AIDS/HIV Symptoms|Treatments|Antiretroviral Therapy

 HIV(Human immunodeficiency syndrome) has no cure. It targets the  immune cells CD4, a type of T cells (WBC) and uses them to create more copies of the virus in the body by destroying the cells completely. This affects the body's ability to fight against infections & diseases. 

As per the report from UNAIDS " People with HIV/AIDS are approx 38 million across the globe,  in 2019. Of these, 36.2 million includes adults and 1.8 million were children (<15 years old)"

Though HIV is a lifelong condition we have treatments that can prevent virus transmission & also inhibit the progression of infection.

Treatment is inevitable for HIV patients. If the patient doesn't treat at right time then the immune system will tear down gradually which leads to advanced stages of HIV infection called AIDS(Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).



In the early stages, some people have no symptoms for months and even for years also. But there's a high risk of transmission from them so experts always recommend getting tested regularly to be aware of their HIV status. 

Most common early symptoms include:

  • Fever & chills

  • Sweating, particularly at night

  • Enlarged glands or swollen lymph nodes

  • a diffuse rash

  • Fatigue

  • Body pain, including joint pain

  • Muscle aches

  • Sore throat

  • Yeast infection

  • Unintentional weight loss, with advancing HIV

  • Flu-like symptoms around 2-6 weeks of infection, called an acute retroviral syndrome.

People should isolate themselves if one or more of these symptoms persist for long period & get them tested immediately.

The life expectancy of the HIV patients has been increased to the normal individuals with no health issues, provided they are under treatment with antiretroviral drugs.

In some cases, once the patient recovers from acute retroviral infection they tend to live a normal life with no signs of HIV but the virus keeps on replicating slowly which results in advanced stages of infection(AIDS) if they are not under antiretroviral therapy.

Some of the symptoms of the advanced stage infection:

  • blurred vision

  • a dry cough

  • night sweats

  • white spots on the tongue or mouth

  • shortness of breath, or dyspnea

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • swollen glands lasting for weeks

  • diarrhea, which is usually persistent or chronic

  • a fever of over 100°F (37°C) that lasts for weeks

  • continuous fatigue

Treatment:Antiretroviral Therapy

HIV has no cure but you can control it with Antiretroviral therapy. Most of people get the virus under control within 6months with proper treatment. 

Antiretroviral drugs helps in controlling the virus load in blood. It reduces the replication of the virus & increases the CD4 cells which help in immune development.

Some of the drugs which are approved by WHO are :

abacavir (Ziagen)

emtricitabine (Emtriva)

lamivudine (Epivir)

stavudine (Stavudine)

tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Viread)

zidovudine (Retrovir)

You can go through our website for more details on Antiretroviral drugs.

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