Kidney And Metabolic Disorders
Research shows that people living with HIV have a higher risk of developing kidney failure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease compared to the general population. This may be partly related to aging and partly related to ART-related kidney toxicity.1,2
Kidney and metabolic issues are often associated with NRTIs . One study found that the longer a person used an NRTI, the greater their risk of getting diabetes.1,2
Other medications that may be associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes or kidney issues after long-term use include atazanavir and the combination treatment of lopinavir/ritonavir .1,2
Financial Considerations And Unexpected Long
Many LTS, who may have once seen no point in saving money for a future they didn’t believe they would see, now find themselves in difficult financial situations as they grow older.
- In the LTS community, “retirement” has been a euphemism for being on permanent disability, an unstable form of income that is also difficult to get off
- Due to eligibility requirements for various forms of public assistance, people living and growing older with HIV often have little choice but to keep their incomes low, making it nearly impossible to save for the future
- Long gaps in work histories, as well as ageism, pose additional challenges for LTS returning to work
- Panic about the future, and an inability to plan for or conceive of the future, are symptoms of the compounded traumas of ASS
- Faced with much longer life expectancy, LTS now find themselves asking “What’s next?”
“I have been on Social Security Disability Income for the past 11 years ever since my AIDS diagnosis. I have been told by many people ‘Do not go back to work, it will screw everything up!’ Why does this all have to be so complicated and stressful?” Vickie Lynn, from “Going back to work?!?,” on A Girl Like Me
End-of-life planning can be an empowering process when, earlier in the HIV epidemic, there was not much time or space to be thoughtful about such plans. Now, that end will most likely be much farther off than once expected.
Tracking How Youre Feeling
You must be in touch with your body so youre clear on what you are experiencing and can describe it to your doctor. This leads us to the two most important rules:
Rule #1: Tell your doctor everything, from beginning to end. If a symptom appears, changes, disappears or reappears, tell your doctor whats up. Write it down so you do not forget.
Rule #2: Always apply Rule #1.
It can be helpful to keep a symptom diary so you can show your doctor a record of everything you have been experiencing. Keeping a daily record as you experience symptoms is better than trying to remember them later.
We have included here My Health Map, which is a simple way to track what youre feeling by drawing on a silhouette of a body and answering a few questions. Photocopy the map and use it to keep track of your symptoms over time. Or use a personal health record, which you can use to record many aspects of your HIV care.
The key things to report to your doctor about any given symptom are these:
Frequency: How often do you experience it? Is it something you only notice a couple of times a month? Multiple times every day? All day, every day?
Intensity: Is this a minor problem or something severe? If you rank it on a scale from one to five, where does it fall? If the intensity varies, noting this in detail with each occurrence can be part of the daily record you keep.
Treatment: Is there anything you have found that helps?
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Dental Health: What Are The Long Term Effects Of Hiv
What are the long term effects of HIV on a patients body? Is there any effect of HIV on the dental health of a person suffering from the virus? This article will talk about the impact of HIV and how having an infection can affect dental health. After reading the article, you can check out go to Dentistry on Solents clinic in Bella Vista for all your dental care needs.
Effects On The Immune System
HIV primarily affects the body by targeting and damaging cells in the immune system. The immune system protects the body against viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
After attaching itself to a type of white blood cell called a CD4 T cell, the virus merges with it. These T cells are an important part of the immune system.
Once inside the CD4 T cell, the virus multiplies. It damages or destroys the cell, then moves on and targets other cells.
A persons CD4 T-cell count is an indication of the health of their immune system.
A healthy CD4 T-cell count is 5001,600 cells/mm3 of blood. If a person does not receive treatment for HIV, their CD4 T-cell count drops over time.
When it drops below 200 cells/mm3, the persons immune system is significantly impaired, making them more susceptible to opportunistic infections.
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How To Manage Side Effects Of Hiv Treatment
Todays HIV treatments are more targeted and less toxic than the antiretroviral therapies of the 1990s and that means side effects are more manageable.
Advances in therapies to treat human immunodeficiency virus mean that people newly diagnosed with HIV can expect to live nearly as long as people without the virus, according to an article published in September 2021 in Annals of Internal Medicine, and with fewer short-term side effects from treatment.
HIV treatment today often involves a single pill once a day, says Paul Volberding, MD, a professor emeritus in the department of medicine at the University of California in San Francisco, in contrast to the side-effect-heavy, multi-pill regimens of the 1990s described in an article in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. The expectation is that people with HIV will have few, if any, side effects from treatment.
Researchers are still working to understand the long-term side effects of HIV treatment, and to distinguish them from physical changes that may be caused by the virus itself. Read on to learn more about short-term and potential long-term side effects of HIV treatment, and what you can do about them.
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What You Can Do
If you have HIV, there are still ways by which you can take care of your oral health. Just because people with HIV are more prone to having oral issues, many people are coping with the virus that has good oral health. If you have any questions about your medication for HIV, and how it can help promote better oral health, talk to your doctor. They will tell you about the benefits of HAART and how it can help boost your immune system and help you achieve better oral health.
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Understanding Hiv Drug Resistance
A change in medications to avoid certain side effects isnt always the best solution, Dr. Grinspoon says. In HIV, you can develop resistance to therapeutics if you keep switching therapies, he explains.
Per HIVinfo.NIH.org, drug resistance in HIV typically occurs when the virus has the opportunity to mutate and multiply, and a medicine that was previously working no longer does what it should. The risk of drug resistance increases when you dont take an HIV medication exactly as directed, or you skip doses, start and stop using ART, or switch medications often.
If an HIV treatment plan that was once effective no longer seems to be, tell your doctor. Blood tests can identify drug resistance and help determine other effective HIV treatment options for you.
You’ve Come A Long Way Baby
Antiretroviral therapy has indeed come a long way in the last 25 years. ART has allowed for individuals who are HIV-positive to live longer lives. New ART medicines and classes of ART have been created to help in the fight against HIV. The development of new classes of ART allows for the virus to be attacked in different ways. Not attacking the virus from different directions at one time has shown us time and again to not work. So combining ART has worked, but at a price.
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Side Effects Or Toxicities During Pregnancy
The majority of studies have shown that taking most HIV drugs during pregnancy does not increase the risk of birth defects. However, there are certain HIV drugs that should not be used by pregnant women because of potential problems for the mother or the baby.
Talk to your health care provider if you are currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Though there used to be some debate about the safety of taking efavirenz during early pregnancy, all major organizations now suggest that efavirenz can be taken throughout pregnancy, including during the first trimester . In addition, women who are successfully virally suppressed on a treatment regimen that contains efavirenz and who become pregnant should continue on efavirenz throughout pregnancy.
If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, speak to your health care provider about all of your medications to be sure there are no specific warnings for pregnant women. The good news is that several HIV drugs are safe to take during pregnancy. If taken exactly the way they were prescribed, these HIV drugs can make the chances that you will pass HIV on to your baby very low .
How Antiretroviral Drugs Affect The Body
While there is no cure for HIV, antiretroviral therapy can reduce the amount of the virus in the blood to very low levels. By doing this, it keeps the person healthy and prevents the transmission of the virus to other people.
A very low, or undetectable, viral load means that the risk of transmission to others is virtually zero, which has led to the phrase: undetectable = untransmittable .
Experts encourage all people with HIV, regardless of their CD4 T-cell count, to start taking antiretroviral drugs as soon as possible after their diagnosis. Early treatment is key to a good outcome.
As with other medications, antiretroviral drugs can cause side effects in some people. However, modern drugs tend to produce fewer and less severe side effects than older drugs.
Possible side effects of antiretroviral drugs include:
Some side effects may last for a few days or weeks after the person starts treatment. Others may start later or last longer.
If a person experiences severe side effects that make them consider stopping treatment, they can talk to their healthcare provider. Stopping treatment or skipping doses can lead to drug resistance and limit a persons treatment options.
Some people can reduce some side effects by taking the medication 2 hours before going to bed. Other people may prefer to take it in the morning to prevent sleep disturbances.
Certain HIV drugs may also lead to less obvious changes, such as:
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Hiv And Dental Health
Along with the other unwanted side-effects of having HIV, poor dental health is one of the ill-effects that is included in the list. This is especially true for patients who are not being treated by HAART. Patients who are infected with HIV and are not under medication have a higher risk of contracting oral issues. Issues such as mouth pains, mouth ulcers, oral dryness mouth lesions, periodontal disease, tooth loss and other serious conditions can happen to a person who has HIV. These are the long-term oral health effects that a person with the virus can experience, especially if they do not have HAART.
However, HAART can help a patient overcome these oral issues as well as the other conditions of the different parts of the body. Getting diagnosed with HIV and then getting medication and treatment will put the person on the path to a better life, even with HIV.
What Are The Side Effects Of Prep
Pre-exposure prophylaxis meds are pills used by people who face a high risk of contracting the human immunodeficiency virus. These pills work to prevent the virus from infiltrating and spreading through the body system. However, PrEP drugs could have some adverse effects or reactions on some of its users. Find out more about the side effects of these medications in the article below.
Research findings show that people who take PrEP pills for an entire week and continue in this manner can achieve the 99% protection from HIV level . However, for this to be achieved, the pills need to be taken exactly as prescribed. Failure to follow prescription may result in a decrease in the level of protection that should normally be achieved.
One of the issues that users are worried about is side effects. Although the majority of PrEP users do not experience adverse reactions to the meds, a tiny fraction has observed and given reports of some adverse effects which occurred during the course of usage.
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How Is Prep Taken
PrEP is currently one tablet of Truvada daily. It can be taken with food, or between meals.There is research ongoing to look at other medications for PrEP.
PrEP is more than simply taking HIV pills. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines for the use of PrEP. One set of guidelines is for men who have sex with men. Another is for heterosexuals.
Other Possible Side Effects
In addition to the side effects listed above, you can find more information on other possible side effects in the Health and Medical Issues section on our website.
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I Cant Cope With These Side Effects What Can I Do
You must keep taking your treatment until youâve spoken to a medical professional. This is because, if you stop, it risks HIV becoming resistant to the drugs which could mean the drugs donât work for you anymore.
If a side effect doesnât go away and is affecting your quality of life, your healthcare provider may recommend that youâ¯switch drugs.
What Are Antiretroviral Drugs
The main treatment for HIV is a class of drugs called antiretrovirals. These drugs dont cure HIV, but they can reduce the amount of virus in the body of someone living with HIV. This keeps the immune system strong enough to fight off disease.
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How Side Effects Are Treated
In most cases, side effects are worst in the first few weeks after treatment starts and gradually lessen until they disappear. They can often be controlled with other medications .
One of the widely used anti-HIV drugs is efavirenz . It makes some people feel drowsy or dizzy, unfocused and experiencing mood swings or problems with sleeping.
As well as efavirenz, small numbers of people taking dolutegravir and rilpivirine experience side effects affecting their mood or mental health. Tell your HIV doctor if youve had depression or other problems in the past, before you start HIV treatment.
These side effects are most likely to occur when treatment with the drug is first started.
Some people find that they can reduce the problem by taking their medication two hours before going to bed this is what the manufacturers of efavirenz recommend. Others prefer to take it in the morning to avoid sleep disturbance, which can include bad dreams.
Its good to know that a lot of emotional and mental health support is available, either through your clinic, your GP or through local HIV organisations. Use our service finder or contact THT Direct on 0808 802 1221 for details.
Figuring Out The Cause Of What You Are Feeling
Always seek a full diagnosis from your doctor regarding all symptoms. What youre feeling could be from your medication, but it could also be a hormone problem, a nutrient deficiency, an infection, depression, HIV infection itself or something else.
Determining what could be contributing to a given side effect can be difficult, and an obvious place to start is by discussing the problem with your doctor. Doctors who have worked with many people living with HIV are usually familiar with the majority of likely drug side effects.
You can also look at the information available on a particular drug. The product monograph or prescribing information for a drug the official, approved document that summarizes what is known about it will normally contain a fairly comprehensive list of all known side effects. In some cases, these lists can be very long and seem to include every possible side effect known. However, if you see a symptom you are experiencing listed as one of the common side effects, this is a hint your drug could be the cause.
Two other things are important to remember. First, it is always possible that you could be the first patient to ever experience a particular side effect. This isnt likely, but it is possible. The fact you dont see a side effect listed does not mean it is impossible the drug is causing this problem in you.
In each section of this guide, we discuss the possible contributing causes of symptoms to help you untangle whats causing what.
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