Most people ask, “Is there any treatment for HIV/AIDS?” Yes, in the past few decades medical science has progressed much against deadly diseases. Now, we are able to cure the most dangerous diseases that we could not treat in the past.
What is HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. This virus infects the human immune system. The immune system is a type of system in our body that protects us against invading microbes.
When this virus attacks human immune system, the immune system gets damaged and does not work properly even against other harmful bacteria and virus.
Viruses are small acellular infectious particles. They are so small that they can only be seen by an electron microscope.
How does HIV work?
T cells or CD4 cell of our immune system are supposed to protect against harmful micro-organisms. HIV infects these cells and takes control over them turning them into a virus factory. It also forces the cell to generate its copies.
The infected cells cannot work properly and they die too early. The loss of T cells results in the weaker immune system making it very hard for the body to remain healthy.
What is AIDS?
AIDS stand for Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is a condition caused by HIV. It is considered to be the end stage or final stage of HIV.
People who start treatment soon after they get HIV infection, they might not have AIDS.
A person with AIDS also is at higher risk of getting other diseases because of weak immune system.
Difference between HIV and AIDS
|Serial no.||Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)||Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)|
|1||It is a virus that destroys immune system||It is a condition caused by HIV.|
|2||One can have HIV infection without acquiring AIDS||It is advanced or final stage syndrome by HIV|
|3||One can live for decades having HIV infection.||Life expectancy drops as you develop AIDS from HIV|
|4||If you start treatment soon after you get HIV, you are at
Lower risk of getting AIDS.
|Without any treatment for HIV, one develops AIDS.|
Symptoms of HIV:
When a person is infected with HIV, he/she may develop certain symptoms. This period of early infection of HIV is called acute HIV infection.
Symptoms can vary from person to person. Sometimes, it even does not show any symptoms.
You may have the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you develop or feel the above symptoms, you need to have an HIV test.
HIV test determines whether you are infected with HIV or not. There are different types of tests.
Some test detects HIV in the body, other may detect the antibodies. If you have any of antigens or antibodies, it means you are infected with HIV.
The above tests do not tell you how long you have been infected? Or do you have AIDS or not? To know this, you need some other types of tests. You can further ask your doctor.
Treatment for HIV:
There are many treatments for HIV that can help people. These treatments are far better than the treatment in older times. As a result, many people with HIV have long and healthy lives.
Although the medicine does not eliminate viruses from the body but it stops its copying process. So, in this way medicine keeps a low level of virus in the blood. The level of virus in the blood is known as viral load. You can have tested for viral load.
Anti-Retroviral therapy (ART):
The use of the combination of 3 drugs once a day, to treat HIV infection is called ART. This combination of HIV medicines is also called HIV regimen.
ART does not cure HIV completely but it suppresses the virus. HIV or ART medicines help people live long and healthy. It also reduces the chances of transmission of HIV.
How do HIV medicines work? important in treatment for HIV
As HIV infect CD4 cell of our immune system, it decreases their amount. Now body becomes weak to fight against HIV-related diseases.
ART medicines stop the multiplication of HIV. It means it protects CD4 cell from HIV and keeps them Healthy, so that body immune system may fight against other diseases.
By reducing, it also inhibits the chances of transmission of HIV.
What medicines are included in HIV regimen?
HIV medicines are grouped into six classes, according to the way they fight against HIV. Initial or first-time treatment HIV regimen usually consists of three or more medicines.
Selection of HIV regimen depends upon different factors like side effects, drug interaction and need of the person.
What are the side effects of HIV medicines?
Side effects of HIV vary from person to person and depending on the medicines in the HIV regimen. The following are the most common effects:
- Occasional dizziness
- Liver damage can be life threatening
- Swelling of mouth or tongue
One medicine can interact with the other that is being used for treating HIV. This may decrease the medicine effect. It also can cause some unwanted side effects.
When HIV multiplies, it also can mutate (change from one form to another). This variation will lead to HIV with resistant to the medicines being used for HIV. In other words, medicine would not work and the HIV will continue to multiply.
Alternative treatment for HIV and AIDS
Although ART has brought hope for many people who have HIV but it causes side effects. For this reason, people have turned and now depends on alternative medicines for HIV.
Alternative medicine therapy goals are:
- Strengthen the immune system of our body.
- Provide relief from pain and symptoms of HIV.
- Improve the quality of life.
Homeopathic medicines: these medicines include natural substances such as mineral, herbs, and vitamins. These can cure even if they are given in small doses.
Naturopathic medicines: it uses natural healing forces of the body and makes it live healthily.
Ayurveda: it is used in the Indian subcontinent. It uses mind, body and spirit to prevent and treat HIV.
These can be used to be focused on the body and promote a sense of well-being and healing.
- Massage therapy
These therapies give person spirit to lessen pain and stress, also other side effects being caused by the medicines.
- Inspirational audio or videos
Biology based therapy:
These are found in nature and help the body to be healthy.
- Herbal therapy, that comes from plants and just work like the standard medicines
- Dietary supplements, the food or substances that are taken in the diet. They may enzymes, mineral, herbs, and vitamins. These can work in boosting body immune system.
What do you need to know about alternative medicines for HIV?
Alternative medicines are not researched or regulated so you need to have precautions before you take step toward them.
- Visit your doctor and talk about the alternative medicines that you want to try as treatment for HIV.
- Learn about therapy and check or inspect the person offering the treatment.
- Talk the people who have used this kind of therapy.
- Research on the medicines well, they may not be standardized.
- Still, these medicines do not guarantee full treatment of HIV. It depends on quality and ingredients.