What Is Hiv Treatment
HIV treatment involves taking highly effective medicines called antiretroviral therapy that work to control the virus. 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 person’s initial HIV treatment regimen generally includes three HIV medicines from at least two different HIV drug classes that must be taken exactly as prescribed. There are several options that have two or three different HIV medicines combined into a once-daily pill. Long-acting injections of HIV medicine, given every two months, are also available if your health care provider determines that you meet certain requirements.
How Are Hiv And Aids Treated
The most effective treatment for HIV is antiretroviral therapy . This is a combination of several medicines that aims to control the amount of virus in your body. Antiretroviral medicines slow the rate at which the virus grows. Taking these medicines can reduce the amount of virus in your body and help you stay healthy.
After you start treatment, it’s important to take your medicines exactly as your doctor tells you. 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.
Other steps you can take include the following:
- Keep your immune system strong by eating right, quitting smoking, and learning how to avoid infection.
- Monitor your CD4+ counts to check the effect of the virus on your immune system.
- See a counselor to help you handle the strong emotions and stress that can follow an HIV diagnosis.
- Reduce stress so that you can better manage the HIV illness.
Medical experts recommend that people begin treatment for HIV as soon as they know that they are infected. Treatment is especially important for pregnant women, people who have other infections , and people who have symptoms of AIDS.
Research suggests that treatment of early HIV with antiretroviral medicines has long-term benefits, such as a stronger immune system.
Treatment to prevent HIV infection
Other treatments for HIV
Treatment for AIDS
Living with HIV
If your partner has HIV:
Who Should Get Tested
Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested at least once in their life, according to the CDC .
Some people have a higher risk of contracting HIV, according to HIV.gov. Even if youve had a past test, its recommended to get retested if you answer yes to any of the following questions since your last test:
- Are you a man who has had sex with another man?
- Have you had sex anal or vaginal with an HIV-positive partner?
- Have you had more than one sexual partner?
- Have you injected drugs and shared needles or works with others?
- Have you received a diagnosis of or treatment for another STI?
- Have you received a diagnosis of or treatment for hepatitis or tuberculosis?
- Have you had sex with someone who could answer yes to any of the above questions, or someone whose sexual history you dont know?
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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.
Provided by PRIME
Goals And Principles Of Antiretroviral Therapy
To review, the overarching goal of ART is to reduce further disease and early death from HIV/AIDS, as well as to prevent transmission of HIV to others .
- ART should be offered to all HIV-1 infected patients, regardless of immune status.
- Highly effective ART regimens, such as those found in the DHHS HIV guidelines, should be considered for initial treatment.
- Drug therapy should always be patient-specific and determined based on kidney and liver function, HBV status, cardiovascular risk, child-bearing potential and pregnancy status, drug resistance testing, genotype/phenotype, and HLA-B*5701 status .
- Therapy should be directed by clinicians with significant experience in HIV treatment.
- Patient education and importance of therapy adherence should be emphasized at the point of care.
- Caregiver education should be considered, if needed.
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Rukobia Offers A New Option For Treatment
Also FDA-approved in 2021, Rukobia is indicated for folks with heavily treatment-resistant HIVusually longtime survivors who were failed by several single-drug options before the 1996 treatment revolution. In studies leading to its approval, Rukobia, taken alongside the best possible preexisting HIV drugs, got about half of takers viral loads to undetectable, and also modestly raised their CD4 count.
Rukobia, which prevents HIV from attaching to T cells, likely isnt a drug that will become a household name. But Horn puts it this way: Ensuring that heavily treatment-experienced patients have access to novel classes of drugs, particularly for use in combination with each other, to maximize chances of achieving and maintaining viral suppression, isand always will bea very good thing.
Can Lifestyle Habits Support Treatment
Once a patient is well established on treatment and the virus is kept under control, they can expect to live a normal life span. It is therefore important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent other common illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney failure shortening their life span.
Examples of a healthy lifestyle involve the following:
- stopping smoking
- keeping weight within a healthy range
- ensuring you have a varied and nutritious diet
- not exceeding the safe limits of alcohol consumption
- regularly exercising
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Descovy: Similar To Truvada Also Now For Prep
Descovy is intended to be a safer replacement for Truvada , another common HIV-1 infection treatment. In studies, it had less negative effects on bone turnover and kidney function.
Like Truvada, Descovy is now approved for pre-exposure prophylaxis . PrEP is the use of anti-HIV medication to help lower the chances that an at-risk HIV negative person might become infected.
Truvada was the first FDA-approved PrEP regimen. PrEP medicines like Truvada and Descovy work by blocking important pathways used by HIV to set up an infection. Both medications are from Gilead, and Truvada is now available generically. Generic Truvada may be the more preferred regimen by many health care insurers at this time, due to greater affordability.
Gilead offers a copay card to help with PrEP costs for patients with commericial insurance . Low income patients without insurance may also receive assistance for PrEP.
Learn More: HIV Prevention: PrEP and Other Options
How Will I Know If My Treatment Is Working
Your healthcare worker will measure your viral load and/or CD4 count at regular appointments. This shows if your treatment is working. If your viral load is still high, or your CD4 count is still low, six months after starting treatment, you may have to switch drugs. See the In detail tab for more information.
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Taf: The Latest Tenofovir
Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate is a Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitor used in combination with other HIV medicines for treatment and for prevention with a PrEP regimen.
The latest approved form of tenofovir is called tenofovir alafenamide . TAF may have some safety advantages over TDF. TAF was first approved in November 2015 and is found in several HIV pills, such as:
But what are the advantages for TAF compared to TDF?
What Is The Best Treatment Method
There are several effective HIV treatment regimens available to patients. These are just a few examples of effective, single pill, once-daily treatment options.
For the majority of patients, these HIV medicines are very tolerable and have very little side-effects. If patients do experience side-effects, they must work with their doctor to find a solution. Fortunately, there are now many excellent medicines for HIV so you can find the one most suited to you.
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What Are Some Challenges I Might Face Taking My Hiv Medicine Every Day
Taking HIV medicine every day can be difficult. Thats why it is important to understand some of the challenges you may face and to think through how you might address them before they happen. For example, remembering when to take your HIV medicine can be complicated. Some regimens involve taking several pills every daywith or without foodor before or after other medicines. Making a schedule of when and how to take your medicines can be helpful. Or talk to your health care provider about whether a combination pill might be right for you.
Other factors can make it difficult to take your HIV medicines every day, including:
Your health care provider will help you identify barriers to keeping up with your HIV treatment regimen and ways to address those barriers. Understanding issues that can make keeping up with your HIV treatment regimen difficult will help you and your health care provider select the best treatment for you.
Tell your health care provider right away if youre having trouble taking your HIV medicine every day. Together you can identify the reasons why youre skipping medicines and make a plan to address those reasons. Joining a peer support group of others taking HIV medicine, or enlisting the support of family and friends, can also help you.
Treatment For Hiv : Physician’s Desk Reference Listing
As a possible treatment for HIV, raised glutathione levels brought about by Immunocal is explained in the Physician’s Desk Reference. You can access this listing online
This listing states in part that “Immunocal …is clinically proven to raise glutathione values…Glutathione augmentation is a strategy developed to address states of glutathione deficiency, high oxidative stress, immune deficiency…glutathione deficiency states include, but are not limited to: HIV/AIDS,…certain types of cancers,…malnutritive states…and has been associated with sub-optimal immune response.”
“Low glutathione is also strongly implicated in wasting and negative nitrogen balance, notably seen in cancer, AIDS, sepsis, trauma, burns, and even athletic overtraining. Cysteine supplementation can oppose this process and in AIDS, for example, result in improved survival rates.”
Immunocal supplies this cysteine in the form of bonded cysteine, which safely survives the digestive process and enters the cell where glutathione is made. To learn more about this process, please click
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Join Forces To Fight Hiv
Treatment of HIV is complex and requires an experienced and dedicated health care team AND a motivated and compliant patient. However, thanks to many years of research, there are multiple options today for patients living with HIV.
ART for treatment-naive patients may consist of two NRTIs in combination with a third active antiretroviral drug from one of three drug classes: an integrase strand transfer inhibitor , a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor , or a protease inhibitor with a pharmacokinetic enhancer .
There is a 2 drug option today, as well, for certain patients — — approved in November 2017. Juluca is an integrase strand transfer inhibitor and an HIV-1 non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor combination for the maintenance treatment of HIV-1 infection in adults who are virologically suppressed.
Keeping up with the news on the latest HIV treatments may seem like a full-time task. Consider joining the Drugs.com HIV Infection Support Group to help you stay on top of the latest news and research, voice your opinion, and ask questions of those who share your same concerns — whether patients or caregivers.
Mercks Hiv Drugs Pifeltro And Delstrigo
- adults with no prior antiretroviral treatment history, or
- adults with HIV-1 infection who are virologically suppressed on a stable antiretroviral regimen with no history of treatment failure. In addition, patients have no known substitutions associated with resistance to doravirine or the other individual components of Delstrigo.
Pifeltro is a non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor . Delstrigo also contains doravine plus lamivudine and tenofovir .
- Pifeltro is used with other antiretroviral agents for HIV treatment.
- Pifeltro contains 100 mg of doravirine and the recommended dose is one 100 mg tablet taken orally once daily with or without food.
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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.
Here’s Why Treatment Is The Best Hiv Prevention
Why the most underrated and least talked about form of safer sex might just be the best.
Although the use of Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis continues to make headlines, the use of treatment as prevention is one of the most underrated yet most effective ways to prevent the spread of HIV.
What is TasP?
TasP is when someone who is HIV-positive achieves an undetectable viral load through the use of consistent antiretroviral medication. When a person with HIV has a viral load that is suppressed to undetectable levels, they reduce their risk of transmitting the disease by 96 percent. To date, there has not been one confirmed case of someone with a suppressed viral load who has transmitted HIV.
Study after study, TasP has been proven to work. When evaluated with the added benefits associated with antiretroviral meds, its simply the best HIV prevention methods out there. Here’s why:
It can have a big impact.
An estimated 1.2 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV and 50,000 new infections occur annually. Currently, only 30 percent of people living with HIV are utilizing TasP by being on and adhering to their treatment to maintain a suppressed viral load. TasP users represent a more targeted, at-risk audience who have a greater reason to use this prevention method.
It saves lives.
It empowers HIV-positive people.
It reduces HIV stigma and promotes healthy conversation.
It works. It really works.
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Does Hiv Treatment Cause Side Effects
Like most medicines, HIV medicines can cause side effects in some people. However, not everyone experiences them. The HIV medicines used today have fewer side effects and are less severe than in the past. Side effects can differ for each type of HIV medicine and from person to person. Some side effects can occur once you start a medicine and may only last a few days or weeks. Other side effects can start later and last longer.
Side effects of HIV medicine most commonly reported include:
- Nausea and vomiting
What Are The Types Of Hiv/aids Medicines
There are several different types of HIV/AIDS medicines. Some work by blocking or changing enzymes that HIV needs to make copies of itself. This prevents HIV from copying itself, which reduces the amount of HIV in the body. Several medicines do this:
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors block an enzyme called reverse transcriptase
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors bind to and later change reverse transcriptase
- Integrase inhibitors block an enzyme called integrase
- Protease inhibitors block an enzyme called protease
Some HIV/AIDS medicines interfere with HIV’s ability to infect CD4 immune system cells:
- Fusion inhibitors block HIV from entering the cells
- CCR5 antagonists and post-attachment inhibitors block different molecules on the CD4 cells. To infect a cell, HIV has to bind to two types of molecules on the cell’s surface. Blocking either of these molecules prevents HIV from entering the cells.
- Attachment inhibitors bind to a specific protein on the outer surface of HIV. This prevents HIV from entering the cell.
In some cases, people take more than one medicine:
- Pharmacokinetic enhancers boost the effectiveness of certain HIV/AIDS medicines. A pharmacokinetic enhancer slows the breakdown of the other medicine. This allows that medicine to stay in the body longer at a higher concentration.
- Multidrug combinations include a combination of two or more different HIV/AIDS medicines
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What Is The Best Treatment For Hiv
What choices do I have as a treatment for HIV?
To begin with, it would be good to answer this question: What does HIV stand for?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
What is immunodeficiency?HIV is a virus that impairs the infected persons immune system so that it is deficient or not strong enough to fight off infections that a healthy person would be able to tolerate.
Hence the term Immunodeficiency. HIV is a virus that makes the immune system of the affected person impaired.
What are the causes of HIV? HIV is transmitted by person to person contact. Since HIV is in the blood and bodily fluid, it may be caused by having sexual contact with an infected person, or by sharing a needle with that person.Stay up to date with the latest news by signing up for our e-zine:It may also be transmitted through blood products and blood transfusion. In some cases, a pregnant woman may also transmit HIV to her child.
What are the symptoms of HIV? According to the
Mayo Clinic, there are three stages of infection. Please click on the link for full information, and note that this opens in a new window.
I will briefly summarize them here.
Early infection may include fever, headache, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, and rash.
Later infection includes swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, cough and shortness of breath.
The spread of AIDS is the most serious health crisis of our time and has now reached epidemic proportions worldwide.