Latency Causes A Break In Symptoms
After initial exposure and possible primary infection, HIV may transition into a stage called clinically latent infection. Its also referred to as asymptomatic HIV infection due to a noticeable lack of symptoms. This lack of symptoms includes possible chronic symptoms.
According to HIV.gov, latency in HIV infection can last for 10 or 15 years. This doesnt mean that HIV is gone, nor does it mean that the virus cant be transmitted to others. Clinically latent infection may progress to the third and final stage of HIV, also referred to as AIDS.
The risk for progression is higher if a person with HIV isnt receiving treatment, such as antiretroviral therapy. Its important to take prescribed medications during all stages of HIV even if there arent any noticeable symptoms. There are several medications used for HIV treatment.
What Are Some Of The Neurological Complications That Are Associated With Hiv Infection
AIDS-related disorders of the nervous system may be caused directly by the HIV virus, by certain cancers and opportunistic infections , or by toxic effects of the drugs used to treat symptoms. Other neuro-AIDS disorders of unknown origin may be influenced by but are not caused directly by the virus.
AIDS dementia complex , or HIV-associated dementia , occurs primarily in persons with more advanced HIV infection. Symptoms include encephalitis , behavioral changes, and a gradual decline in cognitive function, including trouble with concentration, memory, and attention. Persons with ADC also show progressive slowing of motor function and loss of dexterity and coordination. When left untreated, ADC can be fatal. It is rare when anti-retroviral therapy is used. Milder cognitive complaints are common and are termed HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder . Neuropsychologic testing can reveal subtle deficits even in the absence of symptoms.
Central nervous system lymphomas are cancerous tumors that either begin in the brain or result from a cancer that has spread from another site in the body. CNS lymphomas are almost always associated with the Epstein-Barr virus . Symptoms include headache, seizures, vision problems, dizziness, speech disturbance, paralysis, and mental deterioration. Individuals may develop one or more CNS lymphomas. Prognosis is poor due to advanced and increasing immunodeficiency, but is better with successful HIV therapy.
Days To 20 Years After Exposure
The chronic stage of infection occurs once the immune system brings the virus under control. During this phase, HIV will go into hiding, where it resides in various cells and tissues throughout the body in a dormant state known as latency. HIV latency can persist without symptoms for 10 years or more, although some people may experience signs within a year or two.
During the early chronic phase, lymphadenopathy may be the only notable sign of an HIV infection. In some cases, the glands may be visibly enlarged and reach up to an inch or more in size. If the condition persists for more than three months, its referred to as persistent generalized lymphadenopathy .
Even during latency, the virus will multiple imperceptibly and gradually deplete immune cells known as CD4 T-cells. As immune deficiency develops, a number of nonspecific symptoms are likely to appear, including:
- Oral candidiasis , a fungal infection that causes the formation of creamy, white lesions on the sides of the tongue and lining of the mouth
- Unexplained fevers and drenching night sweats that soak through bedsheets and nightclothes
- Severe, uncontrolled diarrhea that lasts for more than three days
Each of these symptoms is commonly seen in persons with immune deficiency. They may, in some cases, be caused by HIV itself or by an infection that has yet to be diagnosed.
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How Does Hiv Cause Problems
We are not sure exactly how HIV affects women’s menstrual cycles. However, we do know that, as HIV gets worse, changes in your immune system can affect the way your body makes and maintains levels of different hormones including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. Changes in the amount of estrogen or progesterone could result in a number of menstrual changes for women living with HIV.
Research has shown that women with more advanced HIV disease , were more likely to have irregular menstrual cycles. Some of the factors that are more likely to occur in women with advanced HIV can also lead to menstrual changes because they affect the hormones that control your menstrual cycle. It is important to know that these same issues also affect the menstrual cycles of women who are HIV-negative. For example, women with very low body fat , women with chronic illnesses not related to HIV, and women with low iron , are more likely to have irregular periods or no periods at all.
What Else Can Cause Menstrual Problems
- Pelvic inflammatory disease : Untreated infections in your vagina or cervix can sometimes lead to heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods, or bleeding after sex. This type of bleeding may signal a complication like PID, which can threaten your health and ability to get pregnant.
- Cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer: Bleeding after having vaginal sex or bleeding between periods may be signs of cervical dysplasia or cervical cancer. Cervical dysplasia refers to abnormal cells that can become cancerous therefore these cells are often called pre-cancerous.
Cervical cancer takes years to develop. Often women who have cervical cancer – and who have not had a Pap test, VIA test , or DNA test looking for cervical cancer – do not know they have it until it is quite advanced. This is why getting a test done regularly is so important.
Street drugs: Using recreational or street drugs can lead to missed periods or periods that stop altogether. Drug use can also lead to stress, poor nutrition, and severe weight loss, all of which can cause missed periods. Street drugs that may cause menstrual changes include:
Prescribed and over-the counter drugs: Prescribed and over-the counter drugs can also change your menstrual cycle in the following ways:
These drugs may cause irregular periods
Some birth control methods can cause irregular periods, initial heavy bleeding, or eventual loss of periods
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How Is Hiv/aids Diagnosed
Early HIV infection often causes no symptoms, and must be detected by testing a person’s blood for the presence of antibodiesdisease-fighting proteinsagainst HIV. These HIV antibodies generally do not reach levels high enough to detect by standard blood tests until 1 to 3 months following infection, and may take as long as 6 months. People exposed to HIV should be tested for HIV infection as soon as they think they may have been exposed to HIV.
When a person is highly likely to be infected with HIV and yet antibody tests are negative, a test for the presence of HIV itself in the blood is used. Repeat antibody testing at a later date, when antibodies to HIV are more likely to have developed, is often recommended.
Hiv Crisis In The Philippines
Reversing the trend
Health officials say improving the use of condom and HIV testing will be crucial to reverse the uptick of new HIV infections in the Philippines.
Globally, UNAIDS has recommended the “90-90-90 treatment” to end HIV-AIDS by 2030. The strategy proposes that by 2020, 90 percent of all infected people should know their HIV status 90 percent of those diagnosed should be on an antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all those on an antiretroviral therapy should have viral suppression.
Meeting this target will entail overcoming legal hurdles that hamper HIV testing and limit sex education in schools. The current HIV law in the Philippines prohibits testing for minors without parental consent, while the full implementation of age appropriate sex education in schools is slowed down due to bureaucratic issues.
In January, a DOH proposal to make schools access points where students could get free condoms and counseling was shot down by violent opposition from parents and conservative groups.
Lawmaker Risa Hontiveros, who sits on the senate health committee, is leading the lobby to amend the current HIV law and lower the age for testing.
The department of health is exploring a ‘treat all’ approach
Owie Franco, president of Pinoy Plus, a care and support group for people living with HIV, says the stigma about HIV continues to be the biggest barrier to testing and treatment.
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How Do I Know If I Am Hiv
To find out if you have been infected with the HIV virus, first you should check whether, or not, you have had any risky behavior, such as unprotected sex or shared syringes, and be aware of symptoms such as fever, general malaise, sore throat and dry cough.
You should get a blood test done 40 to 60 days after any risky behavior to find out if you have HIV. If the test comes back negative you should repeat it after 3 months and again after 6 months.
Canadian Flight Attendant Theory
A Canadian airline steward named Gaëtan Dugas was referred to as “Case 057” and later “Patient O” with the alphabet letter “O” standing for “outside Southern California”, in an early AIDS study by Dr. William Darrow of the Centers for Disease Control. Because of this, many people had considered Dugas to be responsible for taking HIV to North America. However, HIV reached New York City around 1971 while Dugas did not start work at Air Canada until 1974. In Randy Shilts‘ 1987 book And the Band Played On , Dugas is referred to as AIDS’s Patient Zero instead of “Patient O”, but neither the book nor the movie states that he had been the first to bring the virus to North America. He was incorrectly called “Patient Zero” because at least 40 of the 248 people known to be infected by HIV in 1983 had had sex with him, or with a person who had sexual intercourse with Dugas.
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Unresolved Questions About Hiv Origins And Emergence
The discovery of the main HIV / SIV phylogenetic relationships permits explaining broad HIV biogeography: the early centres of the HIV-1 groups were in Central Africa, where the primate reservoirs of the related SIVcpz and SIVgor viruses exist similarly, the HIV-2 groups had their centres in West Africa, where sooty mangabeys, which harbour the related SIVsmm virus, exist. However, these relationships do not explain more detailed patterns of biogeography, such as why epidemic HIV-2 groups only evolved in the Ivory Coast, which is one of only six countries harbouring the sooty mangabey. It is also unclear why the SIVcpz endemic in the chimpanzee subspecies Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii did not spawn an epidemic HIV-1 strain to humans, while the Democratic Republic of Congo was the main centre of HIV-1 group M, a virus descended from SIVcpz strains of a subspecies that does not exist in this country. It is clear that the several HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains descend from SIVcpz, SIVgor, and SIVsmm viruses, and that bushmeat practice provides the most plausible cause of cross-species transfer to humans. However, some loose ends remain.
It is not yet explained why only four HIV groups spread considerably in human populations, despite bushmeat practices being widespread in Central and West Africa, and the resulting human SIV infections being common.
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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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 won’t 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 person’s CD4 count gets low, doctors prescribe daily antibiotics. This prevents pneumocystis pneumonia, which happens in people with weakened immune systems.
How Is Hiv Treated
Treatments for HIV typically involve antiretroviral therapy. This isnt a specific regimen, but instead a combination of three or four drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has currently approved nearly 50 different medications to treat HIV.
Antiretroviral therapy works to prevent the virus from copying itself. This maintains immunity levels while slowing the progression of HIV.
Before prescribing medication, a healthcare provider will take the following factors into consideration:
- a persons health history
- the levels of the virus in the blood
HIV doesnt cause a lot of outward or noticeable symptoms until the disease has progressed. For this reason, its important to understand how HIV is transmitted and the ways to prevent transmission.
HIV can be transmitted by:
- having sex, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex
- sharing needles, including tattoo needles, needles used for body piercing, and needles used for injecting drugs
- coming into contact with body fluids, such as semen, vaginal fluid, blood, and breast milk
HIV is not transmitted by:
- breathing the same air as a person living with HIV
- getting bitten by a mosquito or other biting insect
- hugging, holding hands with, kissing, or touching a person living with HIV
- touching a door handle or toilet seat thats been used by an HIV-positive person
Keeping this in mind, some of the ways a person can prevent HIV include:
Symptoms can take years to appear, which is why its so important to get tested regularly.
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Activism By Aids Patients And Families
Also in 1982, Michael Callen and Richard Berkowitz published How to Have Sex in an Epidemic: One Approach. In this short work, they described ways gay men could be sexual and affectionate while dramatically reducing the risk of contracting or spreading HIV. Both authors were themselves gay men living with AIDS. This booklet was one of the first times men were advised to use condoms when having sexual relations with other men.
At the beginning of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, there was very little information about the disease. Also, because AIDS affected stigmatized groups, such as LGBTQ and people of low socioeconomic status, there wasn’t much mass media coverage initially when the epidemic started. However, with the rise of activist groups composed of people suffering from AIDS, either directly or through a loved one, more public attention was brought to the epidemic.
Aids Is The Final Stage
Controlling HIV with medications is crucial to both maintaining quality of life and helping prevent progression of the disease. Stage 3 HIV, also known as AIDS, develops when HIV has significantly weakened the immune system.
According to the CDC National Prevention Information Network, CD4 levels give one indication that HIV has progressed to its final stage. CD4 levels decreasing below 200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood is considered a sign of AIDS. A normal range is considered 500 to 1,600 cells/mm3.
AIDS can be diagnosed with a blood test to measure CD4. Sometimes its also determined simply by a persons overall health. In particular, an infection thats rare in people who dont have HIV may indicate AIDS. Symptoms of AIDS include:
- persistent high fevers of over 100°F
AIDS is the final stage of HIV. According to AIDSinfo, it takes at least 10 years without treatment for most people with HIV to develop AIDS.
At that point, the body is susceptible to a wide range of infections and cant effectively fight them off. Medical intervention is necessary to treat AIDS-related illnesses or complications that can otherwise be fatal. Without treatments, the CDC estimates the average survival rate to be three years once AIDS is diagnosed. Depending on the severity of their condition, a persons outlook may be significantly shorter.
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Dont Ignore Mouth Problems
Pain or bleeding in your mouth can be a sign of infection. It can keep you from eating normally. Severe pain makes some people skip taking their medications. Serious infections in your mouth can cause other health problems. Be sure to see a dentist or let your health care provider know if you have trouble swallowing, changes in how food tastes, or pain or other problems with your mouth or teeth.
Some dentists or their office staffers do not want to treat patients with HIV. This goes against community standards and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. Dental health care workers know how to protect themselves from diseases carried in the blood of their patients, including HIV.
Several problems with the teeth, mouth and gums can show up in people with HIV. These are discussed below.
- Dry Mouth and Tooth Decay
- Oral warts :
Dry Mouth and Tooth DecayMany people with HIV have dry mouth. They dont make enough saliva to chew and swallow comfortably. Saliva protects teeth and gums from infection and decay.
HIV infection can cause dry mouth. So can some medications, as well as coffee, carbonated beverages, alcohol, and smoking. If you have dry mouth, take frequent drinks of water. You can talk to your health care provider about using sugar-free gum or candy, or a saliva substitute.
Recently, gum disease has been linked to higher levels of inflammation , throughout the body. This can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.