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:

Blood
Semen
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:

Fever
Chills
Swollen lymph nodes
Rashes
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.

Protect Your Immune System From Hiv

HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus was first discovered in the USA in 1981. HIV is a virus that attacks those cells of our body that fight infections and diseases. It makes the victim more vulnerable to diseases. Usually, after acquiring this virus, the patient lives with it for 3 to 4 years without any symptoms until the immune system ultimately weakens. Soon, the patient starts to develop different diseases and ultimately dies of a disease, or in most cases, some cancer.

AIDS is the last stage of HIV. If HIV is left untreated, then the patient develops AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). This is the stage when the patient’s immune system has been completely damaged.

HIV TRANSMISSION

Since HIV is a virus, its ways of transmission are also pretty similar to other viruses. Some ways in which HIV can be transmitted to our body are through:

(I) Sexual intercourse: The most common form of transmission is sexual intercourse with someone already infected. This virus is present in body fluids such as semen and saliva. Apart from that, it also lies in the reproductive tracts of the vagina. This is why having sexual intercourse with an HIV positive man or woman can transfer this virus to your body. It accounts for why prostitution is becoming one of the main causes of AIDS.

(II) Injection needles: Sharing dirty or used injection needles can also spread this virus. It can introduce this virus to our bloodstream and infect us. This is why drug abusers are more likely to be HIV positive, and disposable syringes are used in every hospital.

(III) Mother-to-child transmission: If the mother is HIV positive while pregnant, she might transmit this virus to her unborn child. This is why there have been several cases of young children being found HIV positive.

(IV) Blood transfusions: Having a transfusion of contaminated or infected blood can introduce HIV to your body.

HIV SYMPTOMS

Depending on the infection phase, the symptoms of HIV vary. There are usually three phases of symptoms that are listed below:

(I) Acute HIV: This is the primary stage of infection, and symptoms develop after two to three weeks of being infected. The common symptoms are fever, headache, rash, diarrhea, cough, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands.

(II) Chronic HIV: This is the latent stage when there are no particular symptoms. This stage lasts for some years in several people, and later, they develop even more severe diseases due to the immune system’s failure.

(III) Symptomatic HIV: This is the stage when the virus continues to multiply in the system and destroy the cells. Most of the symptoms like fatigue, diarrhea, oral yeast infection, weight loss, and pneumonia appear at this stage.

(IV) Developing AIDS: Finally, the final stage comes when the victims have developed AIDS, and their immune system has been permanently damaged. At this stage, the patient becomes more vulnerable to infections. The usual symptoms are occurring fever, chronic diarrhea, prolonged fatigue, weakness, weight loss, and white spots on the tongue or mouth.

HIV Treatment

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As of today, there is no vaccine for HIV. However, certain medications can prevent a patient from reaching the final stage of developing AIDS.

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After the diagnosis, the main HIV treatment is antiretroviral therapy using certain combinations of HIV medicines such as Naivex, Tafero, Trustiva, Viraday, etc. Antiretroviral therapy can stop the virus from spreading in the body and advancing to its last stage. It will also prevent its transmission from the patient’s body to another person’s body. However, if the medications are discontinued, the viral load will increase again in the patient’s body.

Hydrogen Water and Its Benefits

These days, hydrogen water is on the list of the biggest trends. Just like alkaline water, this water type offers a lot of health benefits. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the benefits of drinking hydrogen water. Read on to find out more.

What is Hydrogen Water?

Primarily, it is dihydrogen monoxide, which is the combination of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms. Often, it is abbreviated to H2O.

Benefits of Drinking it

According to research studies, adding hydrogen to water increases the amount of antioxidant content in it. As a result, drinking this type of water can reduce the oxidative stress faced by your blood vessels. If you don’t do anything about this oxidative stress, you may suffer from chronic inflammation with the passage of time.

In a research study, researchers found that 20 patients experienced a reduction in their total cholesterol and LDL levels after the consumption of hydrogen-rich water for up to 10 weeks. So, these patients were at a lower risk of metabolic syndrome.

Many research studies have found that there is a relationship between neurological benefits and molecular hydrogen. The idea of increasing the number of hydrogen molecules in water is quite refreshing. We know that long-term exposure to oxidative stress can lead to chronic inflammation. And we know that oxidative stress may cause a number of chronic diseases, such as, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, just to name a few.

Hydrogen Water vs Alkaline Water

If you enjoy good health, you don’t need to drink alkaline water or hydrogen water. However, if you have a personal preference, you can go for either of the two can be quite beneficial. It is also important to keep in mind that each type of water is prepared using different techniques. Plus, both types of water types have their own set of health benefits.

Hydrogen water can help you eliminate free radicals in your body. As a result, you will be able to protect your body against cellular damage, and you will be at a lower risk of heart disease.

Apart from this, alkaline water also has a higher level of pH, which is also beneficial for a number of reasons. But if you have healthy kidneys, you can easily neutralize your blood pH. In short, if you are a healthy adult, you don’t need to worry about it.

Safety

As far as safety is concerned, this type of water is considered safe, according to the reports from food and drug administration. But, as far as the potential benefits are concerned, we don’t have any research on how much hydrogen you should add to your drinking water.