How Are Hiv And Aids Treated
Medicines can help people with HIV stay healthy. They can also prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS.
Health care providers prescribe a combination of different medicines for people with HIV and AIDS. They must be taken exactly as prescribed or they wont work. These medicines:
- help keep the number of CD4 cells high
- reduce the viral load of HIV
Regular blood tests will check the number of CD4 cells in the body and the viral load.
If an HIV-positive persons CD4 count gets low, doctors prescribe daily antibiotics. This prevents pneumocystis pneumonia, which happens in people with weakened immune systems.
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Remind Me: What Is Hiv
HIV short for human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that affects the immune system more specifically, white blood cells known as CD4 cells, or T-cells, that are part of the immune system.
Because HIV attacks the immune system itself, the immune system is not able to mount a defensive response against this virus the way it can for other viruses. It also means that a person with HIV is more susceptible to other infections, illnesses, and diseases.
HIV can be transmitted from person to person through contact with blood, semen, or vaginal fluids that contain the virus.
HIV vs. AIDS
HIV is not synonymous with AIDS. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome , also known as stage 3 HIV. Its a late stage of HIV when the immune system cells have been so badly damaged that the body is no longer able to fight off infection.
Thanks to modern medicine, with proper treatment, its incredibly uncommon for HIV to progress to AIDS. .
Before we do a more in-depth discussion about the symptoms of HIV, its important to understand that left untreated HIV can progress through the following three stages, each of which has a group of associated symptoms.
- Stage 1: acute illness
Below, a complete breakdown of the most common symptoms by stage.
Is It Safe For Children With Hiv To Receive Routine Immunizations
MMR, or measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine, is safe to give to children with HIV, unless they have a severely weakened immune system.
DTaP/Td vaccine is safe to give to infants and children with HIV.
Hib and Hep B vaccines are safe to give to children with HIV.
Hepatitis A and B vaccines are safe to give to HIV-positive children.
VZIG should be considered for known HIV-positive children, depending on their immune status.
A yearly influenza vaccine is recommended for children with HIV, as well as any individual living in the same household as a child with HIV. There are two types of influenza vaccine children and adults with HIV should receive the shot form of the vaccinenot the nasal spray form, as it contains a live virus. Pneumococcal vaccine can be safely administered to age-appropriate HIV-infected children.
Always consult with your childs doctor regarding immunizations for an HIV-infected child.
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Symptom : Night Sweats
Night sweats are repeated episodes of extreme sweating, causing bedding and any nightclothes to become soaked. Many people will get night sweats during the early stages of HIV. These can be even more common later in infection and arent related to exercise or the temperature of the room.Get tested if symptoms of HIV appear
With such a vast array of symptoms, HIV testing is vital to ensure a proper diagnosis. If you think youve been exposed to HIV, or have an active sex life with casual sex partners, regardless of whether you are showing symptoms of HIV or not, its important to get tested as soon as possible.
Hiv Prevention For Excessive
Within the Nineties, HIV an infection was the #1 reason for loss of life for these between the ages of 25 to 44. In 2014, HIV was the eighth main reason for loss of life in these aged 25 to 34 years outdated and the ninth main reason for loss of life in these 35 to 44 years of age. Higher prognosis and therapy and elevated public consciousness are answerable for lowered loss of life charges. There are even newer medicines designed to lower the chance of contracting HIV in those that are uncovered. For people who find themselves at excessive danger of HIV, taking a medicine combo referred to as PrEP decreases the chance of an infection. Individuals who have been uncovered to HIV can take antiretroviral remedy, or post-exposure prophylaxis , to lower the chance of an infection. HIV PrEP effectiveness is elevated when these medicines are began inside 72 hours of the suspected publicity they usually should be taken for 28 days. The medicines dont assure youll not develop into contaminated with HIV, however they scale back the chance.
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Who Does Hiv Affect
Its a myth that HIV only infects certain people. Anyone can get HIV if theyre exposed to the virus. Having sex without a condom or sharing needles to inject drugs are the most common ways that HIV spreads.
Some populations are statistically more affected by HIV than others. Groups disproportionately affected by HIV include:
- People who identify as gay, bisexual and men who have sex with men .
- Certain races such as people who are Black or Hispanic.
- Those who exchange sex for money or other items are also at high risk for HIV infection.
While these arent the only populations impacted by HIV, its important to consider that they face unique barriers to accessing preventative care, getting tested, and receiving comprehensive treatment. Homophobia, racism, poverty, and social stigmas around HIV continue to drive inequities and keep people from accessing high-quality healthcare.
Can Hiv/aids Be Prevented
You can reduce the risk of spreading HIV by:
- Getting tested for HIV.
- Choosing less risky sexual behaviors. This includes limiting the number of sexual partners you have and using latex condoms every time you have sex. If your or your partner is allergic to latex, you can use polyurethane condoms.
- Getting tested and treated for sexually transmitted diseases .
- Not injecting drugs.
- Talking to your health care provider about medicines to prevent HIV:
- PrEP is for people who don’t already have HIV but are at very high risk of getting it. PrEP is daily medicine that can reduce this risk.
- PEP is for people who have possibly been exposed to HIV. It is only for emergency situations. PEP must be started within 72 hours after a possible exposure to HIV.
NIH: National Institutes of Health
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What Are Hiv And Aids
The human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that affects the immune system. It gradually destroys cells called CD4 cells, which usually help the body stay healthy by fighting off disease.
If HIV is not treated, most people will develop severe immune deficiency within 10 years. At this point, the body is no longer able to fight infection and stop cancer from developing. This late stage of HIV infection is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome .
To Determine The Stage Of Disease And To Provide Treatment Options Tests Are Performed
It is important to seek out a specialist who has been trained to diagnose and treat HIV if you have been diagnosed.
- Consider whether additional testing is necessary
- Find the HIV antiretroviral treatment that is best for you
- Keep track of your health and work with your doctor to improve your overall health.
If HIV/AIDS is diagnosed, there are several tests that can be done to help your doctor determine which stage you are in and what treatment will work best.
- CD4 T cells count. CD4 T cells, which are white blood cells that are targeted and destroyed by HIV, are known as CD4 T cells. Even if there are no symptoms, HIV infection can progress to AIDS if your CD4 T cells count drops below 200.
- Viral load . This test determines the level of virus in your blood. The goal of HIV treatment is to achieve an undetectable viral load. This will significantly lower your risk of getting opportunistic HIV infection or other HIV-related complications.
- Drug resistance. Some HIV strains are resistant to medication. This test allows your doctor to determine if you have resistance to the virus and guide treatment decisions.
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Risk Factors Of Aids:
Any person regardless of age, sex, race or sexual orientation can get infected. However one has a higher risk of AIDS if you:
1. Use intravenous drugs: Often people that use intravenous drug share the needles and syringes. This can expose them to the infected blood of other people.
2. Have unprotected sex: Always make sure you use a new condom when you have sex. Anal sex is considered riskier than vaginal sex. The risk of contracting HIV increases if you have multiple sexual partners.
3. Have an STI: Many STIs produce open sores on genitals. These can act as doorways for HIV to enter the body.
4. Are an uncircumcised man: Many studies have suggested that the risk of heterosexual transmission of HIV increases with lack of circumcision.
Hiv: A Brief Overview
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a sexually transmitted virus that spreads through exposure to certain body fluidsâlike genital secretions or blood. HIV transmission can also occur from a mother to a child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
HIV attacks and impairs the bodyâs immune cells, which weakens the immune system and can eventually progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome if it isnât treated. AIDS can be a life-threatening condition, particularly if HIV treatment is not initiated promptly, which is why HIV testing is crucial for protecting your health. HIV infection passes through an earlier stage before the development of AIDS: acute HIV, the period right after the infection began. If untreated, the infection progresses to chronic HIV and ultimately AIDS.
Learn more: What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?
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People Of All Genders And Sexual Orientations Can Contract Hiv
HIV is a human disease, meaning anyone can contract it, says Rymland.
Unfortunately, due to the virus early nomenclature as GRID, or Gay Related Immune Deficiency, its wrongly assumed to affect only gay men.
Sadly, says Rymland, this pervasive stigma prevents non-gay men, as well as other-gendered individuals, from protecting themselves against HIV transmission or even getting tested for STIs.
People of all sexual orientations need to be educated about their risk and informed on how to protect themselves, she says. And that includes being educated about PrEP, a safe and effective medication for preventing HIV thats not well known outside of the gay community.
How common is HIV in men?
Globally, men make up about 47 percent of cases. However, research published in 2018 found that men in the United States made up
HIV is typically diagnosed with a blood test. Though, it can also be diagnosed with oral fluid or urine.
Most commonly, healthcare professionals will order one of the following tests:
- nucleic acid test : looks for viral load in blood
- antigen/antibody test: looks for both antibodies and antigens in blood
- antibody test: looks for antibodies in the blood
It typically takes a few days for NAT and antigen/antibody tests to provide results. But there are rapid antibody screening tests and rapid antigen/antibody tests that take 30 minutes or less.
Stage : Chronic Infection
Also known as the asymptomatic stage, chronic HIV infection is the point where the virus remains at low levels inside the body.
Some people have no symptoms at all during this period despite the virus still replicating and this can last for several years.
Others may have more severe symptoms than they experienced during the acute stage. These can range from coughing and fatigue to weight loss and diarrhea. A high fever is also possible.
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Whats The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
The difference between HIV and AIDS is that HIV is a virus that weakens your immune system. AIDS is a condition that can happen as a result of an HIV infection when your immune system is severely weakened.
You cant get AIDS if you arent infected with HIV. Thanks to treatment that slows down the effects of the virus, not everyone with HIV progresses to AIDS. But without treatment, almost all people living with HIV will advance to AIDS.
What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
- Am I at high risk for HIV?
- What can I do to reduce my risk of HIV?
- How can I make sure I take my medications correctly?
- What can I do to protect myself from other illnesses?
- How can prevent the spread of HIV?
- What do my test results mean?
- What do my blood counts mean?
- What vaccinations should I get?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Treatments have come a long way since the height of the AIDS epidemic. You have the best chance of living a long life if youre diagnosed early and are able to get on and stick with ART medications. People living with HIV today are able to work, have active social lives and families, and pursue fulfilling relationships. In fact, this can have a positive impact on your well-being.
While weve come a long way with treatments, unfortunately, social stigmas around HIV still persist. In addition to the feelings of fear and uncertainty a new diagnosis can bring, you may wonder how those around you will respond. If youre hesitant to get tested or get treatment, or if you just arent sure what your next steps are, you can reach out to a community organization that specializes in HIV. Remember that you are deserving of support, compassion and high-quality healthcare.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Later Hiv
As HIV weakens someones immune system, they may experience signs of other illnesses:
- weight loss
- an increase in herpes or cold sore outbreaks
- swollen glands in the groin, neck or armpit
- long-lasting diarrhoea
But remember: people who dont have HIV can also get any of these they can be the signs of other illnesses.
A weakened immune system may leave someone more open to serious infections such as:
Stages Of Hiv Infection
Stages of Infection
There are four stages of HIV and as with all illnesses, how it progresses, how long it takes and the affect it has on the individual depends on a number of factors for example, general health, lifestyle, diet etc.
Stage 1: Infection
HIV quickly replicates in the body after infection. Some people develop short lived flu-like symptoms for example, headaches, fever, sore throat and a rash within days to weeks after infection. During this time the immune system reacts to the virus by developing antibodies this is referred to as sero-conversion.
As the name suggests, this stage of HIV infection does not cause outward signs or symptoms. A person may look and feel well but HIV is continuing to weaken their immune system. This stage may last several years and without a HIV test many people do not know they are infected.
Over time the immune system becomes damaged and weakened by HIV and symptoms develop. Initially they can be mild but they do worsen, symptoms include fatigue, weight loss, mouth ulcers, thrush and severe diarrhoea. The symptoms are caused by the emergence of opportunistic infections they are referred to as opportunistic infections because they take advantage of a persons weakened immune system. Some examples of opportunistic infections are PCP, toxoplasmosis, TB and kaposi sarcoma.
Stage 4:AIDS/Progression of HIV to AIDS
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Stage : Acute Hiv Infection
Within 2 to 4 weeks after infection with HIV, about two-thirds of people will have a flu-like illness. This is the bodys natural response to HIV infection.
Flu-like symptoms can include:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Mouth ulcers
These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. But some people do not have any symptoms at all during this early stage of HIV.
Dont assume you have HIV just because you have any of these symptomsthey can be similar to those caused by other illnesses. But if you think you may have been exposed to HIV, get an HIV test.
Heres what to do:
What Are The Symptoms Of Hiv Infection
Most people have no symptoms or just a mild flu-like illness when they are first infected, and it may be difficult to tell the HIV apart from other viral infections. This illness, called seroconversion illness, often occurs around 10 to 14 days after infection.
Seroconversion illness can have a range of symptoms, including:
- swollen lymph glands in the neck, underarm or groin areas
After the initial illness, people with HIV infection usually have no other symptoms. However, the virus remains in the body.
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Symptoms Specific To Men
It’s important to note that these male-specific symptoms can also be signs of other conditions. If you have any of these, make sure to speak with your doctor.
- Breast tissue growth
Pain or burning while peeing. In most cases, this is a symptom of a sexually transmitted infection like gonorrhea or chlamydia. It may signal swelling of the prostate, a small gland beneath the bladder. This condition is called prostatitis. Itâs sometimes caused by a bacterial infection.
Other symptoms of prostatitis include:
- Pain during ejaculation
- Peeing more often than usual
- Cloudy or bloody pee
- Pain in the bladder, testicles, penis, or the area between the scrotum and rectum
- Lower back, abdomen, or groin pain
There are other symptoms that aren’t exclusive to men but are important to keep an eye on.