HIV Treatment Guidelines
HIV Treatment Guidelines you need to know!
HIV is well known by most of us out there owing to the major boost it received with its initial arrival and entry into most homes and a subsequent media and world fracas blown all over to end its deadly spread. Constant reminders of its possible transmission ranging from coming into contact with infected persons (through blood infusions, having unprotected sex etc), has been made very well known to all and sundry in this 21st century era. But albeit all the above mentioned however, am not here to just remind any of us of what HIV already entails and its accompanied transformation into AIDS, but am also here to give a little bit of insight to help those who already have contacted the disease, yet don’t seem to know any possible way out of the situation faced. This is to give enlightenment to all who assume that by contracting this disease brings an absolute end to one’s life, is not really the case. There’s life, even after HIV/AIDS!!..
We may think we know it all, but do we really know it all? HIV, also known as HUMAN IMMUNO DEFICIENCY VIRUS, is a sexually transmittable infection, which is mainly spread through contact with infected blood, mother to baby transmission during pregnancy or even breast-feeding after childbirth. Even though one may contract HIV, it may take several number of years before its progression into AIDS. Now, one is tempted to ask the question of the real difference lying between AIDS and HIV. And I must tell you that there exists a difference truly. AIDS and HIV, as we’ve always assumed it to be one and the same infection or disease, are quite in fact very different from one another. When one is infected with HIV (Human Immuno Deficiency Syndrome), the most possible thing to assume is that they are HIV positive or they’ve contracted HIV/AIDS. Having a patient going through quite significant early symptomatic HIV infections like; fever, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea, weight loss, cough and shortness of breath in some cases, leads one into believing such. However, that is not entirely the situation. A person who has HIV is identified and recognized as having AIDS also known as ACQUIRED IMMUNO DEFICIENCY SYNDROME when the following circumstances come into play…
- When an HIV infection related cancer is likely to develop, or
- When the CD4 count of a patient has dropped beneath 200cc.
By definition, a CD4 count or level below 200cc is known as AIDS and even though a patient might feel they are very hale and hearty or healthy in normal sense, they may still quite in fact have AIDS by definition, having about 200cc levels of CD4 cells.
A gradual progression into AIDS results when one does not properly control HIV in its early stages, thereby allowing for its progressiveness into AIDS. This normally becomes visible within 10 -15 years of transformation. By the time AIDS develop, your system is totally beaten down and damaged making you very much vulnerable to diseases that may present itself…., diseases that would not disturb a person having a healthy and normal immune system as compared to you. Signs and symptoms of HIV’s progression into AIDS include:
- Chronic Diarrhea.
- Soaking night sweats and chills.
- Unusual lesions and spots on the tongue or in the mouth.
- Persistent fatigue.
- Distorted and blurred vision.
- Weight loss.
- Bumps or rashes on the skin.
With your HIV status becoming more glaring to the eye now, it’s time to seek help and here are some hiv treatment guidelines. For many people out there, the fact that they manage to contact this virus signifies an end to life which isn’t entirely true in every sense. In fact, getting to know that you can still continue to hold on to life as if nothing ever happened is the surest way to survival, amidst new and constantly generating drugs that are emerging and helping numerous patients out there. Why don’t we take a look at some treatment options/ drugs available to patients?
HIV TREATMENTS GUIDELINES & MEDICATIONS
HIV/AIDS has no cure. But there are quite a variety of HIV medications on the market that help reduce or control the efficacy of the virus in general. These hiv medications work best usually when combined together with a patient staying on at least three or two of which fall within different classes. This is to ensure that treatment and its efficiency is achieved in maximum amounts owing to the nature of the HIV virus becoming more powerful and less combatable with the use of singular drugs. HIV drugs in various classes are presented below:
- Protease Inhibitors (Pls): Protease is one of the proteins needed by HIV in producing replica of itself in order to grow and spread rapidly across board. Now what Pls does is that it inhibits and disables the protease being produce by the virus. Examples of such drugs include: Ritonavir (Norvir), darunavir (prezista), atazanavir (reyataz), fosamprenavir (lexiva) etc.
- Entry or fusion Inhibitors: These drugs prevent HIV’s entry into CD4 cells, blocking it. Examples include: maraviroc and enfuvirtide.
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTI’s): these drugs have a function that is similar to that of protease Inhibitors. They also like the fore, represents faulty versions or copies of building blocks required by HIV in making or creating copies of itself in order to regenerate and spread. Examples include: lamivudine, and zidovudine (combined), abacavir (ziagen), the combination drugs tenofovir and emricitabine.
- Non- nucleoside reverse transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTI’s): These also destabilize proteins needed by HIV in producing replicas of itself. Such drugs include: efavirenz, etravirine (intelence) and nevirapine.
- Antiretroviral therapy is also one very efficient treatment means to use when treating this virus. Patients on retroviral therapy treatments seem to show a better sign of fighting and weakening the HIV virus in general, and are very much noticeable when taken by infected pregnant women whose chances of transmitting the virus to their unborn children may seem very high.
These HIV treatments guidelines may not be very easy in following and usually require a patient in administering two or more of the combination of the above drugs. Possible side effects may occur of which includes:
- Skin rash.
- Heart defects (disease).
- Shortness of breath.
- Bone defects (especially in the joint regions).
- Nausea, vomiting and Diarrhea.
HIV is one infection that should never be seen as an end to one’s life in total. It may seem difficult in dealing with or coming into terms with the fact that one has to deal with the burden of guilt and shame that accompanies this infection. But it needs not be the case. Fighting to live is the only chance you’ve got in making it far in this journey. Gone were the days when HIV and its associated transformation AIDS, were seen as death staring one in the face of which no means of survival was possible. But we are lucky to be blessed with some of the most advanced treatment options that aid in calming this tempestuous infection down. It’s only a matter of getting access to these drugs and one can live life for as long as they want to without anybody even having to suspect that they have the virus. Being positive, I tell you, is the key to living and staying strong despite having and living with HIV/AIDS. Life goes on and you have to keep on fighting no matter what. I believe in that…..and so should YOU!!
HIV TREATMENTS GUIDELINES was written by: Chantelle Iris Nunoo
(Disclaimer: The information about HIV medications are based on our research and not meant to replace medical consultation. kindly seek medical help from a qualified doctor if you have symptoms of HIV as this website or its authors are not medical practitioners)