Other potential exposures include vaginal and anal sexual intercourse and sharing needles during intravenous drug use. There is less evidence for the role of antiretroviral postexposure prophylaxis after these exposures. In part, this is because the HIV status of a sexual partner or drug user is not usually known by the exposed person. Nevertheless, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends treatment for people exposed through sexual activity or injectable drug use to someone who is known to carry HIV. If the HIV status of source is not known, the decision to treat is individualized. Concerned people should see their physician for advice. If a decision to treat is made, medications should be started within 72 hours of the exposure.
Wasting syndrome. Aggressive treatment approaches have reduced the number of cases of wasting syndrome, but it still affects many people with AIDS. It’s defined as a loss of at least 10 percent of body weight, often accompanied by diarrhea, chronic weakness and fever.
Aaron Glatt, MD Professor of Clinical Medicine, New York Medical College; President and CEO, Former Chief Medical Officer, Departments of Medicine and Infectious Diseases, St Joseph Hospital (formerly New Island Hospital)
The ability of HIV to mutate and rapidly evolve to escape immune detection by the most-prevalent HLA molecules is similar to the rapid adaptation and mutation of other infectious viruses, such as influenza. There is some evidence, however, that within populations the adaptation of HIV to protective HLA variants may reduce its replicative capacity. In Botswana, for instance, where HIV has adapted to overcome the protective effects of the HLA-B*57 variant, seroprevalence (the frequency of HIV infection) is increased but viral replication capacity is reduced. Researchers have speculated that declines in HIV replication capacity and virulence may be attributed to not only rapid adaptation to protective variants but also increasing use of antiretroviral treatments.
At the present time, there is no cure for AIDS. It has proven to be a universally fatal illness. However, most patients survive many years following diagnosis. HAART has dramatically increased the time from diagnosis to death, and research continues in drug treatments and vaccine development.
Before starting treatment, patients must be aware of the short- and long-term side effects of the drugs, including the fact that some long-term complications may not be known. Patients also need to realize that therapy is a long-term commitment and requires consistent adherence to the drugs. In addition, clinicians and patients should recognize that depression, feelings of isolation, substance abuse, and side effects of the antiviral drugs can all be associated with the failure to follow the treatment program.
However, with effective treatment, the HIV RNA level decreases to undetectable levels, CD4 counts increase dramatically, and people can continue to lead productive, active lives. The risk of illness and death decreases but remains higher than that of people who are of similar age and who are not infected with HIV. However, if people cannot tolerate or take drugs consistently, HIV infection and immune deficiency progresses, causing serious symptoms and complications.
One way to measure the damage to your immune system is to count your CD4 cells you have. These cells, also called “T-helper” cells, are an important part of the immune system. Healthy people have between 500 and 1,500 CD4 cells in a milliliter of blood. Fact Sheet 124 has has more information on CD4 cells.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. Government.
Jump up ^ Mabuka J, Nduati R, Odem-Davis K, Peterson D, Overbaugh J (2012). Desrosiers RC, ed. “HIV-Specific Antibodies Capable of ADCC Are Common in Breastmilk and Are Associated with Reduced Risk of Transmission in Women with High Viral Loads”. PLOS Pathogens. 8 (6): e1002739. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002739. PMC 3375288 . PMID 22719248.
The genes and proteins of HIV-1. Like all retroviruses, HIV-1 has an RNA genome flanked by long terminal repeats (LTR) involved in viral integration and in regulation of the viral genome. The genome can be read in three frames and several of the viral (more…) [redirect url=’http://penetratearticles.info/bump’ sec=’7′]