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.
Stage : The Asymptomatic Stage
Once a person has been through the acute primary infection stage and seroconversion process, they can often start to feel better. In fact, HIV may not cause any other symptoms for up to 10 or even 15 years .
However, the virus will still be active, infecting new cells and making copies of itself. HIV can still be passed on during this stage. If left untreated, over time, HIV infection will cause severe damage to the immune system.
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.
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How Do You Deal With Side Effects
Some side effects can be hard to deal with. One way to cope with them is to know what to watch out for and have a plan to deal with problems that come up.
That’s why you need to talk to your provider about the risk of side effects from different drugs, before you start therapy.
At the beginning of any treatment, you go through a period of adjustment–a time when your body has to get used to the new drugs you’re taking. Sometimes you’ll have headaches, an upset stomach, fatigue, or aches and pains. These side effects may go away after a few days or a few weeks.
If you notice any unusual or severe reactions after starting or changing a drug, report the side effects to your provider immediately.
More information is available in the .
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.
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Tuberculosis Among People Living With Hiv
Tuberculosis is the leading HIV-associated opportunistic infection in low- and middle- income countries, and it is a leading cause of death globally among people living with HIV. Death due to tuberculosis still remains high among people living with HIV, however the number of deaths is decreasing. Most of the global mortality due to TB among those with HIV is from cases in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In the charts here we see the number of tuberculosis patients who tested positive for HIV the number receiving antiretroviral therapy and the number of TB-related deaths among those living with HIV.
People who use ART are living longer
ART not only saves lives but also gives a chance for people living with HIV/AIDS to live long lives. Without ART very few infected people survive beyond ten years.3
Today, a person living in a high-income country who started ART in their twenties can expect to live for another 46 years that is well into their 60s.4
While the life expectancy of people living with HIV/AIDS in high-income countries has still not reached the life expectancy of the general population, we are getting closer to this goal.5
ART prevents new HIV infections
There is considerable evidence to show that people who use ART are less likely to transmit HIV to another person.7 ART reduces the number of viral particles present in an HIV-positive individual and therefore, the likelihood of passing the virus to another person decreases.
We need to increase ART coverage
Calculating Life Expectancy With Hiv Or Aids
Recent research shows that a young person with HIV or AIDS could potentially live almost as long as anyone else in the general population. But this is only the case if they have routine access to health care and respond well to modern antiretroviral treatments . So a 20-year-old who starts on ARTs today, for example, might eventually live to be 67.
Keep in mind though, since there is no known cure, HIV life expectancy varies greatly from one individual to the next based on many things. This includes early detection plus, gender and lifestyle choices such as alcohol, tobacco, or drug use.
Over the past two decades, HIV life expectancy has drastically risen. What was once considered a terminal illness is now a medically manageable condition at any age. Those who abuse intravenous drugs or possess a preexisting immune disorder, however, do not fare as well.
In light of huge disparities in access to health care and ARTs, the CDC regularly publishes reports on obstacles to HIV and AIDS treatment. By 2016, it was estimated that 1.1 million people in the U.S., aged 13 or older, had HIV .
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What Is The Life Expectancy For People Living With Hiv In The Uk
A study published in 2014 looked at the outcomes of over 20,000 adults who started HIV treatment in the UK, between 2000 and 2010. The analysis didnt include people who inject drugs, who tend to have poorer outcomes than other people, but otherwise included a wide range of adults living with HIV.
The key finding was that people who had a good initial response to HIV treatment had a better life expectancy than people in the general population.
Specifically, a 35-year-old man who had a CD4 cell count over 350 and an undetectable viral load one year after starting HIV treatment could expect to live to the age of 81. A 50-year-old man with the same results after one year of treatment was predicted to live to the age of 83. In the general population at this time, men in these age groups were expected to live to 77 and 78 years.
“A person living with HIV has a similar life expectancy to an HIV-negative person providing they are diagnosed in good time, have good access to medical care, and are able to adhere to their HIV treatment.”
A 35-year-old woman and a 50-year-old woman with the same results could expect to live to 83 and 85 years. This compares to 82 and 83 years in the general population.
A 35-year-old man with any of those results could expect to live to 70-72 years. A 50-year-old man was predicted to live to 75-77 years. Women of the same ages could expect to live around two years longer than the men.
Importance Of Early Treatment Initiation
ART is recommended for all individuals with HIV . Early treatment may be particularly important in older adults in part because of decreased immune recovery and increased risk of serious non-AIDS events in this population.47,48 In a modeling study based on data from an observational cohort, the beneficial effects of early ART were projected to be greatest in the oldest age group .49 This was demonstrated in an analysis of HIV cohorts from Europe and the Americas showing a lower all-cause and non-AIDS mortality with immediate ART initiation in people aged 50 to 70 years.50 It was also seen in a START substudy in which persons aged > 50 years were among the groups that experienced the greatest risk reduction when ART was started when CD4 counts were > 500 cells/mm3.51 All older persons with HIV should be informed that maintaining a plasma HIV RNA at < 200 copies/mL with ART improves overall health and prevents sexual transmission of HIV.
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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.
Neurocognitive Impairment And Mental Health Concerns In The Older Person With Hiv
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder , manifesting as difficulty with memory, attention, speed of information processing, and executive and motor functions, affects up to 30% of people with HIV on virally suppressive ART.100 Though an accurate prevalence of neurocognitive impairment in older people with HIV is not yet available, the risk of HIV-associated brain injury and HAND appears to be higher with increasing age.101-103 Neurocognitive function declines with increasing age in people with or without HIV, but the trajectory of the decline is steeper in individuals with HIV.104 This accelerated decline is likely multifactorial, relating to injury associated with direct HIV effects in the brain, higher prevalence of comorbidities and coinfections, more severe vascular disease, mental health disorders, social isolation, and polypharmacy in this population.105-107 Hormonal shifts that occur with aging may contribute to neurocognitive impairment, and these changes may manifest as unique differences in clinical manifestations by gender.108 Finally, the risk of neurodegenerative disease rises with increasing age independent of HIV, and differentiating HAND from Alzheimers disease or other forms of progressive dementia is now an important clinical concern.109
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People Who Start Hiv Treatment Early Have A Normal Life Expectancy
But even starting antiretrovirals with a high CD4 count doesnt close the wide gap in years lived without major health problems.
The good news is that the gap in life expectancy between people with and without HIV has steadily narrowed in recent years, falling to nine years. Furthermore, those who initiate treatment for the virus when their CD4 count is at least 500 have a normal life expectancy.
The sobering news is that even when people with HIV begin antiretroviral treatment soon after contracting the virus while their immune system is still robust, they are expected to live substantially fewer years before they experience major health problems.
A previous study Marcus found that between 2008 and 2011, people with HIV were projected to live 13 fewer years compared with HIV-negative individuals and that the gap was nine years for those who started treatment with a high CD4 count.
In her new study, Marcus and her colleagues sought to determine whether life expectancy has since improved for the HIV population and if so how many of the years of expected additional life are projected to be free of major health problems.
The study included Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California , Southern California and the Mid-Atlantic region .
Life expectancy was defined as the number of years an individual was expected to live past age 21. So if the life expectancy were 60 additional years, an individual would be expected to live until they were 81 years old.
Questions To Ask About Each Drug
One of the most important things you can do to make sure you take your medicine correctly is to talk with your medical provider about your lifestyle, such as your sleeping and eating schedule. If your provider prescribes a drug, be sure and ask the following questions :
- What dose of the drug should be taken? How many pills does this mean?
- How often should the drug be taken?
- Does it matter if it is taken with food, or on an empty stomach?
- Does the drug have to be kept in a refrigerator?
- What are the possible side effects of the drug?
- What should be done to deal with the side effects?
- How severe do side effects have to be before a provider is called?
During every medical visit you should talk about whether you are having trouble staying on your treatment plan. Studies show that people who take their medicine in the right way get the best results: their viral loads stay down, their CD4 counts stay up, and they feel healthier.
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Gains And Losses In Life Years
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:
Aids Or Hiv Life Expectancy Without Medication
How long can you live with HIV or AIDS if you chose not to treat with ART combinations or other prescription drugs? In the absence of such therapy, a patient should expect to see a notable decrease in life expectancy.
In countries where health care and ARTs arent readily accessible, HIV rates are above 20 percent. Shorter HIV life expectancy in these regions, combined with a high incidence of AIDS in younger age groups, boosts their overall mortality rate.
Population studies proved that AIDS patients who did not take HIV medications survived for roughly three years. Once they developed a dangerous opportunistic illness, life expectancy with AIDS decreased to one year or less.
Thats why HIV and AIDS remain a serious threat to public health, and why early detection is absolutely critical to long-term survival.
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What Happens If I Delay Starting Hiv Treatment
In the past people could delay treatment if they werent ready to start. However, this isnt recommended now. If you have HIV, the sooner you start treatment, the better it is for your health.
The START trial found that there was a 53% reduction in the risk of death or serious illness if treatment was started when the CD4 count was still above 500.
Its common for people to feel apprehensive about taking treatment but all you need to remember is that:
- It will enable you to live a normal lifespan.
- When you’re on effective treatment you won’t be able to pass on HIV.