Hiv Education Is Critical To Erasing The Stigma
When it comes to HIV, Dr. Goje is a huge advocate for community education. She says that when people know more, theyll be less inclined to shame those who are living with the virus and more likely to provide support and encouragement.
People, especially family and loved ones, need to know that HIV is not a death sentence. They need to understand the methods of transmission and that people who are living with HIV are contributing immensely to society and their communities. They need love, support and encouragement from those around them along the way as well. Once the community is better educated about HIV, they can provide a better support system.
What Infections Are Associated With Hiv/aids
HIV and AIDS are conditions or states, that affect people who test positive for HIV, the viral organism. Both conditions, HIV and AIDS, may enable the exact same opportunistic infections to set in, but it will be more likely that an AIDS patient will present more intense symptoms than an HIV patient. Some of the AIDS-defining infections include:
- Kaposis sarcoma
- Meningitis/encephalitis due to cryptococcal or toxoplasmosis infection
- Pulmonary, miliary or extrapulmonary tuberculosis
- Dementia for no other reason
- Cancers such as lymphoma .
Myth : Hiv Medications Can Cure Hiv
Medication for HIV is also known as antiretroviral therapy . It doesnt cure HIV, but when taken as prescribed, ART can reduce the amount of the virus in the body. The CDC says most people are able to get the virus under control within six months. Another thing to keep in mind is that ART will not prevent the transmission of STDs or STIs.
And while there have been reports about HIV being cleared from the body in a couple of cases, Dr. Goje says this is not a valid reason for people who are living with HIV to stop ART.
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What Factors Affect The Progression Of Hiv Into Aids
There are a number of factors which influence the progression of HIV for every infected person. These include:
- Nature of transmission
- Incubation period of the virus in the bloodstream.
- The number of viral particles transferred from the HIV-positive person to the other.
- Any simultaneous viral or bacterial infection.
- The strain of virus being transmitted.
- Biochemical abnormalities, .
- Age .
- Heredity and genetic make-up.
- Immunosuppressive behaviour .
- Access and commitment to, and discipline over, ARVs and/or a prescribed HIV treatment plan.
Myth : Hiv Only Affects Certain Sexual Orientations
Anyone can contract HIV. According to the World Health Organization , the behaviors and conditions that put people at greater risk for contracting HIV include:
- Unprotected anal or vaginal sex.
- Having another sexually transmitted infection such as syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea and bacterial vaginosis.
- Sharing contaminated needles, syringes and other injecting equipment and drug solutions when injecting drugs.
- Receiving unsafe injections, blood transfusions and tissue transplantation.
- Procedures that involve unsterile cutting or piercing.
- Accidental needle stick injuries, including those among healthcare workers.
Having sex while intoxicated can also put you at risk of contracting HIV. The reasoning behind this is when people are drunk or high, theyre more likely to engage in riskier sexual activities.
Biologically speaking, people with female genitalia are more at risk for contracting HIV through heterosexual encounters because of the exposure to semen.
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How Do You Get Hiv
HIV is carried in semen , vaginal fluids, anal mucus, blood, and breast milk. The virus gets in your body through cuts or sores in your skin, and through mucous membranes . You can get HIV from:
having vaginal or anal sex
sharing needles or syringes for shooting drugs, piercings, tattoos, etc.
getting stuck with a needle that has HIV-infected blood on it
getting HIV-infected blood, semen , or vaginal fluids into open cuts or sores on your body
HIV is usually spread through having unprotected sex. Using condoms and/or dental dams every time you have sex and not sharing needles can help protect you and your partners from HIV. If you do have HIV, treatment can lower or even stop the chances of spreading the virus to other people during sex. If you dont have HIV, theres also a daily medicine called PrEP that can protect you from HIV.
HIV can also be passed to babies during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. A pregnant woman with HIV can take medicine to greatly reduce the chance that her baby will get HIV.
HIV isnt spread through saliva , so you CANT get HIV from kissing, sharing food or drinks, or using the same fork or spoon. HIV is also not spread through hugging, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. And you cant get HIV from a toilet seat.
Multiclass Combination Drugs Or Single
The following combination drugs include both NRTIs and NNRTIs:
- doravirine, lamivudine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
- efavirenz, lamivudine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
- efavirenz, lamivudine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
- · efavirenz, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
- emtricitabine, rilpivirine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
- emtricitabine, rilpivirine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
Symfi and Symfi Lo are made up of the same generic medications. However, Symfi Lo contains a smaller dose of efavirenz.
The following combination drugs include NRTIs, an INSTI, and the CYP3A inhibitor cobicistat:
- elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
- elvitegravir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
The following combination drugs include at least oneNRTI and an INSTI:
- abacavir, dolutegravir, and lamivudine
- bictegravir, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
- dolutegravir and lamivudine
The manufacturer of Biktarvy also refers to it as being built on Descovy, or as bictegravir plus Descovy.
The following combination drug includes an NNRTI and an INSTI:
- dolutegravir and rilpivirine
The following combination drug includes NRTIs,a PI, and the CYP3A inhibitor cobicistat:
- darunavir, cobicistat, emtricitabine, and tenofovir alafenamide fumarate
Many HIV drugs can cause temporary side effects when first used. In general, these effects can include:
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Causes Of Hiv Infection
HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person. This includes semen, vaginal and anal fluids, blood and breast milk.
It’s a fragile virus and does not survive outside the body for long.
HIV cannot be transmitted through sweat, urine or saliva.
The most common way of getting HIV in the UK is through having anal or vaginal sex without a condom.
Other ways of getting HIV include:
- sharing needles, syringes or other injecting equipment
- transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding
The chance of getting HIV through oral sex is very low and will be dependent on many things, such as whether you receive or give oral sex and the oral hygiene of the person giving the oral sex.
What Are Hiv And Aids
The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that affects the immune system. It gradually destroys cells called CD4 cells, which usually help the body stay healthy by fighting off disease.
If HIV is not treated, most people will develop severe immune deficiency within 10 years. At this point, the body is no longer able to fight infection and stop cancer from developing. This late stage of HIV infection is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .
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Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors
Integrase inhibitors stop the action of integrase. Integrase is a viral enzyme that HIV uses to infect T cells by putting HIV DNA into the human DNA.
Integrase inhibitors are usually among the first HIV drugs used in people who have recently contracted HIV. This is because they work well and have minimal side effects.
The following drugs are integrase inhibitors:
- tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
As a stand-alone drug, tenofovir alafenamide fumarate has received full FDA approval to treat chronic hepatitis B but only tentative FDA approval to treat HIV. A person with HIV who takes tenofovir alafenamide fumarate will likely receive it as part of a combination HIV drug, not as a stand-alone drug.
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, emtricitabine, and lamivudine can treat hepatitis B as well.
Zidovudine was the first FDA-approved HIV drug. Its also known as azidothymidine or AZT. Zidovudine is rarely used in adults now. Its mainly given to babies born to HIV-positive mothers as a form of post-exposure prophylaxis .
How Is Hiv Transmitted
While we do have a detailed article on the methods of HIV transmission, we feel its important to include a summary here too. This is because HIV can be spread from one person to another while still in its first stage of acute infection. In South Africa, HIV is mainly spread through sexual activity and the sharing of needles.
Previously, mother-to-child transmission was a major challenge, but our Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission programme has been so effective, that this is no longer the mammoth concern that it once was.
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How Do People Become Infected With Hiv
HIV is in the blood, semen, vaginal fluid and breast milk of an infected person. It can be spread by exposure to these body fluids by:
- unprotected anal or vaginal sex without a condom
- transmission from mother to baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding
- oral sex, although this is rare
- healthcare workers receiving ‘needlestick injuries’
It is important to remember that HIV is not spread through activities such as kissing, sharing cups and cutlery, normal social contact, toilet seats or mosquitoes.
You are at higher risk of HIV infection if:
- you are a man, a transgender woman or a person who identifies as gender diverse who has sex with men
- you have sex or share needles with someone else at risk of HIV
- you share sex toys
- you have sex with people from countries with a high rate of HIV infection
- you inject illegal drugs and share needles
- you have had tattoos or other piercings overseas using unsterile equipment
- you have a sexually transmitted infection . People can be infected with several different STIs at the same time. Having an STI can make it easier to become infected with HIV and pass it on to sexual partners.
- you have had a blood transfusion in a country where the blood supply is not safe
Some people are at a higher risk of HIV infection because they are exposed to more people with HIV infection or engage in more high-risk behaviour. These include:
Stage : Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
This stage is widely known to be the most serious of the three. The immune system of those with AIDs becomes completely weakened, and they become at risk of experiencing a number of illnesses referred to as opportunistic infections – although these arent as common now with the advancement in medical treatments surrounding HIV and AIDs .
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How Does Chronic Hiv Affect The Body
The chronic HIV stage is known as the latent or asymptomatic stage. During this stage, a person usually wont have as many symptoms as they did during the acute phase. This is because the virus doesnt multiply as quickly.
However, a person can still transmit HIV if the virus is left untreated and they continue to have a detectable viral load. Without treatment, the chronic HIV stage can last for many years before advancing to AIDS.
Advances in antiretroviral treatments have significantly improved the outlook for people living with HIV. With proper treatment, many people who are HIV-positive are able to achieve viral suppression and live long, healthy lives. Learn more about HIV and life expectancy.
A normal CD4 count ranges from approximately 500 to 1,600 cells per cubic millimeter of blood in healthy adults, according to HIV.gov.
A person receives an AIDS diagnosis when they have a CD4 count of fewer than 200 cells/mm3.
A person may also receive an AIDS diagnosis if theyve had an opportunistic infection or another AIDS-defining condition.
People with AIDS are vulnerable to opportunistic infections and common infections that may include tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis, and pneumonia.
People with weakened immune systems are also more susceptible to certain types of cancer, such as lymphoma and cervical cancer.
The survival rate for people with AIDS varies depending on treatment and other factors.
How Long Does It Take For Hiv To Progress To Aids
How long does it take for HIV to progress to AIDS? In all but a few rare cases, if left untreated, HIV will progress to a stage of infection called AIDS. This is when the immune defenses have been compromised, and the body is less able to defend itself against potentially life-threatening infections.
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Hiv Testing And Your Rights
Testing for HIV is voluntary and can only be done with your informed consent, except in exceptional circumstances.
Before you are tested, you will be provided with information about what is involved. what the results might mean for you, and how to prevent HIV transmission in the future. All people who request an HIV test must receive this information from the test provider.
Under Australian and Victorian law, it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone who has HIV. Test results, and details on whether someone has been tested are strictly confidential. It is illegal for any information about a person being tested or a person with HIV to be disclosed without their permission.
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How To Prevent Hiv From Progressing
The most effective way is to take antiretroviral medication as soon as possible and to do so consistently as prescribed.
Antiretroviral therapy keeps the immune system healthy and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to virtually zero.
The sooner a person receives a diagnosis, the sooner they can begin treatment. Early treatment can improve the persons outlook and lower the risk of the virus passing on to others.
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Why Do Some People With Hiv Infection Develop Aids
Over time, untreated HIV infection damages the immune system and makes it more difficult to fight infections and cancers.
Before there were effective treatments for HIV infection, all infected people went on to develop AIDS within about 10 years. Today, people with HIV who take effective treatment are unlikely to develop AIDS and will have a near-normal life expectancy. This is because these medicines keep the amount of virus in their blood under control and protect the immune system.
When Hiv Infection Turns Into Aids
The Final Phases of HIV/Aids
It is not possible to say exactly what symptoms and diseases will be associated with HIV-infection in a specific person. Because of the unique way in which HIV attacks and disarms the immune system, all kinds of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, viruses and cancers are able to invade the body. That is the reason why we talk about Aids as a syndrome – a collection of many illnesses and infections.
HIV-infection can, however, theoretically be divided into the following phases or stages:
From Phase 4 – The major symptomatic phase of HIV infection and opportunistic diseases – symptoms and opportunistic diseases begin to appear as the immune system continues to deteriorate. At this point, the CD4 cell count becomes very low while the viral load becomes very high.
The following symptoms are usually an indication of advanced immune deficiency:
- Oral and vaginal thrush infections which are very persistent and recurrent
- Recurrent herpes infections such as cold sores
- Recurrent herpes zoster
- Bacterial skin infections and skin rashes
- Fever for more than a month
- Night sweats
- Oral hairy leucoplakia
- Persistent cough and reactivation of tuberculosis
- Opportunistic diseases of various kinds
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Early Symptoms In Primary Hiv
The first noticeable stage is primary HIV infection. This stage is also called acute retroviral syndrome , or acute HIV infection. Because HIV infection at this stage usually causes flu-like symptoms, its possible for someone in this stage to think their symptoms are due to a severe flu rather than HIV. Fever is the most common symptom.
Other symptoms include:
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.
People with early HIV sometimes dont show any symptoms, yet they can still transmit the virus to others. This is attributed to the fast, unrestrained viral replication that occurs in the early weeks after contracting the virus.
How Does Acute Hiv Affect The Body
Once a person contracts HIV, the acute infection takes place immediately.
Symptoms of the acute infection may take place days to weeks after the virus has been contracted. During this time, the virus is multiplying rapidly in the body, unchecked.
This initial HIV stage can result in flu-like symptoms. Examples of these symptoms include:
- myalgias, or muscle pain
However, not all people with HIV experience initial flu-like symptoms.
The flu symptoms are due to the increase of copies of HIV and widespread infection in the body. During this time, the amount of CD4 cells starts to fall very quickly. The immune system then kicks in, causing CD4 levels to rise once again. However, the CD4 levels may not return to their pre-HIV height.
In addition to potentially causing symptoms, the acute stage is when people with HIV have the greatest chance of transmitting the virus to others. This is because HIV levels are very high at this time. The acute stage typically lasts between several weeks and months.
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