A Guide to Hiv and Its Treatment
WHAT IS HIV?
HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus focuses on the immune system of a person and systematically damages it. If left untreated, HIV attacks a specific type of immune cells, T Cells known as CD4 cells.
While it cannot transfer via air or water or by a simple contact; it can be transmitted relatively easily, mainly through bodily fluids like:
- Pre-ejaculate fluids
- Vaginal or anal fluids
- Breast milk
The transmission can occur via sexual contact, sharing of needles, syringes, tattoo equipment, breastfeeding, contact between broken skin, membranes, wounds, etc.
With time, HIV grows stronger, and its constant attack on CD4 cells subsequently leads to cancers and other related infections or diseases.
SYMPTOMS OF HIV
HIV starts reproducing rapidly in a stage known as the acute infection stage during the first few days. People usually do not witness any symptoms during this period. However, deciphering the symptoms and understanding if they are a result of HIV is tricky. This is because the symptoms are quite similar to that of flu or any other viruses.
The intensity of the symptoms varies; they may come and go and last for days, and even weeks in some cases.
Some of the symptoms of HIV are as follows:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stomach infection
The symptoms of HIV are varied and may differ for each individual.
TREATMENT AND HIV MEDICINES
For treatment, medical science has developed various antiviral medicines. However, given that the virus coalesces itself into a human’s DNA pattern, its elimination has not been seen so far. This lifelong condition is being studied by many to develop a proper and lifelong care.
However, this does not mean that all hope is lost. Medical science has developed various treatments that make it possible to live a long and secure life with the virus. Examples of such treatments are antiretroviral therapy, antiretroviral medicine, etc.
ANTIRETROVIRAL MEDICINE: WORKING AND TYPES
The basic logic behind HIV medicine or antiretroviral medicine is stopping HIV from reproducing and attacking the CD4 cells and, by an extension, the immune system. Approved antiretroviral medicines act as a catalyst by strengthening the immune system to respond to the infection. This not only lowers the risk of transmission, but also limits the development of any complications.
As per Healthline, antiretroviral HIV medicine falls into six broad categories:
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- Non- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- Protease inhibitors
- Fusion inhibitors
- CCR5 antagonists (synonymously known as early inhibitors)
- Integrase strand transfer inhibitors
Many might think that since HIV medicines are not a definitive cure, there is no use for treatment. However, if left untreated, as mentioned above, it can lead to conditions like AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Furthermore, the constant attack on one’s immune system significantly weakens one’s ability to fight other diseases and infections.
And thus, HIV medicine that is antiretroviral is essential. It can ensure that you enjoy a life expectancy similar to someone who does not have HIV. Antiretroviral therapy can ensure that you have similar experiences and enjoy a life that is just as wonderful for a person who doesn’t have HIV. HIV medicines can also lower the risk of transmission.