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HIV treatment

The anti-HIV drugs are active: thanks to them, the life bated breath and eminence of life of people alive with HIV have enhanced significantly in topical years.

Being HIV positive means you are infected with HIV and can transmit it.

Operation of the AIDS virus

When it enters the body, HIV infects T4 lymphocytes (or CD4). T4 are white blood cells, they belong to the immunity (or immune system), the natural defenses of the body against disease.

Once infected, the T4 is converted into "factory" to produce new viruses, which will deplete and destroy it. The new virus will in turn attack other T4.

Evolution of infection of AIDS

In the days after infection, HIV actively multiplies and spreads throughout the body. T4 are destroyed in large numbers. Immunity reacts by producing more T4 to replace them. An equilibrium is established. However, over months or years, immunity weakens and CD4 counts decline.

The immune system loses its ability to fight against microbes naturally present in the body and the environment. This weakening results in the occurrence of diseases called "opportunistic". We say that the person is suffering from AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).

The disease AIDS is the advanced stages of HIV infection.

Medical monitoring during the treatment of AIDS

Regularly consult a specialist HIV perform blood tests and prescribed it allows changing how and where infection is immunity. Thus, the doctor may suggest a treatment for HIV when necessary.

On blood tests, the doctor will include:

The number of T4

More weakened immunity, the more T4 is low. Before the contamination was generally more than 500 T4/mm3 blood (and often more than 1000). T4/mm3 below 350, it is recommended to start treatment (Recommendations 2006). T4 below 200 / mm3, immunity is very weak and has a high risk of infection (s) opportunistic (s) (AIDS). It is therefore urgent to start treatment against HIV and take more medications to prevent or treat opportunistic infections.

Viral load

It measures the amount of virus in the blood. More HIV multiplies in the body, plus a high viral load. In contrast, most virus activity, the lower the viral load is low. It is called "undetectable" when the tests can no longer be measured. Attention, having an undetectable viral load does not mean that there is more HIV in the body. It is necessary to continue to take the treatment, as well as to protect its sex (there is still HIV in semen and genital secretions).

Why take HIV treatment?

The best way to combat the virus is to prevent it from multiplying. This is what the anti-HIV drugs. Treatment has advantages and disadvantages: this is why the doctor did not give in all cases, but expects it to be really necessary.

To protect the health, it is recommended to start treatment before being sick before the immune system is too weak. That is why, today, many people with HIV are treated when they feel "healthy."

Early treatment is rarely an emergency: also, you can usually take the time to learn from her doctor, associations, other people in treatment and thus to prepare before starting anti-HIV .

The anti-HIV treatment is to make undetectable viral load to block HIV replication and maintain health.

Take her treatments regularly

It is important to take medication every day, a very regular basis, in accordance with the order and the advice of the doctor and the pharmacist: it allows to always have enough drugs in the blood to fight against HIV.

Some medications should be taken on an empty stomach, others, on the contrary, during or just after a meal. Ask for an explanation to your doctor and your pharmacist, discuss with them how to organize your medicines taken during the day. There are often several ways and it is important that you find one that suits you best.

For the drugs to be effective, it must meet the prescribed dose, number of doses per day, how to take (food or otherwise) and the number of hours between each dose.

Face the challenges of AIDS treatment, get help!

The anti-HIV drugs are active: thanks to them, the life expectancy and quality of life of people living with HIV have improved considerably in recent years. However, these drugs also have side effects: they can cause health problems. Taking medication, it is not always easy!

Some suggestions:

Before starting any treatment or change in treatment, take the time to talk with your doctor and ask all your questions. You can also talk with the nurse (s), the pharmacist.

Talk to others in treatment.

Discussion groups exist in the treatment of AIDS several delegations. However, do not change your treatment without medical advice.

Where possible, involve your family, friends to better understand your situation and they can help you to remember your decision and support you when your motivation decline.

Call your healthcare team if you have any questions, if you can not take your medicine regularly or if you experience any adverse effects: it will seek with you how to better manage these difficulties.

Contact associations fighting against AIDS, as AIDS, to talk about your problems and get information.

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