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HIV & Herpes

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HIV and Herpes

HIV means Human Immuno Virus, and herpes is the two common sexually transmitted diseases. Being infected with genital herpes increases your chances of being infected by HIV, which causes AIDS disease. The causative agent of herpes is also a virus called the herpes simplex virus.

 

Herpes:

HSV or the herpes simplex virus causes herpes. Once you get infected with the virus, then the virus remains in your cells for life. Hence, even if your infection is not showing symptoms still, you transmit the virus to others.   

Herpes virus is of two types; both can cause oral and genital infections. The two types are:

  • HSV-I
  • HSV-II

Oral herpes is marked by tingling and painful blisters found in the regions like nostrils, the roof of the mouth and the gums. But the most affected region is the edge of the lips, where the edge meets the skin surface.

Genital herpes has the symptoms such as painful blisters in the region such as the genitals and anal area. The condition is accompanied by fever, headache, and muscle ache.  

Transmission of HSV Virus

It is a very easily transmissible disease. The virus can be transferred from the transmitted person to the healthy person via the mouth, genital, and anus. So, any direct skin to skin contact with the infected blister-like kissing and other sexual contact. The very dangerous thing is that the disease can spread even by touching the-the blisters and transferring the fluid of the blisters to the other part of the skin like the face or eye, etc. Eye infection is a very dangerous situation as the infection can result in further problems. HSV can also pass to the baby if the pregnant women deliver the baby vaginally.

Precautions:

  • Avoid sex (oral, vaginal, anal)
  • Avoid using shared sex toys
  • Avoid kissing if the cold sores are on the partner's lip area
  • A condom can provide only a limited amount of protection as the area around the genitals may also get infected
  • HSV-infected and pregnant should plan a caesarean delivery instead of vaginal birth.

HSV Treatment:

There has been no treatment for herpes to completely eradicate the virus from the body as the virus may remain in nerve and skin cells for life. However, certain medicines like Acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir are good for reducing the discomfort caused by the virus and reducing the amount of replication of the virus.

HIV (Human Immuno Virus)

HIV causes AIDS or Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome. It damages the immune system of the body by attacking the immune cells. The condition of AIDS makes a person becomes vulnerable to many infections due to the weakened immune system. But if proper care is taken, the person with HIV can live a long and healthy life.

Transmission:

HIV is found in the blood cells, genital fluids (sperm, vaginal fluids, rectal moisture, and semen) and breast milk.

The ways of transmission of HIV:

  • Anal, vaginal or oral sex
  • Sharing of injections
  • From mother to the baby, during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding

Precautions:

  • HIV can be prevented by using condoms to have a safe sex
  • Chances of HIV infection can be reduced by avoiding the use of previously used needles and syringes
  • Avoid breastfeeding if the mother is infected with HIV

HIV Treatment:

It is still a topic of huge research whether HIV is curable or not. Until now, there has been no cure for HIV. Still, if the proper treatment is taken, the person With HIV can live a long and healthy life. The treatment of HIV/AIDS involves the use of combination retroviral drugs. The HIV medications help by stopping the reproduction process of the viral cells. The drug helps boost the immune system by halting the multiplication rate of HIV. The most common HIV medications are lamivudine, Zidovudine, Stavudine, Nevimune, Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate, etc. These medications do not cure HIV, but they effectively make the body healthy enough to fight the infection and live a long and normal life. The infected person still inhibits the HIV and can transmit the virus to the other person via unsafe sex, infected needles and from mother to child. 

Which medicine is best for HIV?

 The most effective treatment for HIV is antiretroviral therapy (ART). This is a combination of several medications that aim to reduce and control the amount of virus in your body. These drugs slow the rate at which the virus grows. They can lower your chances of transmitting HIV to others, but if you take them incorrectly, you can still spread the virus to others. They do not cure the condition. The goals for antiretroviral drugs are to:

  •         Control the growth of the virus
  •         Slow or stop symptoms
  •         Improve how well your immune system works
  •         Prevent transmission of HIV to others. 

How does HIV medicine work?

HIV is treated with antiretroviral drugs, which stop the virus from replicating in the body. This allows the immune system to heal itself and prevent future damage. Having less HIV in the body gives the immune system a chance to recover and produce more CD4 cells (loss of these cells makes it hard for the body to fight against infections and certain HIV-related cancers). Even though there is still some virus in the body, the immune system is strong enough to fight against infection and certain HIV-related cancers. A combination of HIV drugs is used because the virus can adapt and become resistant quickly.

Is there a pill that cures HIV completely?

Currently, there is no cure for HIV infection. Once you get infected, you can’t get rid of it. However, there are several medications available that help to control HIV and prevent complications. These medications come under the drug class antiretroviral therapy, also known as ART. The treatment is recommended for everyone who has HIV.   These can’t cure the condition, but they do make it a manageable chronic condition. These medicines also reduce the risk of spreading the virus to others.

How to get HIV medicine?

 It is important to consult a doctor who is experienced in treating HIV/AIDS. Your local clinical centre can help you get the treatment you need. One must start treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis. All people with HIV should begin treatment, no matter how long they have had HIV or how healthy they are. Talk to your doctor about any medical conditions or other medicines you take. Do not delay treatment; HIV will continue to harm your immune system. Delaying treatment will risk transmitting the virus to your sexual partners, getting sick and developing AIDS.

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