This article talks about HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), its modes of transmission, what steps we can take to prevent it, its treatment, and complications of treatment. It also talks about support groups that help people who are already afflicted with this disease.
How HIV Is Transmitted
Human immunodeficiency virus is basically spread through physical contact with blood, semen or vaginal fluids infected by the disease. HIV is usually spread by three main scenarios:
• Sexual contact sexual contact with someone who is infected
• Contact with infected needles or needles (Sharing needles with someone who is infected with HIV).
• HIV can be spread to children from their mothers during childbirth or during breastfeeding.
HIV Prevention Measures Include:
• Talk to your sexual partners about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
• Learn as much as you can about your partner’s past sexual behavior, previous sexual partners, drug use and lifestyle.
• Abstinence from sexual relations (anal, vaginal and oral) until you are in a relationship with only one person and both of you have sex with only each other.
• Use a condom every time you have sexual contact.
• Do not share needles or syringes with anyone.
• Get tested for HIV and other STDs.
Advances in HIV care since the HIV / AIDS epidemic began in the 1980s have helped slow the progression of HIV infection to AIDS. As a result of advances in research and medical science, the death toll from AIDS has decreased in the United States. Although there is no known cure for HIV / AIDS, it is a virus that can be managed.
According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there are currently thirty-one antiretroviral (AV) drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment and management of HIV and AIDS. These medicines do not cure or get rid of HIV or AIDS, but they suppress the virus and allow infected people to live longer and healthier lives. It is important to note, however, that although the virus can be suppressed through the use of AVs, HIV / AIDS can still be spread by infected individuals. It is very important that infected patients use all protection to prevent the spread of the virus to anyone.
Treatment Complications, Dangers and Potential Side Effects
Like many drug treatments, drugs used to treat HIV / AIDS can cause complications and side effects. Antiretroviral drugs (AF) can on rare occasions cause critical medical complications including: metabolic changes and bone loss. Infected individuals need to be aware of possible complications when taking any medication and be aware of their body’s reaction to the drug. It is important to raise any concerns about your HIV treatment with your doctor.
Research has shown that HIV can create a variant that is resistant to antiretroviral drugs when patients neglect to take all of their prescribed drugs consistently. It is very important for those infected with HIV to talk to their doctor about their concerns or difficulties with the recommended medication schedule. Some patients experience uncomfortable side effects and may have difficulty following the required daily medication schedule. If so, it is recommended that patients and doctors find replacement solutions as quickly as possible with inconsistencies with antiretroviral drugs that could allow the HIV virus to become resistant to certain medical treatments.
HIV Support Group
Support groups and links to other people who are also living with HIV / AIDS may offer several benefits. Connecting with others who share your medical diagnosis can provide emotional support, a sense of unity and can help prevent individuals from feeling isolated in their illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that support groups can provide primary psychosocial support to people living with HIV / AIDS. Being infected with HIV can affect all aspects of the lives of infected individuals as well as the lives of their families and carers. Support groups can help HIV patients better manage their disease. Support groups should not be used to replace professional psychological services.