Treatment To Prevent Hiv Infection
Health care workers who are at risk for HIV because of an accidental needle stick or other exposure to body fluids may need medicine to prevent infection.footnote 13
Medicine may also prevent HIV infection in a person who has been raped or was accidentally exposed to the body fluids of a person who may have HIV.footnote 14 This type of treatment is usually started within 72 hours of the exposure.
Studies have shown that treatment with antiretroviral medicine also can reduce the risk of an uninfected person getting infected through sex.footnote 15, footnote 16
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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Keep Taking Your Hiv Medication To Stay Undetectable
HIV is still in your body when your viral load is suppressed, even when it is undetectable. So, you need to keep taking your HIV medication daily as prescribed. When your viral load stays undetectable, you have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to an HIV-negative partner through sex. If you stop taking HIV medication, your viral load will quickly go back up.
If you have stopped taking your HIV medication or are having trouble taking all the doses as prescribed, 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 through sex while you get your viral load undetectable again.
Can Hiv Medicines Cause Side Effects
HIV medicines help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission. But HIV medicines can sometimes cause side effects. Most side effects from HIV medicines are manageable, but a few can be serious.
Overall, the benefits of HIV medicines far outweigh the risk of side effects. In addition, newer HIV medicines cause fewer side effects than medicines used in the past. As HIV treatment continues to improve, people are less likely to have side effects from HIV medicines.
Before starting HIV medicines, people with HIV discuss possible side effects from HIV medicines with their health care providers. They work together to select an HIV regimen based on the persons individual needs.
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How Is It Treated
The standard treatment for HIV is a combination of medicines called antiretroviral therapy, or ART. Antiretroviral medicines slow the rate at which the virus multiplies.
Taking these medicines can reduce the amount of virus in your body and help you stay healthy.
To monitor the HIV infection and its effect on your immune system, a doctor will regularly do two tests:
- Viral load, which shows the amount of virus in your blood
- CD4+ cell count, which shows how well your immune system is working
After you start treatment, it’s important to take your medicines exactly as directed by your doctor. When treatment doesn’t work, it is often because HIV has become resistant to the medicine. This can happen if you don’t take your medicines correctly.
What Are The Side Effects Of Nrtis
Most NRTIs can cause mild nausea and loose stools. In general, these symptoms resolve with time.
ZDV has been associated with decreased production of blood cells by the bone marrow, most often causing anemia, and occasionally hyperpigmentation .
D4T can damage nerves and cause peripheral neuropathy, a neurological condition with numbness and/or tingling of the feet and hands, and inflammation of the pancreas that causes nausea, vomiting, and mid/upper abdominal pain.
DDI also causes pancreatitis and, to a lesser extent, peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy can become permanent and painful, and pancreatitis can be life-threatening if therapy is not discontinued. The drug ddC also is associated with peripheral neuropathy, as well as oral ulcers.
TDF is generally well tolerated although there may be rare kidney damage and may have a greater impact on reducing bone density than other agents. Both of these problems appear to be attenuated with the new formulation of tenofovir called TAF.
FTC is also well tolerated except for the occasional development of hyperpigmentation, most often on the palms and soles. This hyperpigmentation occurs more frequently in people of color.
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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.
Best Cbd Oils For Hiv And Aids
When choosing the best CBD oil for HIV/AIDS, there are a few things that should be taken into careful consideration.
CBD oil is available in most states throughout the country, with strong potencies and THC/CBD blends also available for HIV/AIDS treatment in the majority of states that have legalized medicinal marijuana. Before making any purchase, find the regulations specific to your state to make sure you are complying with all laws.
As a non-psychoactive, non-addictive substance, CBD oil can offer lots of benefits to HIV/AIDS patients. But, in order to reap the most reward, it is important to purchase high-quality CBD products.
Here are some tips to finding a high-quality CBD oil:
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How Do People With Hiv Use Azt
AZT is used in combination with several other anti-HIV drugs, usually including drugs from different classes, such as protease inhibitors and/or non-nukes . Combinations such as this are called antiretroviral therapy, or ART. For more information on ART, see CATIE’s Your Guide to HIV Treatment.
For many people with HIV, the use of ART has increased their CD4+ cell counts and decreased the amount of HIV in their blood . These beneficial effects help to reduce the risk of developing a life-threatening infection. Neither AZT nor any other anti-HIV medication is a cure for HIV. It is therefore important that you do the following:
- See your doctor regularly so that he/she can monitor your health.
- Continue to practice safer sex and take other precautions so as not to pass HIV on to other people.
AZT was originally approved under the brand name Retrovir, which is still available but is very rarely used as a separate medication. AZT is usually taken as a component in the fixed-dose combinations Combivir and Trizivir, which combine AZT with other anti-HIV drugs in a single tablet.
Hiv Treatment As Prevention
Treatment as prevention refers to taking HIV medication to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV. It is one of the highly effective options for preventing HIV transmission. 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.
TasP works when a person living with HIV takes HIV medication exactly as prescribed and has regular follow-up care, including regular viral load tests to ensure their viral load stays undetectable.
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Antiretroviral Hiv Drugs: Side Effects And Adherence
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 with HIV. This keeps the immune system strong enough to fight off disease.
Today, more than 40 antiretroviral drugs are approved to treat HIV. Most people who treat their HIV will take two or more of these drugs each day for the rest of their lives.
Antiretroviral drugs must be taken at the right time and in the right way for them to work properly. Taking these medications the way a healthcare provider has prescribed them is called adherence.
Sticking to a treatment plan isnt always easy. Antiretroviral drugs can cause side effects that can be severe enough to make some people stop taking them. But if a person with HIV skips doses of these drugs, the virus can start copying itself in their body again. This could cause HIV to become resistant to the drugs. If that happens, the drug will no longer work, and that person will be left with fewer options to treat their HIV.
Read on to learn more about antiretroviral drug side effects, and how to manage them and stick to a treatment plan.
Clinical Latency Stage Of Hiv Infection
The symptoms during ARS may last for a few weeks, according to the National Institutes of Health.
After this point, the infection progresses to the clinical latency stage, a period during which the virus reproduces at very low levels, but it is still active.
Also known as asymptomatic HIV infection or chronic HIV infection, the clinical latency stage typically causes no HIV-related symptoms.
For people who are not taking any anti-retroviral medication for their infection, the clinical latency stage lasts for 10 years, on average, but it may progress quicker.
ART,;though, can keep the virus from growing and multiplying, prolonging the clinical latency state for several decades.
It’s important to note that people living with HIV in the clinical latency stage are contagious and can still transmit the virus to other people. But, as the CDC notes, people who take ART exactly as prescribed and maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV negative-partner through sex.
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Can Hiv Be Prevented Or Avoided
The best way to prevent HIV is to not have sex with a person who has HIV, or share a needle with a person who has HIV. However, there is also a medicine called PrEP that people can take before coming into contact with HIV that can prevent them from getting an HIV infection.
PrEP stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. It is for people who are at long-term risk of getting HIV either through sexual activity or by injecting drugs. If youre taking PrEP and come into contact with HIV, the medicine makes it difficult for HIV to develop inside your body.
Other ways to prevent HIV include:
- When you have sex, practice safer sex by using a condom. The best condom is a male latex condom. A female condom is not as effective but does offer some protection.
- Do not share needles and syringes.
- Never let someone elses blood, semen, urine, vaginal fluid, or feces get into your anus, vagina, or mouth.
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.
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How Is An Hiv Test Performed
Before taking an HIV test:
- Ask the clinic what privacy rules it follows.
- Ask your healthcare provider any questions you have about HIV, AIDS, or the HIV test.
To do the HIV test, a small sample of blood is taken from your arm. The blood is sent to a lab and tested for HIV.
Home testing is available. The sample can be obtained via oral secretions , or a blood sample from a finger-stick test strip that is then mailed to a laboratory for screening. Positive results must be confirmed by your doctor before a diagnosis of HIV infection can be established.
Some clinics perform HIV tests without ever taking your name . You must go back to the clinic to get your results. A positive test means you have HIV. A negative test means no signs of HIV were found in your blood.
If your test comes back positive, your healthcare provider is likely to recommend other tests to assess your health. These may include a complete blood count , along with:
- Viral hepatitis screening.
Stage : Clinical Latency
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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What Are The Treatments For Hiv/aids
There is no cure for HIV infection, but it can be treated with medicines. This is called antiretroviral therapy . ART can make HIV infection a manageable chronic condition. It also reduces the risk of spreading the virus to others.
Most people with HIV live long and healthy lives if they get and stay on ART. It’s also important to take care of yourself. Making sure that you have the support you need, living a healthy lifestyle, and getting regular medical care can help you enjoy a better quality of life.