Can I Get Rid Of Hiv
Unfortunately, there is no way to get rid of HIV. But the treatment is very effective. It can reduce the level of HIV in your body to such low levels that blood tests cannot detect it. This is also called being ‘undetectableâ. Having an undetectable viral load means you cannot pass on HIV to other people.
What Can I Expect If I Have Hiv
If youre diagnosed with HIV, its important to know that those living with HIV who follow treatment guidelines can live full lives for nearly as long as those without HIV.
If you have a high CD4 count and an undetectable viral load within a year of starting treatment, research suggests youll have the best outcomes, as long as you continue your treatment plan.
You can improve your outlook by:
- Getting tested as part of routine healthcare or if you think youve been exposed.
- Starting ART soon after being diagnosed.
- Taking your medicine every day.
- Keeping your appointments with your healthcare team.
ART can keep blood levels undetectable but cant entirely rid your body of the virus . If you dont take your medication every day, the virus can start multiplying again and mutate, which may cause your medications to stop working.
Left untreated, it can take about 10 years for HIV to advance to AIDS. If you progress to AIDS and it goes untreated, you can expect to live about three years more.
For those on treatment, if you have a high CD4 count and undetectable viral load within a year of starting treatment, you can expect to live about as long as someone without HIV. If you have a low CD4 count or a detectable viral load within a year of starting treatment, you may live 10 to 20 years less than someone without HIV.
Adaptive Immune Response To Hiv
Cellular immune response to HIV. The cellular immune response is induced upon the entry of HIV into the target cells and synthesis of viral proteins . MHC class I on the cell surface displays the intracellularly degraded HIV peptide fragments for recognition by T-cell receptors on CD8+ T cells . CD8+ T cells lyse HIV infected cells and secrete cytokines, i.e. interferon- , tumor necrosis factor , and chemokines, i.e. MIP-1 , MIP and RANTES, that inhibit virus replication and block viral entry into CD4+ T cells. Development of CD8+ T cells is crucial for control of HIV replication. This results in declining viraemia after primary infection. In the early stages of infection, CD4+ T cells lose their proliferative capacity and therefore their contribution to viral control is minor. However, during chronic infection CD4+T cells are present and secrete interleukin-2 or cytokines, such as IFN-, to control viraemia.
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Preventive Treatment Before Exposure
Taking an antiretroviral drug before being exposed to HIV can reduce the risk of HIV infection. Such preventive treatment is called preexposure prophylaxis . PrEP is most effective if people take the drug every day, but it can be expensive. PrEP is now recommended for people who have a high risk of becoming infected, such as people who have a partner who is infected with HIV, men who have sex with men, and transgender people. Older adolescents at risk may also receive PrEP, but issues of confidentiality and cost are more complex than with adult PrEP.
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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Symptoms Of Hiv/aids And Stages
Many people donât have symptoms at first, and sometimes even for years or decades. But there are signs that can happen, such as flu-like symptoms soon after you become infected with HIV. Even if you donât feel sick, HIV damages the immune system. It hijacks infection-fighting white blood cells called CD4 cells and uses them to churn out thousands of copies of itself. Without treatment, HIV destroys so many of these cells that your body canât protect you from life-threatening infections. If your CD4 count drops below 200, you have AIDS.
There are three stages of HIV infection:
Stage 1: This the earliest stage. You may also hear it called the âacuteâ stage. You might have a fever, rash, fatigue, chills, and other flu-like symptoms. But you might not have any symptoms. If you do, they may start 2-4 weeks after youâre infected. During this time, the virus quickly makes many copies of itself.
Stage 2: During this stage, HIV continues to reproduce, and it slowly damages your immune system over time. You might not feel sick or have symptoms. But HIV isnât gone, and you can still spread it to other people. This stage can last for years or even decades.
Stage 3: This is when you have AIDS. Your immune system has been severely damaged, leaving you vulnerable to other illnesses. With AIDS, many people have symptoms such as chills, fever, sweats, swollen lymph glands, weakness, and weight loss.
How Is Hiv Transmitted
HIV is transmitted when HIV-infected blood, sexual bodily fluids or breast milk enters another person’s bloodstream. This occurs most common during unprotected sex or intravenous drug use, when needles or other injecting equipment are shared.
HIV is mainly spread in three ways:
HIV is rarely transmitted in the following ways:
- Blood transfusions and organ transplants: The risk of HIV from a blood transfusion is extremely low today, with estimates ranging from 1 in 200,000 to 1 in 2,000,000 transfusions. The risk of HIV from an organ transplant is comparable. Accepted donors and their blood are thoroughly tested to rule out HIV and other blood-borne germs.
- Healthcare settings: As a result of needlestick accidents and other significant blood exposures, there is a very small, but real, risk of healthcare workers contracting HIV from patients. The risk of patients contracting an infection from healthcare workers is extremely low.
- Casual contact: HIV is not transmitted through casual contact. Outside the body, it dies quickly and is easily killed by soap and disinfectants such as bleach. There is no risk of HIV infection due to the following:
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Can Medications Prevent Hiv
There are medications that can help prevent HIV in people who have been exposed or are at high risk for exposure. These include pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis .
PrEP is a pill you take every day if you dont have HIV but are at high risk of getting infected.
Specifically, its recommended that you take PrEP if you dont have HIV, if you have had anal or vaginal sex in the past six months and at least one of the following is true:
- You have a sexual partner with HIV.
- You havent consistently used a condom.
- In the past six months, youve been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease .
PrEP is also recommended if you dont have HIV, you inject drugs and at least one of the following is true:
- You inject drugs with a partner who has HIV.
- You share needles or other equipment to inject drugs.
PrEP is not a replacement for other preventative measures. You should still use condoms and avoid sharing needles to inject drugs while taking PrEP.
PEP uses HIV medicines to try to prevent an HIV infection soon after you are exposed. PEP is for those who dont have HIV or dont know if they have HIV and think theyve been exposed through consensual sex, sexual assault, shared needles , or work.
You must start PEP within 72 hours of exposure and take it every day for 28 days. PEP is only for emergency use and does not replace other precautions, like condom use.
What Does The Virus Do In The Body
The HI virus belongs to the group of retroviruses. The genome of these viruses consists of RNA . Only in the affected host cell is the RNA converted into DNA and integrated into the host genome the genetic material of the human cell. Entry into the cells is only possible via certain specific receptor molecules on the surface of the cells. CD4 lymphocytes, which belong to the white blood cells, are the main target of the viruses. They are also called helper cells and play a key role in defending against pathogens.
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Prognosis Of Hiv Infection In Children
Before antiretroviral therapy , 10 to 15% of children from industrialized countries and perhaps 50 to 80% of children from developing countries died before 4 years of age. Today, with ART, most children born with HIV infection live well into adulthood. Increasing numbers of these young adults who were infected at birth have given birth to or fathered their own children.
Nevertheless, if opportunistic infections occur, particularly Pneumocystis pneumonia, the prognosis is poor unless ART is successful. Pneumocystis pneumonia causes death in 5 to 40% of treated children and in almost 100% of untreated children. The prognosis is also poor for children in whom the virus is detected early or who develop symptoms in the first year of life.
It is unknown whether HIV infection itself or ART given to HIV-infected children during critical periods of growth and development will cause additional side effects that appear later in life. However, so far, no such side effects have been noted in children infected at or before birth who were treated with ART and who are now young adults.
To date, there is no cure for HIV infection, and it is not yet known if a cure is possible. What is known, however, is that HIV infection is a treatable infection and that long-term survival is possible if effective ART is given.
How Is Hiv Treated
HIV is treated with a combination of medicines taken by mouth every day. This combination of pills is called antiretroviral therapy .
Taking a combination of types of pills, rather than just one, is the most effective way to keep HIV from multiplying and destroying your cells. There are also combination pills that have several medications in a single pill. Your healthcare provider will carefully select a combination specifically for you.
The goal of ART is to reduce HIV in the blood to an amount thats not detectable by an HIV test and to slow HIVs weakening of your immune system.
Medications used to treat HIV
Each type of pill used in ART has a different way of keeping HIV from making more copies of itself or from infecting your cells. There can be many different brand names of the same type of ART drug.
Types of ART medications include:
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors .
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors .
- Protease inhibitors .
- Combination of HIV medicines.
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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.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection In Children
, MD, Golisano Childrens Hospital
Human immunodeficiency virus infection is caused by the viruses HIV-1 and HIV-2 and, in young children, is typically acquired from the mother at the time of birth.
Signs of infection include slowed growth, enlargement of lymph nodes in several areas of the body, developmental delay, recurring bacterial infections, and lung inflammation.
The diagnosis is based on special blood tests.
Children who receive anti-HIV drug therapy can live to adulthood.
Infected mothers can prevent transmitting the infection to their newborn by taking antiretroviral therapy, feeding their newborn formula rather than breast milk, and, for some women, undergoing a cesarean delivery.
Children are treated with the same drugs as adults.
There are two human immunodeficiency viruses:
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is the most severe form of HIV infection. A child with HIV infection is considered to have AIDS when at least one complicating illness develops or when there is a significant decline in the body’s ability to defend itself from infection.
Although the number of HIV-infected infants and children living in the United States continues to decrease, the number of HIV-infected adolescents and young adults is increasing. The number is increasing because children who were infected as infants are surviving longer and new cases are developing in adolescents and young adults, particularly in young men who have sex with men.
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Hiv Treatment Side Effects
Like all drugs, ART can cause side effects. These vary, depending on the person and type of treatment. Even people taking the same HIV drugs can have different side effects. The most common are:
A hypersensitivity reaction to an HIV drug called abacavir which consists of liver damage or severe skin rashes, can be life-threatening. Call your doctor or get emergency care right away if you think you have a severe reaction to this or any medication you take. Before you start any drug, make sure your doctor explains what side effects to watch out for.
Treatment as prevention: The best way to stay healthy and protect others is to start and stick with treatment. When your viral load is undetectable, you will keep yourself healthy, and thereâs no chance you can pass the virus to your sexual partner.
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
Having A Medication Routine
Taking HIV medication as prescribed is essential missing even a few doses might jeopardize the treatment.
A person should design a daily medication-taking routine that fits their treatment plan and schedule.
Sometimes, side effects keep people from sticking with their treatment plans. If any side effect is hard to manage, contact a healthcare professional. They can recommend a more easily tolerated drug and suggest other changes to the treatment plan.
Prevention Of Transmission For Infected Mothers
Current preventive therapy for infected pregnant women is highly effective at minimizing transmission. HIV-infected pregnant women should begin antiretroviral therapy by mouth. Ideally, ART should begin as soon as HIV infection is diagnosed and women are ready to follow the therapy as directed. HIV-infected pregnant women who are already on ART should continue the therapy throughout the pregnancy. HIV-infected women should also continue ART when trying to get pregnant.
In addition to maternal ART, the antiretroviral drug zidovudine is often given by vein during labor and delivery to the mother. ZDV is then given to the HIV-exposed newborn by mouth twice a day for the first 4 to 6 weeks of life . Treatment of mothers and children in this way reduces the rate of transmission from 25% to 1% or less. Also, cesarean delivery Cesarean Delivery Cesarean delivery is surgical delivery of a baby by incision through a womans abdomen and uterus. In the United States, up to 30% of deliveries are cesarean. Doctors use a cesarean delivery… read more done before labor begins may reduce the newborn’s risk of acquiring HIV infection. Doctors may recommend cesarean delivery for women whose infection was not well controlled by ART. After delivery, ART is continued for all HIV-infected women.
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