HIV/AIDS : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment



HIV (human immunological disorder virus) may be a virus that attacks cells that facilitate the body fight infection, creating an individual at risk of different infections and illnesses. it's unfold by contact with sure bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most ordinarily throughout unprotected sex (sex while not a safety or HIV medication to stop or treat HIV), or through sharing injection drug equipment.

If left untreated, HIV will cause the disease AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

Medical terms

HIV/AIDS, which stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, is a complex medical condition caused by the HIV virus. Here's a breakdown of what HIV/AIDS is:

  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus): HIV is a retrovirus that attacks the immune system, specifically targeting CD4 cells (T cells), which play a crucial role in the body's defense against infections. HIV weakens the immune system by replicating inside these cells and destroying them. As a result, the immune system becomes less effective at fighting off other infections and diseases.

  • AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome): AIDS is the final and most severe stage of HIV infection. It occurs when the immune system is severely damaged, and the body becomes vulnerable to opportunistic infections and certain types of cancers. AIDS is diagnosed based on specific criteria, including a low CD4 cell count and the presence of opportunistic infections or cancers.

Disease Definition Question and Answer American Hospitals Alternative Medicine

Symptoms HIV/AIDS

AIDS makes the person living with it very vulnerable to a wide range of illnesses, including:

  • pneumonia

  • tuberculosis

  • Oral thrush is a fungal condition in the mouth or throat.

  • CMV is a type of herpes virus.

  • Cryptococcal meningitis is a fungal condition that affects the brain.

  • Toxoplasmosis is a brain infection caused by a parasite.

  • Cryptosporidiosis is a condition caused by an intestinal parasite.

  • Cancer can include Kaposi sarcoma (KS) and lymphoma.

Untreated AIDS is associated with a shortened life expectancy. This isn't because of the disease itself, but because of the diseases and complications that arise from having an impaired immune system due to AIDS.

Be aware of possible complications that can occur from HIV and AIDS.

During the acute infection stage, a person is infected with HIV but does not yet have full-blown AIDS.

At this time, the virus is reproducing rapidly. The person’s immune system responds by producing antibodies which are proteins that take measures to combat infection.

Many people experience symptoms for the first month or so after contracting HIV, but they may not realize that HIV is the source of those symptoms.

This is because symptoms of the acute stage can be similar to those of the flu or other seasonal viruses.

  • they may be mild to severe

  • they may come and go

  • Decoupaging leaves will last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

Early symptoms of HIV can include:

  • fever

  • chills

  • swollen lymph nodes

  • general aches and pains

  • skin rash

  • sore throat

  • headache

  • nausea

  • upset stomach

It is possible that the person who has these symptoms might not think they need to see a healthcare provider, as they resemble common illnesses.

Even if your healthcare provider suspects the flu or mononucleosis, they might not consider HIV unless it is confirmed.

If a person has symptoms during this time, their viral load is high. This means there is a lot of HIV in their bloodstream.

A high viral load means that HIV can be easily transmitted from one person to another during this time.

Most HIV symptoms usually disappear within a few months as the person enters the chronic or clinical latency stage.This stage can last for many years or even decades with treatment.

Some people may experience HIV symptoms while other people do not.

Be aware of the early symptoms of HIV.

HIV enters the "clinically latent stage" after the first month or so. This stage can last for a few years to a few decades.

Some people may have minimal or nonspecific symptoms during this time. A nonspecific symptom is a symptom that doesn't pertain to one specific disease or condition.

These nonspecific symptoms may include:

  • headaches and other pains

  • swollen lymph nodes

  • recurrent fevers

  • night sweats

  • fatigue

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • diarrhea

  • weight loss

  • skin rashes

  • People have recurrent yeast infections in their mouths or vaginas.

  • pneumonia

  • shingles

HIV is still transmissible during this early stage even without any symptoms. It can be transmitted to another person.

If you have any of these symptoms and think you may have been exposed to HIV, it's important that you get tested. However, if you don't know you are infected with HIV, testing won't reveal that.

At this stage, HIV symptoms may come and go or they may progress more slowly.If the symptoms are getting worse quickly, treatment may help.

If you are taking antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV, and you take it consistently, the virus may not progress to AIDS and may last for many years.

It is important to know how HIV symptoms can progress over time.

Many people with HIV develop changes to their skin.A rash is one of the first signs of an HIV infection. It generally appears as multiple small, red lesions that are flat and raised.

Rash related to HIV

HIV makes someone more susceptible to skin problems because the virus destroys immune system cells, which can make them more vulnerable to infection by other things. Co-infections that can cause a rash include:

The cause of the rash determines:

  • how it looks

  • how long it lasts

  • The treatment for decoupage will depend on the cause.

Rash related to medication

Rashes can be caused by HIV co-infections or by medications used to treat HIV or other conditions.

This rash usually appears after a few weeks of starting a new medication. Sometimes the rash will clear up on its own.If the first medication doesn't work, you may need to try a different one.

If you get a rash from taking medication, it can be very serious.

If someone has an allergic reaction, they might experience:

  • trouble breathing or swallowing

  • dizziness

  • fever

If you are HIV positive and take a medication called Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) can happen. Symptoms include fever and swelling of the face and tongue. A blistering rash which can involve the skin and mucous membranes appears and spreads quickly.

If 30% of the skin is affected, it's called toxic epidermal necrolysis. If this occurs, emergency medical care is needed.

Rashes can be linked with HIV or HIV medications, but it's important to remember that rashes are common and may have other causes.

Learn more about HIV rash.

HIV causes different symptoms in different people, but they tend to be similar in men and women. Symptoms can come and go, or get worse over time.

If you have been exposed to HIV, you may also have been exposed to other STIs. These include:

  • gonorrhea

  • chlamydia

  • syphilis

  • trichomoniasis

Men are more likely to experience symptoms of STIs, such as sores on their genitals. However, men usually do not seek medical care as often as women.

Learn more about HIV symptoms in men.

HIV symptoms are generally similar in men and women, however the symptoms they experience may differ depending on different risks they face if they have HIV.

HIV-positive men and women are at an increased risk for STIs. However, women and those with a vagina may be less likely than men to notice changes to their genitals that could indicate an STD.

Women with HIV are at an increased risk for:

  • recurrent vaginal yeast infections

  • Other vaginal infections can include bacterial vaginosis.

  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

  • menstrual cycle changes

  • HPV is a virus that can cause genital warts and cervical cancer.

There are other risks for women with HIV, such as the virus being transferred to a baby during pregnancy. However, antiretroviral therapy is considered safe during pregnancy.

Women who are taking antiretroviral therapy are at a very low risk of transmitting HIV to their baby during pregnancy and delivery. Breastfeeding is also affected for women with HIV. The virus can be transferred to a baby through breast milk.

In the United States and other places where formula is available and safe it is recommended that women with HIV not breastfeed their babies. For these women, using formulas is encouraged.

Some parents choose to give their babies formula instead of human milk that has been banked and pasteurized.

If you are a woman who may have been exposed to HIV, it is important to know the symptoms to watch for.

Learn more about HIV symptoms in women.

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a condition that is caused by the HIV virus. The weakened immune system makes it difficult to fight other illnesses.

If HIV is detected and treated early with antiretroviral therapy, a person usually won't develop AIDS.

If someone has HIV and does not get it treated until late, they may develop AIDS. If someone knows they have HIV but does not take their antiretroviral therapy regularly, they may also develop AIDS.

If someone has HIV, they may also develop AIDS if their virus is resistant to antiretroviral treatment.

If HIV-positive people don't take care of their health, they can develop AIDS sooner. By then, their immune system is weakened and it's harder for them to fight off infections and diseases.

With the use of antiretroviral therapy, a person can maintain a chronic HIV diagnosis for many years without developing AIDS.

Symptoms of AIDS can include:

  • recurrent fever

  • Swollen lymph glands may be found in various locations on the body, such as around the neck and groin.

  • chronic fatigue

  • night sweats

  • Some people have dark splotches under the skin, in their mouth, nose, or eyelids.

  • Mouth and tongue sores, genital lesions, or anal blemishes.

  • bumps, lesions, or rashes of the skin

  • Chronic diarrhea means having diarrhea often.

  • rapid weight loss

  • Neurological problems can include difficulty concentrating and memory loss.

  • Anxiety and depression are mental health conditions.

Antiretroviral therapy can control the virus and usually prevent AIDS from progressing. Other infections and complications of AIDS can also be treated in a specific way that is based on the individual needs of the person.

HIV can be contracted by anyone. It is transmitted in body fluids, including:

  • blood

  • semen

  • vaginal and rectal fluids

  • breast milk

HIV can be transferred from person to person in a number of ways, including:

  • Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are spread through contact with the body fluids of someone who is infected. This can be through vaginal or anal sex, the most common way to get an STD.

  • Using shared needles, syringes, and other items for injection drug use is dangerous.

  • Using tattoo equipment without sterilizing it between uses can lead to infection.

  • During childbirth, labor, or pregnancy, from a pregnant person to their baby.

  • during breastfeeding

  • Before feeding a baby their food, chew it first. This is called "premastication."

  • HIV can be passed from someone who is living with the virus, such as through a needle stick, to you.

The virus can be transmitted through a blood transfusion or organ and tissue transplant. However, rigorous testing for HIV ensures that this is very rare in the United States.

HIV cannot be transmitted through:

  • Before having oral sex, make sure there are no open sores or bleeding gums in the person's mouth.

  • If you are bitten by a person who has HIV, you may be at risk for getting the virus. If there are bloody or open sores on the person's mouth, this means they are likely infected with HIV.

  • HIV can be passed from someone living with the virus to another person when they break open their skin or get mucous membranes in contact with their blood.

HIV does NOT transfer through:

  • skin-to-skin contact

  • hugging, shaking hands, or kissing

  • air or water

  • It is polite to share food or drinks, including drinking fountains, with others.

  • Saliva and sweat are not blood, and they are not HIV-positive.

  • sharing a toilet, towels, or bedding

  • Mosquitoes or other insects

If a person living with HIV is being treated and their viral load is persistently undetectable, it is practically impossible to transmit the virus to another person.

Learn more about HIV transmission.

HIV is a variation of a virus that can be transmitted to humans from African chimpanzees. Scientists believe that the virus jumped from chimpanzees to humans when people ate chimpanzee meat containing the virus.

HIV first entered the human population in the 1920s. It likely mutated over time as a result.

HIV was first discovered in a human blood sample in 1959. It spread throughout Africa over the course of several decades, and eventually it migrated to other parts of the world.Scientists have been studying HIV for a long time, and they first identified it in 1959.

It is thought that HIV has been present in the United States since the 1970s, but it did not become widely known until the 1980s.

Learn more about the history of HIV and AIDS in the United States.

If you are infected with HIV, treatment should begin as soon as possible, even if your viral load is low.

HIV is treated with a combination of daily medications that stop the virus from replicating. This helps protect CD4 cells, which keep the immune system strong enough to take measures against disease.

HIV treatment helps prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS.Having an undetectable viral load also decreases the risk of passing HIV to others.

If treatment is effective, the amount of the virus in your blood will be too low to measure." This means that the person still has HIV, but the virus is not visible in tests.

If the person stops taking antiretroviral therapy, the virus will still be in their body. And if the viral load increases again, HIV could attack CD4 cells again.

Learn more about how HIV treatments work.

Some HIV treatment medications are approved to prevent the virus from reproducing and damaging CD4 cells, which helps the immune system generate a response to infection.

This helps reduce the risk of developing complications related to HIV, such as passing the virus on to others.

These medications are grouped into six classes, each with its own specific effects:

  • NRTIs are drugs that inhibit the replication of HIV.

  • NNRTIs are medications that inhibit the replication of HIV.

  • protease inhibitors

  • fusion inhibitors

  • Entry inhibitors are also known as CCR5 antagonists.

  • integrase strand transfer inhibitors

The symptoms of HIV and AIDS vary, depending on the phase of infection.

Primary infection (Acute HIV)

Some folks infected by HIV develop a flu-like malady inside a pair of to four weeks when the virus enters the body. This illness, called primary (acute) HIV infection, could last for some weeks.

Possible signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Muscle aches and joint pain

  • Rash

  • Sore throat and painful mouth sores

  • Swollen lymph glands, mainly on the neck

  • Diarrhea

  • Weight loss

  • Cough

  • Night sweats

These symptoms can be so mild that you might not even notice them. However, the amount of virus in your bloodstream (viral load) is quite high at this time. As a result, the infection spreads more easily during primary infection than during the next stage.

Clinical latent infection (Chronic HIV)

In this stage of infection, HIV remains a gift within the body and in white blood cells. However, many folks might not have any symptoms or infections throughout this time. This stage will last for several years if you're not receiving antiretroviral medical care (ART). Some people develop additional severe illnesses a lot sooner.

When to see a doctor

If you observe you may be infected with HIV or are susceptible to contracting the virus, see a fitness care company as soon as viable.


HIV is transmitted through bodily fluids, including:

  1. The virus cannot be transferred through air, water, or casual contact.
  2. HIV is a lifelong condition. There is currently no cure for HIV, though many scientists are working to find one.
  3. With medical care, including antiretroviral therapy, it's possible to manage HIV and keep the virus under control for many years.
  4. If you have HIV, you are likely to develop a serious condition called AIDS.
  5. At that point the immune system is too weak to effectively fight against other infections and conditions.
  6. People with AIDS typically have a life expectancy of about three years without treatment. However, with medication HIV can be managed and life expectancy is often almost the same as someone who has not contracted HIV.
  7. There are an estimated 1.2 million Americans living with HIV. Of those people, 1 in 7 do not know they have the virus.
  8. HIV can cause changes in the body throughout.
  9. Learn about the effects of HIV on the different body systems.
  10. HIV is a disease that can affect people who have it. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV, but not all people with HIV develop it.
  11. HIV destroys CD4 cells. Healthy adults generally have a CD4 count of 500 to 1600 per cubic millimeter. If a person's CD4 count falls below 200 per cubic millimeter, they are diagnosed with AIDS.
  12. People with AIDS can also be diagnosed if they have HIV and develop an infection that is more common in people who do not have HIV- such as cancer.
  13. Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia is an infection that only occurs in a person who is severely immunocompromised, such as someone with advanced HIV infection.
  14. HIV can progress to AIDS within a decade if left untreated.There is currently no cure for AIDS, and without treatment, people with HIV typically only live for about three years after diagnosis.
  15. If the person contracts an opportunistic illness, this may be shorter. However, treatment with antiretroviral drugs can prevent AIDS from developing.
  16. If AIDS develops, it means that the immune system is severely weakened, which means it can no longer successfully respond against most diseases and infections.
  17. HIV is caused by a virus. It will unfold through sexual contact, illicit injection drug use or sharing needles, contact with infected blood, or from mother to kid throughout pregnancy, vaginal birth or breastfeeding. HIV destroys CD4 T cells — white blood cells that play an outsized role in serving to fight disease. the less CD4 T cells you have, the weaker your system becomes.

Risk factors HIV/AIDS

The best way to cut back your risk of HIV is to remember however it spreads and shield yourself throughout safe activities. Having sex while not a contraceptive device and sharing needles to require medicine are the foremost common ways in which HIV spreads.Anyone of any age, race, sex or sexual orientation are often infected with HIV/AIDS. However, you're at greatest risk of HIV/AIDS if you:

  • Have unprotected sex. Use a brand new latex or ployurethan safety each time you've got sex. buggery is riskier than is channel sex. Your risk of HIV will increase if you have multiple sexual partners. 

  • Have an STI. Many STIs produce open sores on your genitals. These sores act as doorways for HIV to enter your body.

  • Use illicit injection drugs. People who use illicit injection drugs often share needles and syringes. This exposes them to droplets of other people's blood.

Complications HIV/AIDS

HIV infection weakens your immune machine, making you more likely to increase many infections and certain kinds of cancers.

Infections common to HIV/AIDS

  • Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP). This fungal contamination can cause intense contamination. Although it's declined substantially with present day remedies for HIV/AIDS, within the U.S., PCP continues to be the most common motive of pneumonia in human beings infected with HIV.

  • Candidiasis (thrush). Candidiasis is a commonplace HIV-related contamination. It causes infection and a thick, white coating to your mouth, tongue, esophagus or vagina.

  • Tuberculosis (TB). TB could be a common infection related to HIV. Worldwide, TB is a leading explanation for death among individuals with AIDS. It's less common within the U.S. because of the wide use of HIV medications. 

  • Cytomegalovirus. This common animal virus is transmitted in body fluids and admires saliva, blood, urine, seed and breast milk. A healthy system inactivates the virus, and it remains dormant in your body. If your immune system weakens, the virus resurfaces — inflicting injury to your eyes, biological process tract, lungs or alternative organs. 

  • Cryptococcal meningitis. Meningitis may be an inflammation of the membranes and fluid close to your brain and medulla spinalis (meninges). Cryptococcal infectious disease is a common central systema nervosum infection related to HIV, caused by a plant found in soil. 

  • Toxoplasmosis. This doubtlessly lethal contamination is resulting from Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite developed mainly by using cats. Infected cats pass the parasites of their stools, which may additionally then spread to other animals and people. Toxoplasmosis can cause coronary heart ailment, and seizures occur while it spreads to the mind.

Cancers common to HIV/AIDS

  • Lymphoma. Most cancers start inside the white blood cells. The maximum commonplace early signal is painless swelling of the lymph nodes in your neck, armpit or groin.

  • Kaposi's sarcoma. A tumor of the blood vessel partitions, Kaposi's sarcoma commonly appears as pink, crimson or purple lesions at the pores and skin and mouth. In human beings with darker pores and skin, the lesions may additionally appearance dark brown or black. Kaposi's sarcoma can also have an effect on the inner organs, such as the digestive tract and lungs.

  • HPV-related cancers. These are cancers caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. They include anal, oral and cervical cancer.

Other complications

  • Wasting syndrome. Untreated HIV/AIDS can cause significant weight loss, often accompanied by diarrhea, chronic weakness and fever.

  • Neurological complications. HIV can cause neurological signs and symptoms which includes confusion, forgetfulness, melancholy, tension and difficulty taking walks. HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) can range from mild symptoms of behavioral adjustments and reduced intellectual functioning to severe dementia causing weak points and lack of ability to characterize.

  • Kidney disease. HIV-related nephropathy (HIVAN) is an inflammation of the tiny filters to your kidneys that remove excess fluid and wastes from your blood and pass them for your urine. It most customarily impacts Black or Hispanic human beings.

  • Liver disease. Liver disease is also a first-rate trouble, mainly in folks who additionally have hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

Prevention HIV/AIDS

There's no vaccine to prevent HIV infection and no treatment for HIV/AIDS. But you may guard yourself and others from contamination.

To help save you the unfold of HIV:

  • Consider preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP). The combination oral medicine emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Truvada) and emtricitabine plus tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (Descovy) will reduce the danger of sexually transmitted HIV infection in individuals at terribly high risk. schoolwork can reduce your risk of obtaining HIV from sex by regarding 99% and from injection drug use by a minimum of 74%, in step with the Centers for illness management and Prevention. Descovy hasn't been studied in folks that have receptive duct sex. The FDA recently approved cabotegravir (Apretude), the primary injectable schoolwork to cut back the risk of sexually transmitted HIV infection in people at very high risk. The injection is given by a health care supplier. During the primary 2 monthly injections, cabotegravir is given each two months. The injection is an associated possibility in situ of a daily schoolwork pill. Your health care provider will visit these medicines for HIV interference as long as you don't have an HIV infection. you may like an HIV check before you begin taking any PrEP. The test ought to then be done every 3 months for pills or before every injection for as long as you're taking PrEP. Your health care provider will test your urinary organ function before prescribing Truvada and still check it each half-dozen to twelve months. alternative regular testing may additionally be needed. you wish to require the pill kind daily or closely follow the injection schedule for cabotegravir. They don't forestall other STIs, so you'll still got to follow safe sex. If you've got infectious disease B, you ought to be evaluated by a communicable disease or liver specialist before starting therapy. 

  • Use treatment as prevention (TasP). If you're living with HIV, taking HIV medication will keep your partner from changing into infected with the virus. If you create certain your infective agent load stays undetectable — a biopsy doesn't show any virus — you won't transmit the virus to anyone else through sex. exploitation TasP suggests that taking your medication specifically as prescribed and obtaining regular checkups. 

  • Use post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) if you've been exposed to HIV. If you think that you've been exposed through sex, needles or within the workplace, contact your health care supplier or move to the emergency department. Taking life as shortly as attainable at intervals the primary seventy two hours will greatly scale back your risk of turning into infected with HIV. you may have to be compelled to take medication for twenty eight days. 

  • Use a new condom every time you have sex. Use a replacement prophylactic device anytime you have got anal or canal sex. ladies will use a feminine condom. If employing a lubricant, ensure it's water-based. Oil-based lubricants can weaken condoms and cause them to break. throughout perversion use a non lubricated, cut-open condom or a dental dam — a bit of medical-grade latex. 

  • Tell your sexual partners if you have HIV. It's important to tell all your current and past sexual partners that you're HIV-positive. They'll need to be tested.

  • Use a clean needle. If you use a needle to inject illicit drugs, make certain it's sterile and don't percentage it. Take advantage of needle-trade applications to your community. Consider searching for help with your drug use.

  • If you're pregnant, get medical care right away. If you're HIV-advantageous, you can bypass the infection on your baby. But in case you receive treatment throughout pregnancy, you may substantially cut your child's chance.

  • Consider male circumcision. There's evidence that male circumcision can help reduce the risk of getting HIV infection.

Other prevention methods

Other steps to help prevent the spread of HIV include: -Wearing a condom every time you have sex. -Not sharing needles or other drug equipment. -Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

  • Do not share needles or other tools.HIV is transmitted through blood and can be contracted by coming in contact with materials that have been touched by someone who has HIV.

  • Consider PEP. If you have been exposed to HIV, you should contact your healthcare provider to discuss getting post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP can reduce the risk of contracting HIV. It consists of three medications that are given for 28 days. PEP should be started as soon as possible after exposure, but it is best to do so as soon as possible after the exposure occurred. Before 36 to 72 hours have passed, the decoupage will be ready.

  • Consider PrEP.If you want to lower your risk of getting HIV, talk to your healthcare provider about taking pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). PrEP is a combination of two drugs that work together to reduce the risk of infection. Taking PrEP consistently can help reduce your chances of getting HIV.

Healthcare providers can provide more information about ways to prevent the spread of HIV.

For more information on preventing STIs, please check here.

There are more than 1.2 million people in the United States who are living with HIV. It is different for everyone, but many people who are diagnosed with HIV can expect to live a long, productive life with treatment.

The most important thing is to take antiretroviral medications as prescribed in order to keep your viral load low and your immune system strong.

It is important to see a healthcare provider regularly.

People living with HIV can improve their health in a variety of ways, including:

  • Make their health their top priority.Some ways to help people living with HIV feel their best include:

    • A well-balanced diet helps the body to get the energy it needs.

    • exercising regularly

    • getting plenty of rest

    • avoiding tobacco and other drugs

    • If they notice any new symptoms, they should tell their healthcare provider right away.

  • Focus on their mental health. They could consider seeing a therapist who is specifically trained to treat people with HIV.

  • Use safer sex practices.Talk to their sexual partner(s). Make sure they are tested for other STIs. And use condoms and other barrier methods every time they have vaginal or anal sex.

  • Talk to their healthcare provider about the potential benefits and risks of PrEP and PEP.If used consistently, PrEP can lower the chances of transmitting HIV to someone who is not HIV-positive. PrEP is most often recommended for people who are in close contact with someone who is HIV-positive but it can be used in other situations as well.PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) can be found through PrEP Locator and PleasePrEPMe websites.

  • Make sure to surround yourself with loved ones while you are hospitalized.When you first tell people about your diagnosis, you can start by telling someone who will be supportive. You may want to choose someone who won't judge you and who will help care for your health.

  • Get support. HIV support groups are a great way for people to connect with others who are facing the same challenges. A healthcare provider can also direct them to resources that are available in their area.

There are many ways to manage life with HIV.

Read some real stories of people living with HIV.

In the 1990s, a 20-year-old person with HIV could expect to live another 19 years. By 2011, a 20-year-old person with HIV could expect to live another 53 years.

With proper treatment, many people with HIV can expect a lifespan that is similar to that of people without HIV.

Many things can affect the life expectancy of someone with HIV, including:

  • CD4 cell count

  • viral load

  • HIV-related illnesses can include hepatitis.

  • misusing drugs

  • smoking

  • The study will assess how well the treatment is working and how adherent the patients are.

  • other health conditions

  • age

Pregnancy and where you live can affect your chances of getting antiretroviral therapy. People in the United States, for example, are more likely to have access to this type of treatment than people in other countries.

Taking these drugs helps prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS. If HIV advances, treatment can extend life expectancy by about 3 years.

In 2017, about 20.9 million people were using antiretroviral therapy to fight HIV.

Life expectancy statistics are just general guidelines. People with HIV should talk to their healthcare provider for more specific information about their individual situation.

Learn more about living with HIV for a long time.

There are currently no vaccines to prevent or treat HIV. Research into experimental vaccines is ongoing, but none are close to being approved for general use.

HIV is a complicated virus. It changes rapidly and is often able to resist the body's natural responses. Only a small number of people who have HIV develop antibodies that can fight against a variety of HIV strains.

A new HIV vaccine efficacy study is underway in South Africa. This experimental vaccine is an updated version of one used in a 2009 trial that took place in Thailand.

A follow-up study after three and a half years found that the vaccine was 31.2% effective in preventing HIV transmission.

The study involves a lot of men and women from South Africa. In 2016, about 270000 people in South Africa contracted HIV. The study's results are expected in 2021.

Some late-stage multinational vaccine clinical trials are currently underway.

The research into an HIV vaccine is ongoing.

Even though there is no HIV vaccine yet, people with HIV can still benefit from other vaccines to prevent other infections caused by HIV. Here are the CDC recommendations:

  • pneumonia:This product is recommended for all children younger than 2 and all adults 65 and older.

  • influenza:It is recommended that all people over 6 months old receive a flu shot annually, with rare exceptions.

  • hepatitis A and B:Talk to your doctor about whether you should get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B. These vaccines are especially important if you are in a higher-risk group.

  • meningitis:The meningococcal conjugate vaccine is recommended for all preteens and teens 11-12 years old and for anyone at increased risk. The serogroup B meningococcal vaccine is recommended for anyone 10 years or older, with an increased risk.

  • shingles: recommended for those ages 50 or older

Diagnosis HIV/AIDS

HIV will be diagnosed through speedy diagnostic tests that offer same-day results. This nicely facilitates early diagnosing and linkage with treatment and care. folks can even use HIV self-tests to check themselves. However, no single test can provide a full HIV diagnosis; verifying testing is required, conducted by a professional and trained health or community employee at a community center or clinic. HIV infection can be sighted with great accuracy mistreatment WHO prequalified tests among a across the country approved testing strategy.

Most widely-used HIV diagnostic tests detect antibodies created by the person as a part of their immunologic response to fight HIV. In most cases, folks develop antibodies to HIV among twenty eight days of infection. Throughout this time, people experience the supposed window amount – once HIV antibodies haven’t been created in high enough levels to be detected by customary tests and after they might have had no signs of HIV infection, however additionally when they may transmit HIV to others. when infection, a private may transmit HIV transmission to a sexual or drug-sharing partner or for pregnant ladies to their babe during physiological state or the breastfeeding period.

Following a positive diagnosis, people ought to be retested before they're registered in treatment and care to rule out any potential testing or news error. Notably, once an individual is diagnosed with HIV and has started treatment they {must} not be retested.

whereas testing for adolescents and adults has been created easy and efficient, this is often not the case for babies born to HIV-positive mothers. For kids under eighteen months of age, medical science testing isn't sufficient to spot HIV infection – medical specialty testing must be provided as early as birth or at vi weeks of age. New technologies are currently turning into on the market to perform this take a look at at the purpose of care and alter same-day results, which is able to accelerate applicable linkage with treatment and care.

HIV can be diagnosed through blood or saliva testing. Available tests include:

  • Antigen/antibody tests. These tests normally contain drawing blood from a vein. Antigens are materials at the HIV virus itself and are usually detectable — an effective test — within the blood within some weeks after exposure to HIV.
    Antibodies are produced by way of your immune gadget whilst it's exposed to HIV. It can take weeks to months for antibodies to end up detectable. The mixture antigen/antibody checks can take 2 to 6 weeks after exposure to emerge as positive.
  • Antibody tests. These checks search for antibodies to HIV in blood or saliva. Most speedy HIV checks, which include self-tests achieved at home, are antibody assessments. Antibody tests can take three to 12 weeks after you're exposed to grow to be superb.

  • Nucleic acid tests (NATs). These assessments look for the actual virus to your blood (viral load). They also contain blood drawn from a vein. If you would possibly be exposed to HIV within the past few weeks, your fitness care issuer may additionally advise NAT. NAT might be the primary test to end up wonderful after exposure to HIV.

Talk to your fitness care company about which HIV test is proper for you. If any of these assessments are bad, you may still want a observe-up take a look at weeks to months later to affirm the results.

Tests to stage disease and treatment

If you've got been identified with HIV, it's vital to discover a professional trained in diagnosing and treating HIV that will help you:

  • Determine whether you need additional testing

  • Determine which HIV antiretroviral therapy (ART) will be best for you

  • Monitor your progress and work with you to manage your health

If you receive a diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, numerous exams can help your fitness care provider determine the degree of your sickness and the satisfactory treatment, consisting of:

  • CD4 T cell count. CD4 T cells are white blood cells which might be specially centered and destroyed with the aid of HIV. Even if you have no signs and symptoms, HIV contamination progresses to AIDS when your CD4 T cell dependence dips under two hundred.

  • Viral load (HIV RNA). This test measures the amount of virus in your blood. After beginning HIV remedy, the aim is to have an undetectable viral load. This considerably reduces your probabilities of opportunistic infection and other HIV-related complications.

  • Drug resistance. Some lines of HIV are immune to medications. This check facilitates your health care provider to determine in case your unique shape of the virus has resistance and courses remedy decisions.

Tests for complications

Your fitness care issuer might also order lab tests to check for different infections or headaches, inclusive of:

  • Tuberculosis

  • Hepatitis B or hepatitis C virus infection

  • STIs

  • Liver or kidney damage

  • Urinary tract infection

  • Cervical and anal cancer

  • Cytomegalovirus

  • Toxoplasmosis

Treatment HIV/AIDS

HIV is handled with an aggregate of drug treatments (drugs) taken by using mouth each day. This aggregate of pills is known as antiretroviral therapy (ART).

Taking a mixture of types of drugs, instead of simply one, is the most effective way to maintain HIV from multiplying and destroying your cells. There are also combination pills that have several medications in an unmarried pill. Your healthcare company will carefully select a combination mainly for you.

The goal of ART is to reduce HIV within the blood (viral load) to an amount that’s no longer detectable through HIV . Take a look at and to gradual HIV’s weakening of your immune machine.Currently, there's no treatment for HIV/AIDS. Once you've got the contamination, your body cannot dispose of it. However, there are numerous medicinal drugs that may control HIV and prevent complications. These medicines are referred to as antiretroviral remedy (ART). Everyone diagnosed with HIV should be started out on ART, no matter their degree of infection or headaches.

ART is usually a mixture of  or extra medications from several exceptional drug lessons. This technique has the excellent chance of lowering the quantity of HIV in the blood. There are many ART options that integrate multiple HIV medications into one pill, taken as soon as day by day.

Each class of medicine blocks the virus in distinctive approaches. Treatment entails combinations of medicine from exclusive instructions to:

  • Account for individual drug resistance (viral genotype)

  • Avoid creating new drug-resistant strains of HIV

  • Maximize suppression of virus in the blood

Two drugs from one class, plus a third drug from a second class, are typically used.

The classes of anti-HIV drugs include:

  • Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) Turn off a protein wished via HIV to make copies of itself.
    Examples include efavirenz (Sustiva), rilpivirine (Edurant) and doravirine (Pifeltro).

  • Nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) Are faulty variations of the building blocks that HIV needs to make copies of itself.
    Examples consist of abacavir (Ziagen), tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (Viread), emtricitabine (Emtriva), lamivudine (Epivir) and zidovudine (Retrovir).

  • Protease inhibitors (PIs) Inactivate HIV protease, any other protein that HIV needs to make copies of itself.
    Examples include atazanavir (Reyataz), darunavir (Prezista) and lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra).

  • Integrase inhibitors Work by disabling a protein called integrase, which HIV uses to insert its genetic cloth into CD4 T cells.
    Examples encompass bictegravir sodium/emtricitabine/tenofovir alafenamide fumarate (Biktarvy), raltegravir (Isentress), dolutegravir (Tivicay) and cabotegravir (Vocabria).

  • Entry or fusion inhibitors block HIV's entry into CD4 T cells.
    Examples include enfuvirtide (Fuzeon) and maraviroc (Selzentry).

Starting and maintaining treatment

Everyone with HIV contamination, no matter the CD4 T mobile count number or signs and symptoms, have to be provided with an antiviral medicinal drug.

Remaining on effective ART with an undetectable HIV viral load within the blood is the quality way to stay wholesome.

For ART to be powerful, it's vital that you take the medicinal drugs as prescribed, without missing or skipping any doses. Staying on ART with an undetectable viral load facilitates:

  • Keep your immune system strong

  • Reduce your chances of getting an infection

  • Reduce your chances of developing treatment-resistant HIV

  • Reduce your chances of transmitting HIV to other people

Staying on HIV remedy can be challenging. It's important to speak to your fitness care issuer about viable aspect results, issue taking medications, and any mental health or substance use troubles which can make it hard so one can keep ART.

Having ordinary comply with-up appointments with your health care company to screen your health and reaction to treatment is also critical. Let your provider recognise right away in case you're having issues with HIV therapy so you can paint collectively to find approaches to address the ones challenges.

Treatment side effects

Treatment side effects can include:

  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

  • Heart disease

  • Kidney and liver damage

  • Weakened bones or bone loss

  • Abnormal cholesterol levels

  • Higher blood sugar

  • Cognitive and emotional problems, as well as sleep problems

Treatment for age-related diseases

Some fitness troubles that are a herbal part of getting older can be extra hard to manage if you have HIV. Some medications which might be common for age-related heart, bone or metabolic situations, for instance, might not interact well with anti-HIV medicines. It's critical to talk for your fitness care issuer about your other fitness situations and the medications you take.

If you are starting out on medicinal drugs by means of any other health care provider, it's critical to let the company recognize your HIV remedy. This will permit the provider to make certain there aren't any interactions among the medicines.

Treatment response

Your fitness care issuer will display your viral load and CD4 T cellular counts to decide your reaction to HIV remedy. These might be to start with checks at 4 to six weeks, after which every three to six months.

Treatment needs to decrease your viral load so that it's undetectable within the blood. That doesn't imply your HIV is long gone. Even if it can not be located in the blood, HIV is still present in other locations in your body, together with lymph nodes and inner organs.

Treatment regimens

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) generally recommends starting with three HIV medications from at least two different drug classes.

This combination helps prevent HIV from developing resistance to medications. If the virus does develop resistance, the combination of drugs will still work to treat the virus.

Most of the antiretroviral medications are combined so that a person with HIV takes only one or two pills a day.

A healthcare provider will help a person with HIV choose a treatment plan that is best for their overall health and personal circumstances.

These medications must be taken exactly as prescribed. If they are not taken, the virus may become resistant and a different regimen may be necessary.

Blood tests will help determine if the antiretroviral therapy is working to keep the viral load down and the CD4 count up.If the therapy isn't working, the healthcare provider may switch the person to a different antiretroviral therapy that is more effective.

Side effects and costs

Some side effects of antiretroviral therapy can include nausea, headache, and dizziness. These symptoms usually last for a short period of time and eventually lessen.

Side effects can be serious, including swelling of the mouth and tongue and damage to the liver or kidneys. If side effects are severe, the medications can be adjusted.

The cost of antiretroviral therapy (ART) can vary depending on where you live and whether or not you have insurance. Some pharmaceutical companies offer assistance programs to help lower the cost.

Learn more about the drugs used to treat HIV.

Having HIV doesn't mean that someone will develop AIDS. AIDS can develop even if someone has contracted HIV.

HIV progresses through three stages: 1. Early stage:This is the first stage of HIV when people do not have any symptoms. 2. Late stage: Symptoms may include swollen lymph nodes, fever, and weight loss. This stage can last for many years. 3. AIDS stage: This is the most serious stage of HIV where the person may die from AIDS-related illnesses.

  • stage 1:The acute stage is the first few weeks after someone becomes infected with the virus.

  • stage 2: clinical latency, or chronic stage

  • stage 3: AIDS

When HIV lowers a person’s CD4 cell count, the immune system weakens. A typical adult’s CD4 count is 500 to 1500 per cubic millimeter. A person with a count of 200 or less has AIDS.

The progression of HIV through the chronic stage is different for each person. Without treatment it can last for up to a decade before progressing to AIDS. With treatment, however, the virus can remain inactive indefinitely.

There is currently no cure for HIV, but people with HIV often have a normal lifespan with early treatment using antiretroviral therapy.

There is currently no cure for AIDS. However, with treatment, a person's CD4 count can be increased to the point where they are considered to no longer have AIDS. (This point is a count of 200 or higher.)

Treatment can usually help manage opportunistic infections.

HIV and AIDS are related, but they are not the same thing. HIV is a virus that can cause AIDS, but you can also have HIV without getting AIDS.

There are different types of HIV and AIDS. Learn more about each one to understand the difference.

HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. If a person has not contracted HIV, they cannot get AIDS.

Healthy individuals have a CD4 count of between 500 and 1500 cells per cubic millimeter. If their CD4 count falls below 200, they have AIDS. Without treatment, HIV continues to multiply and destroy CD4 cells. If a person's CD4 count falls below 100, they have AIDS.

Even if a person with HIV develops an opportunistic infection that is associated with HIV, they can still be diagnosed with AIDS if their CD4 count is above 200.

Healthcare providers use several different tests to diagnose HIV. The test that is best for each person is decided based on the circumstances.

Antibody/antigen tests

HIV tests are the most commonly used tests. They can show positive results typically within 18 to 45 days after someone becomes infected with HIV.

These tests check the blood for antibodies and viral particles. Antibodies are proteins the body produces in response to an infection. Viral particles are the parts of a virus that activate the immune system.

Antibody tests

These tests look for antibodies only in the blood. Most people will develop detectable HIV antibodies within 23 to 90 days after being infected.

Some tests provide results within minutes or hours, and there is no need for preparation. These tests are performed using blood samples or mouth swabs, and results can be seen in a healthcare provider's office or clinic.

Other tests for antibodies can be done at home:

  • OraQuick HIV Test.A swab provides results in as little as 20 minutes.

  • Home Access HIV-1 Test System.If someone picks their finger, they send a blood sample to a licensed laboratory. They can remain anonymous and receive results the next business day.

If someone thinks they may have been exposed to HIV, but their home test results show that they are negative, they should repeat the test in 3 months. If the test results are positive, the person should see their healthcare provider for more information.

Nucleic acid test (NAT)

This expensive test is not meant for general screening. It is for people who have early symptoms of HIV or who have a known risk factor. This test does not look for antibodies; it looks for the virus itself.

HIV can be detected in the blood within 5 to 21 days. This test is usually accompanied or confirmed by an antibody test.

HIV testing is now easier than ever.

There are many different HIV home testing options available, so learn about them.

If someone contracts HIV, the virus begins to reproduce in their body. The person's immune system responds by producing antibodies, which take countermeasures against the virus.

The time it takes for HIV to be detectable in the blood is called the HIV window period. Most people develop detectable HIV antibodies within 23 to 90 days after transmission.

If you take an HIV test within the window period, it's likely that you'll receive a negative result. However, you can still pass on the virus to others during this time.

If someone thinks they may have been exposed to HIV, but the test results show that they are negative at this time, they should repeat the test in a few months. At the same time, they should use condoms or other methods to prevent possible spread of HIV.

Someone who tests negative during the window period may benefit from post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). This is medication taken after an exposure in order to prevent getting HIV.

After being exposed to PEP, it should be taken as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours after exposure.

PrEP is a preventative measure that combines HIV drugs taken before potential exposure to the virus. When taken consistently, this can lower the risk of contracting or transmitting HIV.

It is important to test for HIV at the right time. Testing too early or too late may not be successful.

What affects the results of a HIV test? Learn more about how timing may affect the results.

There is currently no vaccine available to prevent HIV transmission. However, by taking certain steps, it is possible to reduce the chance of HIV transmission.

Safer sex

HIV can be transferred through anal or vaginal sex without a condom, but this risk can be reduced by taking precautions.

A person who is concerned about their risk for HIV should:

  • Get tested for HIV.It is important for them to understand their own status and that of their partner.

  • Make sure you are tested for other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).If a person tests positive for an STI, they should get treatment to increase their chances of avoiding HIV.

  • Use condoms.They should learn how to use condoms properly, so they can use them each time they have sex. It's important to keep in mind that pre-ejaculatory fluid (which comes out before male ejaculation) can contain HIV.

  • Follow the instructions for taking HIV medications if you have HIV.This means that the virus will not be transferred to their sexual partner.

Shop for condoms online.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Along with receiving medical remedy, it is critical to take an energetic position for your own care. The following tips may also assist you stay healthful longer:

  • Eat healthy foods. Make positive you get enough nourishment. Fresh fruits and greens, entire grains, and lean protein assist maintain you robust, provide you with extra power and aid your immune system.

  • Avoid raw meat, eggs and more. Foodborne illnesses can be in particular extreme in folks that are inflamed with HIV. Cook meat till it's nicely performed. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products, raw eggs and raw seafood including oysters, sushi or sashimi.

  • Get the right vaccinations. These may additionally save you ordinary infections which include pneumonia and influenza. Your health care company might also advocate other vaccinations, which includes for HPV, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Inactivated vaccines are usually secure, however most vaccines with live viruses aren't, due to your weakened immune gadget.

  • Take care with companion animals. Some animals may bring parasites which could cause infections in people who are HIV-positive. Cat feces can cause toxoplasmosis, reptiles can carry salmonella, and birds can deliver cryptococcus or histoplasmosis. Wash arms very well after handling pets or emptying the clutter box.

Alternative medicine

People who are infected with HIV every so often attempt dietary supplements that declare to boost the immune device or counteract side effects of anti-HIV drugs. However, there's no medical evidence that any nutritional complement improves immunity, and lots may additionally interfere with different medicines you take. Always test with your health care issuer before taking any dietary supplements or alternative remedies to ensure there are not any medicine interactions.

Supplements that may be helpful

There's little proof of the effectiveness and advantages of supplements for HIV. Some examples with limited studies consist of:

  • Acetyl-L-carnitine. Researchers have used acetyl-L-carnitine to deal with nerve ache, numbness or weak point (neuropathy) in people with diabetes. It may additionally ease neuropathy connected to HIV if you're lacking inside the substance.

  • Whey protein and certain amino acids. Early evidence shows that whey protein, a cheese byproduct, can assist some human beings with HIV to gain weight. The amino acids L-glutamine, L-arginine and hydroxymethylbutyrate (HMB) may also assist with weight gain.

  • Probiotics. There is some evidence that the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii may assist with HIV-related diarrhea, but use handiest as directed by means of your health care provider. Bovine colostrum is likewise being studied for treating diarrhea. But more studies are needed.

  • Vitamins and minerals. Vitamins A, D, E, C and B — in addition to the minerals zinc, iron and selenium — may be helpful when you have low levels of them. Talk to your health care issuer first, as an excessive amount of some vitamins and minerals can be harmful.

Supplements that may be dangerous

  • St. John's wort. A common despair remedy, St. John's wort can reduce the effectiveness of several forms of anti-HIV tablets by greater than 1/2.

  • Garlic supplements. Although garlic itself may assist in fortifying the immune device, garlic dietary supplements may also engage with a few anti-HIV capsules and decrease their ability to paint. Occasionally eating garlic in meals appears to be safe.

  • Red yeast rice extract. Some people use this to lower cholesterol, but avoid it if you take a protease inhibitor or a statin.

Mind-body practices

practices along with yoga, meditation and massage have been proven to reduce strain, as well as offer relaxation and improve the excellent of life. While they need extra study, those practices can be helpful in case you're residing with HIV/AIDS.

Coping and support

Receiving a prognosis of any lifestyle-threatening infection is devastating. The emotional, social and monetary consequences of HIV/AIDS could make managing this infection in particular tough — no longer most effective for you however additionally for the ones closest to you.

But these days, there are many services and sources available to human beings with HIV. Most HIV/AIDS clinics have social workers, counselors or nurses who allow you without delay or place you in touch with folks who can.

Services they may provide:

  • Arrange transportation to and from health care provider appointments

  • Help with housing and child care

  • Assist with employment and legal issues

  • Provide support during financial emergencies

It's essential to have an assist device. Many people with HIV/AIDS find that talking to a person who is aware their ailment gives comfort.

Preparing for your appointment

If you think you may have HIV contamination, you are probably to start by seeing your family fitness care company. You may be mentioned as an infectious ailment expert — who additionally makes a speciality of treating HIV/AIDS.

What you can do

Before your appointment, remember answering these questions and take them in your appointment:

  • How do you think you were exposed to HIV?

  • What are your symptoms?

  • Do you have risk factors, such as participating in unprotected sex or using illicit injection drugs?

  • What medications or supplements do you take?

What to expect from your doctor

Your fitness care company will ask you questions about your fitness and lifestyle and carry out a complete physical examination, checking you for:

  • Swollen lymph nodes

  • Lesions on your skin or in your mouth

  • Problems with your nervous system

  • Abnormal sounds in your lungs

  • Swollen organs in your abdomen

What you can do in the meantime

If you think you would possibly have HIV infection, take steps to shield yourself and others before your appointment. Don't have unprotected intercourse. If you use illicit injection capsules, constantly use a fresh, easy needle. Don't share needles with others.

General summary

It's important to note that HIV is not transmitted through casual contact, such as hugging, kissing, sharing utensils, or through air, water, or insect bites.

HIV/AIDS has had a profound global impact on public health and society. However, advances in medical research and treatment have led to the development of antiretroviral therapy (ART), which can effectively suppress the replication of the virus, allowing people living with HIV to lead healthier lives. Early detection, timely treatment, and safe practices for prevention are essential in managing and reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS. Public health campaigns and education efforts also play a crucial role in raising awareness and reducing stigma associated with the disease.

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