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Know, How can HIV be treated

Know, How can HIV be treated?

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome known in short as AIDS is a disease that has been affecting both males and females of all ages and spreading fast across the globe. This is rather a potential, chronic life-threatening condition. Besides damaging the immune system, it interferes with the body’s capability to resist disease-causing organisms.

It is also stated to be a STI (sexually transmitted infection) and also spread through contact like mother to child at the time of pregnancy, breastfeeding or childbirth and infected blood transfusion. Without proper medication, HIV will weaken the immune system for years, such that the person will contract AIDS.

Unfortunately, no cure has yet been discovered for HIV/AIDS. However, there is medication used for HIV treatment which can slow down its progress dramatically. In most developed nations, such drugs are said to have diminished deaths caused by AIDS.

Symptoms

HIV & AIDS symptoms tend to vary, which again depends upon the different infection phase.

  • Acute HIV (Primary Infection): Once the virus gets into the body, people are found to develop flu type illness on contracting HIV probably within couple of months. It is called acute or primary HIV infection and lasts for few weeks. Some symptoms include:
    • Rash
    • Joint pain and muscle aches
    • Headache
    • Fever
    • Swollen lymph glands, especially on the neck region
    • Painful mouth sores and sore throat

However, the symptoms noticed can be mild, such that it might not be even noticed. But during this stage, the virus amount within the bloodstream (viral loan) can be quite high. Thus, infection spreads throughout the body easily when compared to the next stage.

  • Chronic HIV (Clinical latent infection): There may be noticed persistent with chronic HIV in which lymph node swelling in some people. Otherwise, no specific symptoms and signs are seen. HIV infects the white blood cells and remains within the body. This stage is said to last for a period of about 10, if the person does not receive antiretroviral therapy. However, even after availing this treatment, it might last for decades. Few develop severe diseases much earlier.
  • Symptomatic HIV infection: The virus multiplies very fast and destroys the immune cells, especially the ones which fight off germs. This will lead to the person developing chronic signs and infections and mild infections like:
    • Diarrhoea
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Fatigue
    • Fever
    • Herpes zoster (shingles)
    • Thrush (oral yeast infection)
    • Weight loss
  • Progression to aids: Availing advanced antiviral treatments, a good number of people who have had contracted HIV is now found to lead a normal life and have not developed the much dreaded AIDS. Left untreated, HIV develops into AIDS in around 10 years’ time. The immune system is prone to getting damaged severely on contracting AIDS. The chances are quite high of developing opportunistic cancers or infections, termed to be diseases which are not known to cause trouble to any person having healthy immune system. Some signs & symptoms of such infections are:
    • Bumps or skin rashes
    • Weight loss
    • Unexplained, persistent fatigue
    • Unusual lesions or persistent white spots in the mouth or tongue
    • Chronic diarrhoea
    • Recurring fever
    • Soaking night sweats

Causes

A type of virus affects the person and infects him with HIV. It may spread through blood, sexual contact, during pregnancy, breastfeeding or childbirth. It is only after some time and few years later that HIV develops into AIDS.

CD4 T cells are destroyed by HIV. They are white blood cells which are said to play a significant role to help the body to fight disease. The lesser CD4 T cells the person has, the more weaker becomes the infected person’s immune system is said to become. AIDS gets diagnosed if the person has AIDS defining complication or his/her CD4 T cell count is noticed to fall under 200.

Treatment

HIV infection is generally treated by using HIV medicines termed as ART (Antiretroviral Therapy). People recommended with ART are suggested to take HIV medicine combination on a daily basis, known as HIV treatment regimen. Those infected with HIV are strongly recommended to avail ART. But HIV cannot be cured with ART, but it does help them to live longer and lead healthy, normal lives. ART also is said to reduce risk of contracting HIV transmission.

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