What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
- Am I at high risk for HIV?
- What can I do to reduce my risk of HIV?
- How can I make sure I take my medications correctly?
- What can I do to protect myself from other illnesses?
- How can prevent the spread of HIV?
- What do my test results mean?
- What do my blood counts mean?
- What vaccinations should I get?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Treatments have come a long way since the height of the AIDS epidemic. You have the best chance of living a long life if youre diagnosed early and are able to get on and stick with ART medications. People living with HIV today are able to work, have active social lives and families, and pursue fulfilling relationships. In fact, this can have a positive impact on your well-being.
While weve come a long way with treatments, unfortunately, social stigmas around HIV still persist. In addition to the feelings of fear and uncertainty a new diagnosis can bring, you may wonder how those around you will respond. If youre hesitant to get tested or get treatment, or if you just arent sure what your next steps are, you can reach out to a community organization that specializes in HIV. Remember that you are deserving of support, compassion and high-quality healthcare.
Avoiding Exposure To Relevant Body Fluids
Frequently and thoroughly washing the skin immediately after coming into contact with body fluids can also reduce the risk of infection.
To prevent transmission, healthcare workers use gloves, masks, protective eyewear, face shields, and gowns when exposure to these fluids is likely, and they follow established procedures.
Does Hiv Go Away
HIV doesnt go away on its own. It inserts itself into your DNA so your cells think that its a part of you. There can be many years without symptoms after initial infection, but HIV can still be damaging your immune system even if you dont feel sick.
There may be periods while on medication where the virus is not detectable by an HIV test. In these cases, HIV can be hiding in your body, undetected. It can wake up and start destroying your cells again in the future.
This is why continuing to take HIV medication, even if you dont feel sick or the virus is undetectable, is extremely important. Without treatment, HIV will weaken your immune system until you cant fight off other serious illnesses.
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What Is A Retrovirus
rather than as DNA DNA Genes are segments of deoxyribonucleic acid that contain the code for a specific protein that functions in one or more types of cells in the body. Chromosomes are structures within cells… read more .
When HIV enters a human cell, it releases its RNA, and an enzyme called reverse transcriptase makes a DNA copy of the HIV RNA. The resulting HIV DNA is integrated into the infected cells DNA. This process is the reverse of that used by human cells, which make an RNA copy of DNA. Thus, HIV is called a retrovirus, referring to the reversed process.
Other RNA viruses , unlike retroviruses, do not make DNA copies after they invade cells. They simply make RNA copies of their original RNA.
Each time an HIV-infected cell divides, it makes a new copy of the integrated HIV DNA as well as its own genes. The HIV DNA copy is either
HIV-1 originated in Central Africa during the first half of the 20th century when a closely related chimpanzee virus first infected people. The global spread of HIV-1 began in the late 1970s, and AIDS was first recognized in 1981.
Simplified Life Cycle Of The Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Like all viruses, human immunodeficiency virus reproduces using the genetic machinery of the cell it infects, usually a CD4+ lymphocyte.
Drugs used to treat HIV infection were developed based on the life cycle of HIV. These drugs inhibit the three enzymes that the virus uses to replicate or to attach to and enter cells.
HIV also infects other cells, such as cells in the skin, brain, genital tract, heart, and kidneys, causing disease in those organs.
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Opportunistic Infections And Cancer
Stage 3 HIV reduces the bodys ability to combat a range of infections and associated complications and types of cancer.
Current treatment is often effective enough to keep many infections at bay. If a person with HIV does not receive treatment, latent infections that once caused minimal or no health problems can pose a serious risk. Doctors refer to these infections as opportunistic.
Below are some opportunistic infections that can signal to a doctor that a person has stage 3 HIV:
Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
, MD, MAS, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine
HIV is transmitted through close contact with a body fluid that contains the virus or cells infected with the virus .
HIV destroys certain types of white blood cells, weakening the bodys defenses against infections and cancers.
When people are first infected, symptoms of fever, rashes, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue may last a few days to several weeks.
Many infected people remain well for more than a decade.
About half of untreated people become ill and develop AIDS, defined by the presence of serious infections and cancers, within about 10 years.
Eventually, most untreated people develop AIDS.
Blood tests to check for HIV antibody and to measure the amount of HIV virus can confirm the diagnosis.
HIV drugs two, three, or more taken togethercan stop HIV from reproducing, strengthen the immune system, and thus make people less susceptible to infection, but the drugs cannot eliminate HIV, which persists in an inactive form.
HIV infections may be caused by one of two retroviruses, HIV-1 or HIV-2. HIV-1 causes most HIV infections worldwide, but HIV-2 causes many HIV infections in West Africa.
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How Bacteria And Viruses Enter The Body
To cause disease, pathogenic bacteria must gain access into the body. The range of access routes for bacteria includes:
- Close contact with an infected person
- Contact with the faeces of an infected person
- Breathing in the exhaled droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes
- Indirectly, by touching contaminated surfaces such as taps, toilet handles, toys and nappies.
Examples For Global Impact Of Antimicrobial Resistance Research And Interventions
Examples of global research into antimicrobial resistance and its impact are given below :
Chinese Ministry of Health in 2011, reduced unnecessary prescription of antimicrobials by 1012%.
The Swedish Strategic Programme against Antibiotic Resistance : decrease in antibiotic use for outpatients from 15.7 to 12.6 daily doses per 1000 inhabitants and from 536 to 410 prescriptions per 1000 inhabitants per year from 1995 to 2004. The decrease was most evident for macrolides .
WHO essential medicines policies: reductions in antibiotic use of 20% in upper respiratory tract infections and 30% of reduction in the use of antibiotics in acute diarrheal illness.
Antimicrobial stewardship programme in 47 South African hospitals: reduction of antibiotic doses daily per 100 patient days from 101.4 to 83.04.
Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring and Research Programme : Infections with carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae declined and there were no further reports of outbreaks of colistin-resistant Acinetobacter spp.
In the Netherlands, a decrease of CTX-M1-1-like ESBL genes in livestock was seen during 20102014 due to > 60% reduction in antibiotic use in livestock.
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Can You Use Mucus Color To Determine If Its A Bacterial Or Viral Infection
You should avoid using mucus color to determine whether you have a viral or bacterial infection.
Theres a long-held belief that green mucus indicates a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics. In fact, green mucus is actually caused by substances released by your immune cells in response to a foreign invader.
You can have green mucus due to many things, including:
Talk with your doctor about the vaccines that are available to you.
Bacterial Viral Fungal And Parasitic Infections In Hiv Disease And Aids
Infectious complications are the most common cutaneous manifestations of HIV infection. In this article, the bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections seen in HIV-infected patients are described and illustrated. The relation of these infections to the overall health of the patient and current therapies that have been found beneficial are outlined.
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Global Action Plan Who
WHO developed the global action plan with five strategic objectives to achieve the goal of ensuring continuity of successful treatment and prevention of infectious diseases with effective and safe medicines . They improve the awareness and understanding of antimicrobial resistance through effective communication, education and training, strengthen the knowledge and evidence base through surveillance and research, reduce the incidence of infection through effective sanitation, hygiene and infection prevention measures, optimize the use of antimicrobial medicines in human and animal health and develop the economic case for sustainable investment that takes account of the needs of all countries, and increase investment in new medicines, diagnostic tools, vaccines and other interventions.
Haemophilus Influenzae Type B
HIV-infected children are at increased risk of Haemophilus influenzae type b infection. In a study in South African children who had not received Hib conjugate vaccine, the estimated relative annual rate of overall invasive Hib disease in children aged < 1 year was 5.9 times greater in those who were HIV-infected than those who were uninfected, and HIV-infected children were at greater risk for bacteremic pneumonia.28 Hib infection is rare in HIV-infected children in the United States because routine Hib immunization confers direct protection to immunized HIV-infected children and herd immunity confers indirect protection.29
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What You Need To Know About Fungal Infections
Your CD4 count is important. Youre at greatest risk for fungal infection when your CD4 count is less than 200. Keeping your CD4 count above 200 may help you avoid serious illness.
Anti-retroviral therapy is important. Starting ART helps slow the progress of HIV and can reduce your chances of getting a fungal infection.
Fungal infections can range from mild to life-threatening. Some fungal infections are mild skin rashes, but others can be deadly, like fungal meningitis. Because of this, its important to seek treatment as soon as possible to try to avoid serious infection.
Fungal infections can look like bacterial or viral infections. If youre taking medicine to fight an infection and you arent getting better, ask your doctor about testing you for a fungal infection.
Where you live matters. Some disease-causing fungi are more common in certain parts of the world. If you have HIV/AIDS and live in or visit these areas, youre more likely to get these infections than the general population.1 For more information on travel related illnesses, please see the CDC Travelers Health site.
Your activities matter. Disease-causing fungi can be found in air, dust, and soil, especially soil that contains bird or bat droppings. Doing activities that disturb the soil, like gardening, cleaning chicken coops, construction, demolition, and visiting caves can cause you to inhale more fungi and increases your chance of infection.2
HIV/AIDS and Fungal Infections
Preventive Treatment After Exposure
People who have been exposed to HIV from a blood splash, needlestick, or sexual contact may reduce the chance of infection by taking antiretroviral drugs for 4 weeks. These drugs are more effective when they are started as soon as possible after the exposure. Taking two or more drugs is currently recommended.
Doctors and the person who was exposed typically decide together whether to use these preventive drugs. They base the decision on the estimated risk of infection and the possible side effects of the drugs. If they do not know whether the source is infected with HIV, they consider how likely the source is to be infected. However, even when the source of the exposure is known to be infected with HIV, the risk of infection after exposure varies, depending on the type of exposure. For example, risk from a blood splash is less than that from a needlestick.
Immediately after exposure to HIV infection, what is done depends on the type of exposure:
If skin is exposed, it is cleaned with soap and water.
Puncture wounds are cleaned with antiseptic.
If mucous membranes are exposed, they are flushed with large amounts of water.
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Curing A Viral Infection
Antibiotics are useless against viral infections. This is because viruses are so simple that they use their host cells to perform their activities for them. So antiviral drugs work differently to antibiotics, by interfering with the viral enzymes instead.Antiviral drugs are currently only effective against a few viral diseases, such as influenza, herpes, hepatitis B and C and HIV but research is ongoing. A naturally occurring protein, called interferon , can now be produced in the laboratory and is used to treat hepatitis C infections.
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Monitoring And Adverse Events
The response to appropriate antibiotic therapy should be similar in HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected children, with a clinical response usually observed within 2 to 3 days after initiation of appropriate antibiotics, recognizing that radiologic improvement in patients with pneumonia may lag behind clinical response. Whereas HIV-infected adults experience high rates of adverse and even treatment-limiting reactions to TMPSMX, in HIV-infected children, serious adverse reactions to TMPSMX appear to be much less of a problem.84
Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome has not clearly been described in association with treatment of bacterial infections in children. Reports of pneumonia, abscess and other bacterial infection in children during the first several weeks of effective cART have been attributed to IRIS85,86 but are more likely related to persistent immune suppression. Suspicion of IRIS in a child being treated for a bacterial infection should raise concern for the presence of a different or additional infection or for inadequately treated infection mimicking IRIS.
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What Tests Diagnose Hiv
There are three types of HIV tests: antigen/antibody tests, antibody tests and nucleic acid tests :
Antigen tests look for markers on the surface of HIV called p24. Antibody tests look for chemicals your body makes when it reacts to those markers. HIV antigen/antibody tests look for both.
A healthcare provider will take a small sample of blood from your arm with a needle. The blood is sent to a lab and tested for p24 and antibodies to it. An antigen/antibody test is usually able to detect HIV in 18 to 45 days after exposure.
A rapid antigen/antibody test may also be done with a finger prick to draw blood. Youll need to wait at least 18 days after exposure for this type of test to be able to detect HIV. You may need to take the test up to 90 days after exposure for accurate results.
These tests look for antibodies to HIV in your blood or saliva. This can be done with a blood draw from your arm, a finger prick or with a stick that you rub on your gums to collect saliva.
An antibody test can take 23 to 90 days after exposure to detect HIV. Antibody tests done with a blood draw can detect HIV sooner than those done with saliva or blood from a finger prick.
Nucleic acid tests
NATs look for the HIV virus in your blood. A healthcare provider will take a small sample of blood from your arm with a needle. The blood then is sent to a lab and tested for HIV.
- Viral hepatitis screening.
What Does Hiv Do To A Person
HIV infects white blood cells of your immune system called CD4 cells, or helper T cells. It destroys CD4 cells, causing your white blood cell count to drop. This leaves you with an immune system that cant fight off infections, even those that wouldnt normally make you sick.
HIV initially makes you feel sick with flu-like symptoms. Then it can hide in your body for a long time without causing noticeable symptoms. During that time, it slowly destroys your T-cells. When your T-cells get very low or you begin to get certain illnesses that people with healthy immune systems dont get, HIV has progressed to AIDS.
AIDS can cause rapid weight loss, extreme tiredness, mouth or genital ulcers, fevers, night sweats and skin discolorations. Other illnesses and cancers often happen in people living with AIDS and can cause additional symptoms.
Whats a retrovirus?
A retrovirus is a virus that works backward from the way human cells do. Human cells have instructions that send a message to make building blocks for your body .
Retroviruses have their instructions written on RNA. When a retrovirus invades your cells, it changes its RNA to look like your cells instructions . Then it cuts your cells DNA and inserts its instructions into them. Your cell then acts as though the virus instructions are its own.
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