Why Is Hiv Treatment Important
Getting and staying on HIV treatment because it reduces the amount of HIV in your blood to a very low level. This keeps you healthy and prevents illness. There is also a major prevention benefit. People living with HIV who take HIV medication daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners. This is called treatment as prevention.
If left untreated, HIV attacks your immune system and can allow different types of life-threatening infections and cancers to develop. If your CD4 cell count falls below a certain level, you are at risk of getting an opportunistic infection. These are infections that dont normally affect people with healthy immune systems but that can infect people with immune systems weakened by HIV infection. Your health care provider may prescribe medicines to prevent certain infections.
HIV treatment is most likely to be successful when you know what to expect and are committed to taking your medicines exactly as prescribed. Working with your health care provider to develop a treatment plan will help you learn more about HIV and manage it effectively.
How Is Hiv Treated
There are many treatments that can help people with HIV, and current treatments are very effective and safe. As a result, most people with HIV are living long and healthy lives. Treatment is recommended for everyone with HIV infection, and generally should be started as early as possible.
Medicines slow the growth of the virus or stop it from making copies of itself. Although these drugs don’t eliminate the virus from the body, they keep the amount of virus in the blood low. This protects the health of the person with HIV and also can prevent HIV from passing to sex partners.
The amount of virus in the blood is called the viral load, and it can be measured by a test.
There are several types of anti-HIV drugs. Each type attacks the virus in a specific way.
Pop question: True or false. HIV medicines eliminate virus from the body.
Pop question: True or false. HIV medicines eliminate virus from the body.
Answer: FALSE. HIV drugs cannot eliminate HIV virus from the body, but they can reduce it to very, very low levels. The main goal of HIV drugs is to reduce viral load as much as possible for as long as possible.
Main Approaches To Cure Hiv
Activate and eradicate:- this method aims to eradicate the virus out of its reservoir and kill the infected cells.;
Gene editing:- this includes changing immune cells, so they wont be affected by HIV.
Immune modulation:- involves changing the immune system wholly to better make it get rid of HIV.;
Stem cells transplant:- it is the transplantation of an infected immune system with a donors immune system.;
Although the stem cell approach has been proven effective in the past, it can be very dangerous to people. A stem cell transplant would only be considered an applicable option if the person urgently needs it for treating some other deadly condition like very advanced leukemia. And which havent had other safe and effective options available like HIV.;
Whenever we find a cure for any disease, it comes to vaccination. Most of the dangerous diseases like polio, chickenpox have been cured by vaccines only. Similarly, in the case of HIV, there is a strong need for a vaccine. But will we ever get a vaccine for HIV? Or will HIV ever be curable?;
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Are Hiv And Aids The Same
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. If someone has HIV, it means that they have been diagnosed with the HIV infection. AIDS ; however, is the most advanced or final stage of the HIV infection and is characterized by:
- A damaged immune system with low CD4 cells counts in the blood.
- High HIV load in the blood.
- Opportunistic infections: These are infections that occur more frequently or are more severe in people with weakened immune systems than in people with healthy immune systems.
- In the absence of treatment, people with AIDS rarely survive beyond three years.
The symptoms of AIDS are:
Can Hiv Be Cured Naturally
HIV cannot be treated or managed without proper medical therapy. It is important to seek medical attention as soon as a person is exposed to a potential risk of HIV infection. This will facilitate early diagnosis and treatment. It can be dangerous to seek non-scientific and unapproved treatment approaches as it may lead to disease progression. This will make the management more difficult and may even lead to fatal complications.
How Do Hiv/aids Medicines Work
HIV/AIDS medicines reduce the amount of HIV in your body, which helps by
- Giving your immune system a chance to recover. Even though there is still some HIV in your body, your immune system should be strong enough to fight off infections and certain HIV-related cancers.
- Reducing the risk that you will spread HIV to others
What Should I Do Until Theres A Cure For Hiv
For now, the best thing to do for your health is to test regularly for HIV. Testing is the only way to know for sure if you have the virus.
If youve already tested and your result is positive, youll be advised to start antiretroviral treatment as soon as possible. Treatment is the only way to manage HIV and prevent it from damaging your immune system. It also reduces the risk of passing HIV on to your sexual partners. With treatment, people living with HIV can have long and healthy lives.
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Researching An Hiv Cure: The Main Approaches
Although the stem cell approach has had some success in the past, its very dangerous for the patient. It would only be considered a viable option, if the person needed a stem cell transplant to treat another more deadly condition, such as very advanced leukaemia which, unlike HIV, doesnt have as many other safe and effective treatment options available.
While there is promising research being carried out in these areas, there is no viable cure on the horizon.
Importance Of Cure Of Hiv
Even though there is a successive improvement ratio of cART therapy, still there is a need to increase the lifespan of the HIV survivors. Even with the potent drugs, there is no full life expectancy of HIV-infected individuals.;
One report on a prospective study in Denmark happened among 39990 HIV infected individuals and 379,872 HIV uninfected, the chances of survival were investigated in the period prior:-
- cART therapy
- During early cART
- During late cART
Hence, there was a considerable and clear increase in the surviving rate following the administration of cART in the late 1990s. Nonetheless, the life expectancy remained notably less than usual, a population controls even in the late cART. The probability of HIV-infected individuals reaching 70 was 50% than the uninfected ones. Overall these studies are consistent and highly observed from other large studies.;
Although there is global access to cART therapy and the further development of the health system, still there is a lack of sufficient financial resources to hold up the lifelong treatment for every infected individual. Spotting everyone who needs treatment is quite harder because the treatment recommendations will move to earlier initiation of cART treatment, which will eventually raise the population judged as the needy of treatment even if they are not. Eventually, the new HIV-infected cases will continue to shake off the number of people having treatment.;
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How A Functional Cure Might Work
One of the biggest challenges facing researchers is that HIV circulates in the blood and quickly embeds itself into cells and tissues throughout the body where it is shielded from detection by the immune system and can persist even in the face of complete viral suppression.
Since the virus is not actively replicatingbut is rather carried along passively as the host cell replicatesit is largely unaffected by antiretroviral drugs .
In order for a functional cure to be achieved, not one but multiple barriers have to be overcome to put the virus into remission. In recent years, scientists have dubbed this the “kick-kill” strategy, for which two primary aims need to be achieved.
The Challenge Of The Replication Cycle
Instead of being able to focus on a single strain of HIV, researchers have to account for the fact that it replicates so quickly, which can cause mutations and new strains. The replication cycle of HIV;takes a little more than 24 hours.
And while the replication process is fast, it’s not the most accurateproducing many mutated copies each time, which then combine to form new strains as the virus is transmitted between different people.
For example, in HIV-1 , there are 13 distinct subtypes and sub-subtypes that are linked geographically, with 15% to 20% variation within subtypes and variations of up to 35% between subtypes.
Not only is this a challenge in creating a vaccine, but also because some of the mutated strains are resistant to ART, meaning that some people have more aggressive mutations of the virus.
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Treat Early To End Hiv
If you have been recently diagnosed with HIV, feel free to get in touch with us. ACONs service for newly diagnosed gives you access to a trained counsellor, usually within one working day.
Were committed to ending HIV, and by treating early, you are looking after your health, as well as helping to prevent HIV transmission.
What Are The Challenges
While research on a cure is promising, there are some challenges. One is that we donât fully understand how HIV reservoirs work. Scientists are learning how to find, measure, and destroy them.
What about stem cell therapy? The CCR5 mutation that protects you from HIV is very rare, so itâs hard to find donor cells. Also, stem cell therapy is risky. People can reject donor cells and become very ill. Scientists are trying to find therapies that make a personâs own cells resistant to the virus, so they wonât need donor cells.
Another challenge is that males are the subjects of most HIV clinical trials, but about half of people with the virus are female. We need more studies to look at whether treatments will work on women and girls.
Even though research is very promising, it could be a few years before these treatments are tested to be sure they work well and are safe to use in many people who have HIV.
AIDSinfo.gov: âHIV Treatments: The Basics.â
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases: âHIV Cure.â
amfAR: âThe Countdown to a Cure for AIDS,â âPathways to an HIV Cure,â âMaking Sense of the Three Types of HIV Cure: The Berlin Patient, the Mississippi Child, and the VISCONTI Cohort.â
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center: âWorld AIDS Day: Stepping up the search for a cure.â
Delaney Cell and Genome Engineering Initiative: âDefeat HIV: Scientific Overview.â
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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.
Early Symptoms Of Hiv
The first few weeks after someone contracts HIV is called the acute infection stage.
During this time, the virus reproduces rapidly. The persons immune system responds by producing HIV antibodies, which are proteins that take measures to respond against infection.
During this stage, some people have no symptoms at first. However, many people experience symptoms in the first month or so after contracting the virus, but they often dont realize HIV causes those symptoms.
This is because symptoms of the acute stage can be very similar to those of the flu or other seasonal viruses, such as:
- they may be mild to severe
- they may come and go
- they may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks
Early symptoms of HIV can include:
- upset stomach
Because these symptoms are similar to common illnesses like the flu, the person who has them might not think they need to see a healthcare provider.
Whether a person has symptoms or not, during this period their viral load is very high. The viral load is the amount of HIV found in the bloodstream.
A high viral load means that HIV can be easily transmitted to someone else during this time.
Initial HIV symptoms usually resolve within a few months as the person enters the chronic, or clinical latency, stage of HIV. This stage can last many years or even decades with treatment.
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Early Hiv Drugs ‘functionally Cure About One In 10’
Health and science reporter, BBC News
Rapid treatment after HIV infection may be enough to “functionally cure” about a 10th of those diagnosed early, say researchers in France.
They have been analysing 14 people who stopped therapy, but have since shown no signs of the virus resurging.
It follows reports of a baby girl being effectively cured after very early treatment in the US.
However, most people infected with HIV do not find out until the virus has fully infiltrated the body.
The group of patients, known as the Visconti cohort, all started treatment within 10 weeks of being infected. The patients were caught early as they turned up in hospital with other conditions and HIV was found in their blood.
They stuck to a course of antiretroviral drugs for three years, on average, but then stopped.
The drugs keep the virus only in check, they cannot eradicate it from its hiding places inside the immune system.
Normally, when the drugs stop, the virus bounces back.
Is There A Vaccine For Hiv
Currently, there are no vaccines to prevent or treat HIV. Research and testing on experimental vaccines are ongoing, but none are close to being approved for general use.
HIV is a complicated virus. It mutates rapidly and is often able to fend off immune system responses. Only a small number of people who have HIV develop broadly neutralizing antibodies, the kind of antibodies that can respond to a range of HIV strains.
The first HIV vaccine efficacy study in 7 years was underway in South Africa in 2016. The experimental vaccine is an updated version of one used in a 2009 trial that took place in Thailand.
A 3.5-year follow-up after vaccination showed the vaccine was 31.2 percent effective in preventing HIV transmission.
The study involves 5,400 men and women from South Africa. In 2016 in South Africa, about contracted HIV. The results of the study are expected in 2021.
Other late-stage, multinational vaccine clinical trials are also currently underway.
Other research into an HIV vaccine is also ongoing.
While theres still no vaccine to prevent HIV, people with HIV can benefit from other vaccines to prevent HIV-related illnesses. Here are the CDC recommendations:
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How Are The Drugs Taken
Most people who are getting treated for HIV take 3 or more drugs. This is called combination therapy or “the cocktail.” It also has a longer name: antiretroviral therapy or highly active antiretroviral therapy . Combination therapy is the most effective treatment for HIV.
People with HIV need to work closely with their providers to decide which drugs to take. Several coformulations are available, and for most patients, HIV treatment involves taking just 1 or 2 pills per day.
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv
After the first month or so, HIV enters the clinical latency stage. This stage can last from a few years to a few decades.
Some people dont have any symptoms during this time, while others may have minimal or nonspecific symptoms. A nonspecific symptom is a symptom that doesnt pertain to one specific disease or condition.
These nonspecific symptoms may include:
- headaches and other aches and pains
- swollen lymph nodes
- recurrent oral or vaginal yeast infections
As with the early stage, HIV is still transferable during this time even without symptoms and can be transmitted to another person.
However, a person wont know they have HIV unless they get tested. If someone has these symptoms and thinks they may have been exposed to HIV, its important that they get tested.
HIV symptoms at this stage may come and go, or they may progress rapidly. This progression can be slowed substantially with treatment.
With the consistent use of this antiretroviral therapy, chronic HIV can last for decades and will likely not develop into AIDS, if treatment was started early enough.
The cause of the rash determines:
- how it looks
- how it can be treated depends on the cause
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