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.
How Is It Treated
The standard treatment for HIV is a combination of medicines called antiretroviral therapy, or ART. Antiretroviral medicines slow the rate at which the virus multiplies.
Taking these medicines can reduce the amount of virus in your body and help you stay healthy.
Medical experts recommend that people begin treatment for HIV as soon as they know that they are infected.footnote 2, footnote 3
To monitor the HIV infection and its effect on your immune system, a doctor will regularly do two tests:
- Viral load, which shows the amount of virus in your blood.
- CD4+ cell count, which shows how well your immune system is working.
After you start treatment, it’s important to take your medicines exactly as directed by your doctor. When treatment doesn’t work, it is often because HIV has become resistant to the medicine. This can happen if you don’t take your medicines correctly.
How Can I Take Care Of Myself While Living With Hiv
It’s very important to take your medications as prescribed and to make sure you dont miss appointments. This is called treatment adherence.
If you miss medications, even by accident, HIV can change how it infects your cells , potentially causing your medications to stop working. If your schedule prevents you from taking medications on time or making it to appointments, talk to your healthcare provider.
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Testing Positive For Hiv
If you test positive, your doctor will complete a medical history and physical exam.
He or she may order several lab tests to check your overall health, including:
- A complete blood count , to identify the numbers and types of cells in your blood.
- A chemistry screen, to measure the blood levels of certain substances and to see how well your liver and kidneys are working.
Other tests may be done to check for current or past infections that may become worse because of HIV. You may be tested for:
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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Strategies For Preventing The Transmission Of Hiv
Condoms made of latex provide good protection against HIV , but they are not foolproof. Oil-based lubricants should not be used because they may dissolve latex, reducing the condom’s effectiveness.
Other measures can help. For men, circumcision, an inexpensive, safe procedure, reduces the risk of becoming infected during vaginal intercourse with an infected woman by about half. Whether circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection in other circumstances is unclear. Because circumcision provides only partial protection against HIV infection, people should also use other measures to prevent HIV infection. For example, if either partner has a sexually transmitted infection or HIV infection, it should be treated, and condoms should be used correctly and consistently.
Hiv Infections And Aids
General Goal:To know the major causes of this disease, how it istransmitted, and understand the basic processes thatresult in the progression from HIV infection to AIDS.
Specific Educational Objectives: The student should be able to:
Lecture:Dr. Neal R. Chamberlain
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Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet to keep your immune system strong. Heart-healthy eating can help prevent some of the problems, such as high cholesterol, that can be caused by treatment for HIV.
- Learn how to deal with the weight loss that HIV infection can cause.
- Learn how to handle food properly to avoid getting food poisoning. For more information, see the topic Food Poisoning and Safe Food Handling.
- Exercise regularly to reduce stress and improve the quality of your life. Take steps to help prevent HIV-related fatigue.
- Don’t smoke. People with HIV are more likely to have a heart attack or get lung cancer.footnote 23, footnote 24 Cigarette smoking can raise these risks even more.
- Don’t use illegal drugs. And limit your use of alcohol.
Whatpart Of The Body Does Hiv Infect
HIV infects our immune system. This is the part of our body that stops us getting sick. HIV infects a type of white blood cell in our immune system called a T-helper cell . These cells keep us healthy by fighting off infections and diseases. However, HIV hides inside these cells, tricking the body so that the immune system canât find and destroy it.
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Transmission Of Hiv Infection
HIV is not transmitted by casual contact or by close, nonsexual contact at work, school, or home. No case of HIV transmission has been traced to the coughing or sneezing of an infected person or to a mosquito bite. Transmission from an infected doctor or dentist to a patient is extremely rare.
HIV is usually transmitted in the following ways:
Injection of contaminated blood, as can occur when needles are shared or a health care worker is accidentally pricked with an HIV-contaminated needle
Transfer from an infected mother to a child before birth, during birth, or after birth through the mothers milk
Medical procedures, such as transfusion of blood that contains HIV, procedures done with inadequately sterilized instruments, or transplantation Overview of Transplantation Transplantation is the removal of living, functioning cells, tissues, or organs from the body and then their transfer back into the same body or into a different body. The most common type of… read more of an infected organ or tissues
HIV is more likely to be transmitted if skin or a mucous membrane is torn or damagedeven if minimally.
Distinguishing Features Of Cd4+ T
One of the best ways of elucidating the intriguing nature of immunopathogenesis of HIV infection is studying naturally occurring HIV infection with different clinical outcomes. HIV-2 infection provides an ideal situation for this investigation as it has a lower degree of pathogenicity as compared to HIV-1. Although HIV-2 also eventually causes immunodeficiency syndrome indistinguishable from HIV-1-induced AIDS , many HIV-2-infected individuals do not develop immunodeficiency during their lifetime and retain stable CD4+ T lymphocyte counts and low levels of viremia for many years . This striking difference has prompted the search for the reason for variations in T-cell homeostasis and imbalances in cytokine production and identification of factors that contribute to an effective immune response that delays progression of disease during infection.
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How Does Hiv Spread Throughout The Body
HIV cannot reproduce on its own, so it must get into these cells so that it can copy itself.
First, the virus attaches itself to a T-helper cell and fuses with it . It then takes control of the cellâs DNA, makes copies of itself inside the cell, and finally releases more HIV into the blood.
HIV will continue to multiply and spread throughout the body. This is a process called theâ¯HIV lifecycle.
How Hiv Suppresses The Immune System
To understand how HIV damages the immune system, we have to dive into some pretty scientific concepts.
The genetic makeup of an HIV viral cell has genetic material called RNA which helps it to reproduce more cells. For HIV cells to replicate, they need to latch onto healthy white blood cells called T cells. These cells contain certain proteins which HIV needs to duplicate itself and grow.
Your bodys immune system produces T cells to fight off infections but when an HIV cell takes hold, it will destroy the T cell to reproduce.
So, when a person is exposed to HIV, these cells will start to slowly reproduce in the body. The immune system will naturally pump out more T cells to try and fight off the virus but these cells will be destroyed by the HIV cells.
Eventually, this will leave the bodys immune system overwhelmed and totally defenseless to any disease. Once the bodys immune system is significantly weakened, then they may be diagnosed with AIDS, which stands for Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome. This progression of HIV to AIDS occurs over 5 to 10 years if the person does not receive any treatment.
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What Are The Factors That Affect Disease Progression
The most important factor affecting HIV progression is the ability to achieve viral suppression. Taking antiretroviral therapy regularly helps many people slow the progression of HIV and reach viral suppression.
However, a variety of factors affect HIV progression, and some people progress through the phases of HIV more quickly than others.
Factors that affect HIV progression can include:
- Ability to achieve viral suppression. Whether someone can take their antiretroviral medications and achieve viral suppression is the most important factor by far.
- Age when symptoms start. Being older can result in faster progression of HIV.
- Health before treatment. If a person had other diseases, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis C, or other sexually transmitted diseases , it can affect their overall health.
- Timing of diagnosis. Another important factor is how soon a person was diagnosed after they contracted HIV. The longer between their diagnosis and treatment, the more time the disease has to progress unchecked.
- Lifestyle. Practicing an unhealthy lifestyle, such as having a poor diet and experiencing severe stress, can cause HIV to progress more quickly.
- Genetic history. Some people seem to progress more quickly through their disease given their genetic makeup.
Some factors can delay or slow the progression of HIV. These include:
Living a healthy lifestyle and seeing a healthcare provider regularly can make a big difference in a persons overall health.
Can You Get Hiv From Kissing
Since HIV is not spread through spit, kissing is not a common way to get infected. In certain situations where other body fluids are shared, such as if both people have open sores in their mouths or bleeding gums, there is a chance you could get HIV from deep, open-mouthed kissing.
You also dont get HIV from:
- Touching or hugging someone who has HIV/AIDS.
- Public bathrooms or swimming pools.
- Sharing cups, utensils or telephones with someone who has HIV/AIDS.
- Donating blood.
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Whats The Difference Between Hiv And Aids
The difference between HIV and AIDS is that HIV is a virus that weakens your immune system. AIDS is a condition that can happen as a result of an HIV infection when your immune system is severely weakened.
You cant get AIDS if you arent infected with HIV. Thanks to treatment that slows down the effects of the virus, not everyone with HIV progresses to AIDS. But without treatment, almost all people living with HIV will advance to AIDS.
What Does Hiv Do To The Immune System
The term HIV is often synonymously used with AIDS. However, it is important to understand the distinctions between these medical terms. Sadly, many people are quite unfamiliar with the symptoms of HIV, how HIV is transmitted, and the progression of HIV to AIDS. This lack of knowledge puts them at a high risk of HIV transmission.
First, lets explain what HIV is.
People can go many years without knowing that they have HIV. In fact, it is estimated that about 1 in 7 people are HIV positive but are unaware as they have never been tested. However, over ten years or so, their immune system will become extremely compromised until they develop AIDS unless they take HIV treatment drugs.
So, how does this happen and why does HIV attack the immune system? Lets dive in.
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Contributors To Cd4+ T
CD4+ T-cells are known to be the central facilitators for both cellular and humoral immune responses against exogenous antigens and are kept constant in the human body by homeostatic mechanisms .HIV binds to the CD4 molecule on the surface of helper T-cells and replicates within them. This results in destruction of CD4+ T-cells and leads to a steady decline in this population of T-cells. The definition of progressive and slow loss of CD4+ T-cells is not clear. In order to understand the correlation between CD4+ T-cell depletion and immunopathogenesis, and its relationship with disease progression, a number of dynamic models have been put forward. Two of the most acknowledged mechanisms are discussed in detail in this review. These include direct virus attack leading to cytolytic effect and chronic immune activation resulting in apoptosis.
Nk Cell Based Vaccine Boosting Nk Cell Activity
After more than 30 years of the discovery of HIV-1, the vaccine remains elusive. Difficulties in the HIV vaccine development include: integration of viral genome into the host DNA, the ability to induce immune suppression and the development of viral variants that escape from the immune control. Many attempts to design prophylactic vaccines have been focused on the induction of neutralizing antibodies that block infection by free virions nevertheless, in the case of HIV, virus-infected cells are more infectious than free virus in both in vitro and in vivo models . In addition, neutralizing antibodies do not block cell to cell transmission, thus, effective design of the vaccine against HIV needs a different approach.
Accumulated evidence of the protective role of NK cells during HIV-1 infection, leads to think that boosting NK cell activity during infection or even before can help to eliminate viral reservoirs or avoid infection. The idea of boosting NK cells to cure pathologic conditions is not exclusive of HIV in fact, a growing number of studies have been developed to enhance NK cytotoxicity as immune therapy against cancer, based on the capacity to eliminate tumor cells .
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Screening And Diagnostic Tests
If doctors suspect exposure to HIV infection, they do a screening test for HIV. Doctors also recommend that all adults and adolescents, particularly pregnant women, have a screening test regardless of what their risk appears to be. Anyone who is concerned about being infected with HIV can request to be tested. Such testing is confidential and often free of charge.
The current combination screening test tests for two things that suggest HIV infection:
Antibodies are proteins produced by the immune system to help defend the body against a particular attack, such as that by HIV. Antigens are foreign substances that can trigger an immune response.
The body takes several weeks to produce enough antibodies to be detected by the test, so results of the antibody test are negative during the first few weeks after the virus enters the body . However, results of the p24 antigen test can be positive as early as 2 weeks after the initial infection. The combination tests can be done quickly by a laboratory. Also, a version of these tests can be done in a doctor’s office or clinic . If results are positive, doctors do a test to distinguish HIV-1 from HIV-2 and a test to detect the amount of HIV RNA in the blood .
The newer combination screening test is quicker and less complex than older screening tests, which use enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect HIV antibodies and then confirm positive results using a separate, more accurate, specific test such as the Western blot test.