Stage of HIV: In this stage, the immune system deteriorates. Doctors name this stage as clinical latent period or asymptomatic. Although this is the acute stage in HIV, still people tend to ignore the symptoms found in the second stage, as they hardly notice any change in their body. People, who are in second stage of HIV, may live up to 10 years or more.
Third Stage of HIV: Third and last stage of HIV is AIDS. This stage comes when CD4 in the patient drops below 200. Even in the third stage, people hardly notice the presence of HIV or AIDS in their body, and hence do not consider it important to consult an expert doctor, thus putting their lives in danger. Symptoms of third stage HIV are:
- Severe and long lasting diarrhea.
- Yeast infection in your mouth and throat.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck.
People, who are at last stage of HIV AIDS, may live up to three years. In other case, if the patient fails to notice the symptoms, and does not consult the doctor at the right time, then the life expectancy may be lesser than 3 years.
Treatment Reduces The Amount Of Hiv In The Blood
- The amount of HIV in the blood is called viral load.
- Taking your HIV medicine as prescribed will help keep your viral load low and your CD4 cell count high.
- HIV medicine can make the viral load very low . Viral suppression is defined as having less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood.
- HIV medicine can make the viral load so low that a test cant detect it .
- If your viral load goes down after starting HIV treatment, that means treatment is working. Continue to take your medicine as prescribed.
- If you skip your medications, even now and then, you are giving HIV the chance to multiply rapidly. This could weaken your immune system, and you could become sick.
- Getting and keeping an undetectable viral load is the best way to stay healthy and protect others.
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What Do The Results Mean
If your result is negative, it can mean you donât have HIV. A negative result may also mean you have HIV but itâs too soon to tell. It can take a few weeks for HIV antibodies and antigens to show up in your body. If your result is negative, your health care provider may order additional HIV tests at a later date.
If your result is positive, you will get a follow-up test to confirm the diagnosis. If both tests are positive, it means you have HIV. It does not mean you have AIDS. While there is no cure for HIV, the disease can be effectively controlled with medicine. The medicine used to treat HIV is called antiretroviral therapy . ART can significantly reduce the amount of HIV in the blood. People with HIV who take ART before the disease gets too advanced can live long, healthy lives. If you are living with HIV, itâs important to see your health care provider regularly.
Us Hiv Life Expectancy: What The Numbers Say
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that average life expectancy for a person born within the U.S. in 2012 is about 79 years. It’s a little more for women and a little less for men .
For people who weren’t born yesterday, the numbers actually look better: Taking into consideration that there are some causes of death that mostly affect younger people, a person who reaches age 65 can currently be expected to live an additional 19 years , on average.
That’s for the U.S. population as a whole. What about for people with HIV in particular?
In a recent scientific presentation looking at people who received care in the massive U.S. Kaiser Permanente health system between 1996 and 2011, we learned how incredibly far we’ve come in a very short time in treating HIV. The study showed that additional life expectancy for a 20-year-old person with HIV was only 19 years back in 1996, meaning a total lifespan of only 39 years on average. By 2011, additional life expectancy had increased to 53 years, meaning a total lifespan of 73 years on average. By comparison, the study found that a 20-year-old person without HIV lived an additional 65 years, for a total of 85. So, in this study, overall, HIV-positive folks were found to live about eight years less than HIV-negative folks as of 2011.
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How To Tell If Symptoms Are Hiv
There are three types of HIV tests:
- An NAT involves drawing blood from a vein. It can tell if you have HIV or how much virus is present in your blood. While an NAT can detect HIV sooner than other types of tests, this test is very expensive and not routinely used for screening individuals unless they recently had a high-risk exposure, or a possible exposure and have early symptoms of HIV infection. This test takes several days for results to come back.
- An antigen/antibody testis recommended for testing done in labs and is now common in the United States. It involves drawing blood from a vein, and results take several days to come back. There is also a rapid antigen/antibody test available that is done with a finger prick and takes 30 minutes or less to get results.
- HIV antibody testsonly look for antibodies to HIV in your blood or oral fluid. In general, antibody tests that use blood from a vein can detect HIV sooner after infection than tests done with blood from a finger prick or with oral fluid. Antibody tests can detect an HIV infection 23 to 90 days after exposure. Most rapid tests and the only currently approved HIV self-test are antibody tests. They take 20 minutes or less to provide results.
Keep in mind, any positive result would necessitate a second test to confirm it. The only test that would not require a second confirmatory test is the NAT.
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
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