HIV Treatment

At present, there is no cure for HIV. But there are various treatments that can help people live with the disease. Many people that are positive for HIV are living healthier and longer lives now compared to HIV patients before.

hiv treatmentOnce a person is diagnosed HIV-positive, regular blood tests will be done to monitor the number of virus in the blood and know the possible effect of HIV in the body’s immune system. The test measures the level of CD4 lymphocyte cells in the blood. These lymphocyte cells are very important since they are responsible for fighting the virus.

Treatment is usually started when the CD4 cell count lowers to 350. For some patients with other medical conditions, treatment can be started at higher CD4 cell count. The treatment for HIV helps in preventing the virus from spreading and replicating itself. Although these medications do not eliminate the virus from the patient’s body, it helps in keeping the number of virus in the blood low.

HIV is treated using antiretroviral drugs or (ARV). A combination of ARVs is mostly used because HIV becomes more resistant to only one ARV. Most physicians recommend the intake of three or more types of ARV medications. This method is commonly known as combination therapy or antiretroviral therapy.

Combination therapies are unique for each HIV patient since different combinations of ARV work for different individuals. An HIV patient takes the medication for his or her lifetime and these medications should be taken regularly to be effective.

Pregnant women who are positive for HIV can still prevent the infection from being passed to her child by taking ARV treatments. Because of the advancement in HIV treatments, so mothers already undergo a normal delivery without passing the virus to her baby. For some mothers, especially those who have other medical conditions, a caesarean section is still recommended. Once the child is safely delivered, an HIV positive mother cannot breastfeed her child because HIV can be passed through the breast milk.

HIV patients should not miss any dose of treatment to avoid any risks and complications.