Thursday, July 18, 2024

How To Live With Hiv Without Medication

What Are The Side Effects Of Antiretrovirals

How I Live With HIV As A 25-Year-Old

If youre taking antiretrovirals, you may experience no side effects, or you may have side effects such as diarrhoea, headaches, nausea and stomach ache. Your doctor can help you manage these side effects, and they often decrease after the first month.

You may develop long-term side effects, such as nerve damage causing hand and foot pain, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, change in body shape , liver or kidney damage, anaemia, mouth ulcers, or mood changes.

Your doctor can help you manage any long term side effects, with changes in diet or lifestyle or with new medicines.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv

Many people do not notice symptoms when they first acquire HIV. It can take as little as a few weeks for minor, flu-like symptoms to show up, or more than 10 years for more serious symptoms to appear, or any time in between. Signs of early HIV infection include flu-like symptoms such as headache, muscle aches, swollen glands, sore throat, fevers, chills, and sweating, and can also include a rash or mouth ulcers. Symptoms of later-stage HIV or AIDS include swollen glands, lack of energy, loss of appetite, weight loss, chronic or recurrent diarrhea, repeated yeast infections, short-term memory loss, and blotchy lesions on the skin, inside the mouth, eyelids, nose, or genital area.

The most frequently asked question for HIV-positive patients is how long can you live with HIV? Fortunately, the answer is far more promising than it was 20 years ago. Join Flo as we discuss how advancements in medical technology have altered the prognosis for those living with HIV or AIDS.

A national database containing statistics from 25 states shows that the average HIV life expectancy has more than doubled between 1996 and 2005. The bump from 10.5 to 22.5 years after diagnosis can be attributed to vast improvements in drug therapy and related approaches. However, experts still say this is only an average, and plenty of other circumstances must be taken into account regarding HIV life expectancy.

Do You Have To Take Your Hiv Medicine If Your Viral Load Is Undetectable

Yes. ART is not a cure and the virus remains in your body, even if your viral load is undetectable. So you need to keep taking your HIV medicine as prescribed. If you stop taking your HIV medicine, your viral load will quickly go back up.

If you have stopped taking your HIV medicine, talk to your health care provider as soon as possible. Your provider can help you get back on track and discuss the best strategies to prevent transmitting HIV to your sexual partners until your viral load is confirmed to be undetectable again.

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Why Did Stem Cell Transplants Treat Hiv Anyways

The common denominator among the three is that they all received blood stem cell transplants for blood cancer. Warding off HIV was almost a lucky side-effect.

I say almost because the type of stem cells the patients received were different than their own. If you picture an HIV virus as an Amazon delivery box, the box needs to dock to the recipientthe cells outer surfacebefore the virus injects its DNA cargo. The docking process involves a bunch of molecules, but CCR5 is a critical one. For roughly 50 percent of all HIV virus strains, CCR5 is absolutely necessary for the virus to get into a type of immune cell called the T cell and kick off its reproduction.

No CCR5, no HIV swarm, no AIDS.

If CCR5 sounds familiar, that may be because it was the target in the CRISPR baby scandal, in which a rogue Chinese scientist edited the receptor in an ill-fated attempt to make a pair of twins immune to HIV .

As it happens, roughly 10 percent of northern Europeans carry a mutation in their CCR5 that make them naturally resistant to HIV. The mutant, CCR5 32, lacks a key component that prevents HIV from docking.

Heres the key: all three seemingly cured patients received stem cells from matching donors who naturally had the CCR5 32 to treat their cancer. Once settled into their new hosts, blood stem cells activated and essentially repopulated the entire blood systemimmune cells includedwith the HIV-resistant super-cells. Hence, bye bye virus.

What Do I Do If I Find Out I Have Hiv

7 Common Misconceptions About HIV

Millions of people have HIV youre definitely not alone. Most people get at least one STD in their lifetime, and having HIV or another STD is nothing to feel ashamed of or embarrassed about. It doesnt mean youre dirty or a bad person.

Finding out that you have HIV can be really upsetting. You might feel mad, embarrassed, scared, or ashamed at first. But youll probably feel better as time goes by having a good support system and getting counseling really helps. There are medicines you can take to help you stay healthy, and lots of ways to avoid giving HIV to anyone you have sex with. The reality is, people with HIV can be in relationships, have sex, and live normal lives by taking a few precautions.

Although theres no cure for HIV, there are medicines that help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV treatment called antiretroviral therapy lowers the amount of virus in your body . This does two things:

  • Slows down the effects of HIV in your body, which keeps you healthy.

  • Lowers or even stops your chances of giving HIV to sexual partners.

Some people on ART have such a small amount of virus in their body, they cant transmit HIV to their sexual partners at all.

Even if youre feeling totally fine right now, see a doctor as soon as you can so you can talk about the best ways to stay healthy. The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions hotline can help you find a doctor near you who specializes in treating HIV: 1-800-CDC-INFO .

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What Will Happen If I Dont Take Hiv Treatment

Without treatment, nearly everyone with HIV becomes ill.

If you’re not on effective HIV treatment, the virus can attack and weaken your immune system .

Over time, when HIV has done a lot of damage to your immune system, you’re likely to become vulnerable to infections that you would otherwise have been able to fight off.

HIV also causes inflammation in various parts of the body. This can increase the risk of a number of illnesses: cardiovascular disease , kidney or liver problems and some cancers.

The damage that HIV causes happens slowly, often over a number of years.

Treatment protects you. A person with HIV who is taking treatment and has an undetectable viral load cannot pass on HIV and can expect to live a normal lifespan.

What Are Viral Load Blips

Even if a person is durably undetectable and taking antiretroviral therapy daily as prescribed, they may experience small, transient increases in viral load called blips followed by a decrease back to undetectable levels. Having a blip is relatively common and does not indicate that antiretroviral therapy has failed to control the virus. Scientists are working to better understand what causes blips.

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How Can You Get Support After Your Hiv Diagnosis

Receiving a diagnosis of HIV can be a life-changing event. But having HIV does not mean you are going to die. Most people with HIV can live long and healthy lives if they get and stay on treatment.

There will be a period of adjustment. People who are newly diagnosed can feel many emotionsâsadness, hopelessness, and even anger. Pay attention to your mental health. Your HIV health care provider can help you access mental health services to help you work through the early stages of your diagnosis and begin to manage your HIV.

Talking to others who have HIV may also be helpful. You are not alone. Ask your provider for help finding a local HIV support group. Learn about how other people with HIV have handled their diagnosis.

You can view video stories of how other people are living well with HIV at Positive Spin or at CDCâs Let’s Stop HIV Together.

Neurocognitive Impairment And Mental Health Concerns In The Older Person With Hiv

Breakthrough treatment cures 3rd patient of HIV | ABCNL

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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Will I Develop Resistance To Medication

If you skip doses of your HIV drugs regularly, you might develop resistance to the medicine, which means the medicine wont work on you as well as it should.

Your doctor can help lower your chance of resistance to HIV medicines by choosing effective medicines and by using a combination of medicines instead of just one. You can help lower your chances of developing resistance by taking each dose on time.

If you do develop resistance, your doctor may start you on different medicines, or recommend a combination of more than 3 medicines.

Tell your doctor if you are concerned about your symptoms never stop or change your medicine on your own.

What Should A Balanced Diet Include

Nutritional advice for people with HIV is the same as for anyone else.

Its important to eat a balanced and varied diet. This should include:

  • staple foods, like rice, potatoes, cereals and bread

  • legumes, like lentils and beans

  • food from animal sources, like meat, fish, eggs and dairy

  • lots of fruit and vegetables.

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What Are Some Tips To Help Me Take My Hiv Medicine As Prescribed

Whether youâre newly diagnosed with HIV or have had HIV for some time, you may be seeking tips and tools to help you keep up with your HIV medicine.

HIV treatment involves taking highly effective medicines called antiretroviral therapy that work to control the amount of HIV virus in your blood . ART is recommended for everyone with HIV, and people with HIV should start ART as soon as possible after diagnosis, even on that same day.

People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines called an HIV treatment regimen. A personâs initial treatment regimen generally includes three HIV medicines from at least two different drug classes that must be taken every day. Many people with HIV take two or more different HIV medicines combined in one pill. There are many options of these combination medicines available. Long-acting injections of HIV medicine, given every two months, are also available if your health care provider determines that you meet certain requirements.

Here are some tips that may help you take every dose of your HIV medicine in pill form, every day:

You can also visit HIV.govâs Positive Spin or CDCâs Letâs Stop HIV Together to view stories of how people with HIV are taking their HIV medicine every day.

Living With Hiv When One Partner Is Positive And The Other Is Negative

HIV prevention: What you need to know (infographic)

Two months after Maripaz Callejas’ husband died of AIDS, she was diagnosed with HIV. One doctor told her that she would be dead within five years.

In Maripaz’s home country, El Salvador, many new HIV infections occur as a result of unprotected sex between couples who are married or living together. WHO estimates that globally as many as half of all HIV-positive people in long-term relationships have HIV-negative partners forming what are known as serodiscordant couples. It is estimated that half of people living with HIV still do not know that they are infected, and, like Maripaz, many people in relationships do not know their partner’s status.

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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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Whats The Next Step After Youre Diagnosed With Hiv

After you are diagnosed with HIV, itâs important to see a health care provider who can help you start medicine to treat HIV as soon as possible. Treatment with HIV medicine is recommended for all people with HIV, regardless of how long theyâve had the virus or how healthy they are.

HIV medicine can reduce the amount of HIV in your blood to an undetectable levelâa level so low that a standard lab test canât detect it. People with HIV who take HIV medicine exactly as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load can stay healthy and will not transmit HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex.

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When To Start Hiv Treatment

Its now recommended that everyone diagnosed with HIV starts treatment straight away after being diagnosed.

In the UK, national guidelines set out standards for HIV treatment. They currently recommend that anyone with HIV who is ready to commit to treatment should start it regardless of their CD4 count .

Stage : Clinical Latency

Living with HIV

In this stage, the virus still multiplies, but at very low levels. People in this stage may not feel sick or have any symptoms. This stage is also called chronic HIV infection.

Without HIV treatment, people can stay in this stage for 10 or 15 years, but some move through this stage faster.

If you take HIV medicine every day, exactly as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load, you can protect your health and have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to your sexual partner.

But if your viral load is detectable, you can transmit HIV during this stage, even when you have no symptoms. Its important to see your health care provider regularly to get your viral load checked.

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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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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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