HIV disease becomes AIDS when your immune system is seriously damaged. If you have less than 200 CD4 cells or if your CD4 percentage is less than 14%, you have AIDS. See Fact Sheet 124 for more information on CD4 cells. If you get an opportunistic infection, you have AIDS. There is an “official” list of these opportunistic infections put out by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The most common ones are:
Dealing with the potential consequences of bias and discrimination – job loss, homelessness, lack of healthcare insurance – often results in LGBTQ people engaging in behaviors that facilitate the spread of HIV. For example, in the face of persistent employment discrimination, many transgender women are left with few other options but to engage in survival sex work in order to meet their most basic needs. According to a 2015 survey of more than 27,000 transgender people, “The rate of HIV [diagnosis] was…five times higher among those who have participated in sex work at any point in their lifetime” than among those who have not.
During successful treatment, the viral load decreases to very low or undetectable levels (less than about 20 to 40 copies per microliter of blood). However, inactive (latent) HIV is still present within cells, and if treatment is stopped, HIV starts replicating and the viral load increases.
It is possible for HIV to become resistant to some antiretroviral medications. The best way to prevent resistance is for the patient to take their ART as directed. If the patient wants to stop a drug because of side effects, he or she should call the physician immediately.
Treatment with HAART is not without complications. HAART is a collection of different medications, each with its own side effect profile. Some common effects are nausea, headache, weakness, malaise, and fat accumulation on your back and abdomen (“buffalo hump,” lipodystrophy). When used long-term, these medications may increase the risk of heart attack by affecting fat metabolism.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that most likely mutated decades ago from a virus that infected chimpanzees to one that infects humans. It began to spread beyond the African continent in the late 1970s and is now endemic worldwide. HIV causes disease because it attacks critical immune defense cells and over time overwhelms the immune system.
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Some people may experience a flu-like illness within 2 to 4 weeks after infection (Stage 1 HIV infection). But some people may not feel sick during this stage. Flu-like symptoms include fever, chills, rash, night sweats, muscle aches, sore throat, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, or mouth ulcers. These symptoms can last anywhere from a few days to several weeks. During this time, HIV infection may not show up on an HIV test, but people who have it are highly infectious and can spread the infection to others.
No firm evidence has shown that the initiation of therapy early in the asymptomatic period is effective. However, very late initiation is known to result in a less effective response to therapy and a lower level of immune reconstitution.
Jump up ^ Mead MN (2008). “Contaminants in human milk: weighing the risks against the benefits of breastfeeding”. Environmental Health Perspectives. 116 (10): A426–34. doi:10.1289/ehp.116-a426. PMC 2569122 . PMID 18941560. Archived from the original on 6 November 2008.
nerve entrapment syndromes local nerve trunk compression (e.g. tibial, medial calcaneal lateral, first lateral branch of calcaneal, lateral plantar, high tibial, popliteal, deep peroneal, superficial, saphenous, sural or medial common hallucal nerves), as in tarsal/carpal tunnel syndromes, plantar digital neuritis, Morton’s neuroma; characterized by distressing distal dermatomal sensory (e.g. pain and paraesthesia) and/or motor symptoms (e.g. muscle atrophy) (see Table 8)
HIV influences both the epidemiology and the clinical features of many other infectious diseases, malignancies and other illnesses (e.g. renal disease) (see Chapter 10).47 In HIV-infected patients, immunodeficiency increases the risk that atypical (opportunistic) pathogens will result in clinical illness, and is associated with atypical presentations of some diseases. In addition, HIV-infected patients frequently present with multiple pathologic processes simultaneously, making decisions regarding empiric treatment very challenging. We describe the relationship between HIV and three common infectious diseases that have complex and important interactions.
HIV-1 has 6 additional accessory genes: tat, rev, nef, vif, vpu, and vpr. HIV-2 does not have vpu but instead has the unique gene vpx. The only other virus known to contain the vpu gene is simian immunodeficiency virus in chimpanzees (SIVcpz), which is the simian equivalent of HIV.  Interestingly, chimpanzees with active HIV-1 infection are resistant to disease. 
Many governments and research institutions participate in HIV/AIDS research. This research includes behavioral health interventions, such as research into sex education, and drug development, such as research into microbicides for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV vaccines, and anti-retroviral drugs. Other medical research areas include the topics of pre-exposure prophylaxis, post-exposure prophylaxis, circumcision and HIV, and accelerated aging effects.
Universal precautions within the health care environment are believed to be effective in decreasing the risk of HIV. Intravenous drug use is an important risk factor and harm reduction strategies such as needle-exchange programs and opioid substitution therapy appear effective in decreasing this risk.
Antiviral therapy suppresses the replication of the HIV virus in the body. A combination of several antiretroviral agents, termed Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART), has been highly effective in reducing the number of HIV particles in the blood stream (as measured by a blood test called the viral load). This can help the immune system bounce back for a while and improve T-cell counts.
HIV progressively destroys some types of white blood cells called CD4+ lymphocytes. Lymphocytes help defend the body against foreign cells, infectious organisms, and cancer. Thus, when HIV destroys CD4+ lymphocytes, people become susceptible to attack by many other infectious organisms. Many of the complications of HIV infection, including death, usually result from these other infections and not from HIV infection directly.
ART may have a variety of side effects depending on the type of drug. An expert in infectious diseases and HIV treatment should be consulted if the patient needs concomitant treatment for opportunistic infections, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C. Some medications used to treat these conditions will negatively interact with ART drugs.
“Charlie does not have AIDS,” Huizenga said. “AIDS is a condition where the HIV virus markedly suppresses the immune system and you are susceptible to rare, difficult cancers and infections. Charlie has none of those. He is healthy; he does not have AIDS.”
Another, less well-understood prognostic factor is the level of immune activation as determined by evaluating the expression of activation markers on CD4 and CD8 lymphocytes. Activation, which may be caused by leakage of bacteria across the HIV-damaged colonic mucosa, is a strong prognostic predictor but is not used clinically because this test is not widely available and antiretroviral therapy changes the prognosis, making this test less important.
As soon as you’re infected with HIV, it starts to reproduce in your body. Your immune system reacts to the antigens by producing antibodies. The time between exposure to HIV and when it becomes detectable in your blood is called the HIV window period.
(See also Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Infection in Infants and Children, the National Institute’s of Health AIDSInfo web site, and the recommendations of the HIV Medicine Association of the Infectious Diseases Society of America: Primary Care Guidelines for the Management of Persons Infected with HIV.)
UNAIDS announced that 18.2 million people were on ART, including 910 000 children, double the number five years earlier. However, achieving increased ART access means a greater risk of drug resistance and the WHO released a report on dealing with this growing issue.99
In June, the first reports of AIDS in children hinted that it could be passed via casual contact but this was later ruled out and it was concluded that they had probably directly acquired AIDS from their mothers before, during or shortly after birth.17
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of virus called a retrovirus, which can infect humans when it comes in contact with tissues that line the vagina, anal area, mouth, or eyes, or through a break in the skin.
Jump up ^ Lederberg, editor-in-chief Joshua (2000). Encyclopedia of Microbiology, (4 Volume Set) (2nd ed.). Burlington: Elsevier. p. 106. ISBN 9780080548487. Archived from the original on September 10, 2017. Retrieved June 9, 2016.
The new centerpiece of the American effort to cure H.I.V. is the Martin Delaney Collaboratories, funded by the N.I.H. Launched in 2011, the collaborative was formulated as a way to link clinical labs, research facilities, and pharmaceutical companies. Federal support was set at seventy million dollars for the first five years, on the premise of coöperation and open communication among all parties. Salzwedel told me that the N.I.H. funded three applications. “Each was taking a different complementary approach to trying to develop a strategy to eradicate H.I.V,” he said: enhancing the patient’s immune system, manipulating the CCR5 gene, and destroying the reservoirs themselves. They represented different responses to the Siliciano thesis and to the lessons of Timothy Brown.
Guidelines for starting antiviral therapy have been proposed by panels of experts from several groups, including the DHHS (https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/) and IAS-USA. There are similar guidelines for treatment throughout Europe and by the World Health Organization for treatment in resource-limited countries. Until recently a recommendation supporting the start of therapy in those with CD4 cells greater than 500 cells was based upon evidence that ongoing viral replication, even in the setting of high CD4 cell counts, may be associated with damage to the brain, kidneys, heart, and possibly even liver. Along with this rationale, it was clear that newer regimens were easy to take, including a growing number of one-pill-per-day options, with minimal side effects. Another compelling argument that can be made for early therapy is the ability to reduce the risk of transmission to uninfected partners. A study called HPTN 052 demonstrated that amongst couples where one person is HIV-infected and the other is not, those who were on antiretroviral therapy were 96% less likely to transmit HIV to their uninfected partner than those not on treatment. Finally, a large study was recently reported that demonstrated unequivocally that starting therapy even with a CD4 cell count of greater than 500 cells/mm3 was associated with less risk of disease progression than waiting until CD4 cells were less than 350 cells/mm3. This study was called the START study and demonstrated a major reduction in disease progression with early therapy with virtually no increased risk for side effects. Based upon START, HPTN 052 and other accumulated data, currently all major guidelines around the world, including those of the World Health Organization recommend that antiretroviral therapy be initiated in all HIV-infected patients at the time of diagnosis. It is worth noting that these recommendations for universal treatment of HIV-infected patients will be limited by resources available for antiviral treatment in resource-limited countries.
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) are commonly used in combination with NRTIs to help keep the virus from multiplying. Examples of NNRTIs are efavirenz (Sustiva), nevirapine (Viramune), delavirdine (Rescriptor), etravirine (Intelence), and rilpivirine (Edurant). Complete HIV treatment regimens that combine two NRTIs and one NNRTI in one pill taken once a day are available for convenience; these include Atripla (efavirenz/emtricitabine/tenofovir) and Complera (rilpivirine/emtricitabine/tenofovir).
In 2010, after Oprah Winfrey ran her second show about the down low, again featuring King, Dr. David J. Malebranche, a black physician and one of the country’s foremost experts on H.I.V. and black gay and bisexual men, wrote a heartfelt open letter to the talk-show host. “We are not all self-loathing, secretive, unprotected-sex-having, disease-ridden liars,” Malebranche wrote. He posted the letter on Oprah’s website, and after it was removed, posted it on his own Facebook page. People all over the world shared the post, and it received hundreds of comments.
^ Jump up to: a b Morgan D, Mahe C, Mayanja B, Okongo JM, Lubega R, Whitworth JA (2002). “HIV-1 infection in rural Africa: is there a difference in median time to AIDS and survival compared with that in industrialized countries?”. AIDS. 16 (4): 597–632. doi:10.1097/00002030-200203080-00011. PMID 11873003.
Once HIV has entered the cell, it can replicate intracellularly and kill the cell in ways that are still not completely understood. In addition to killing some lymphocytes directly, the AIDS virus disrupts the functioning of the remaining immune system cells. Because the immune system cells are destroyed, a wide variety of infections and cancers can take advantage of a person’s weakened immune system (opportunistic infections/diseases).
At the household level, AIDS causes both loss of income and increased spending on healthcare. A study in Côte d’Ivoire showed that households having a person with HIV/AIDS spent twice as much on medical expenses as other households. This additional expenditure also leaves less income to spend on education and other personal or family investment. [redirect url=’http://penetratearticles.info/bump’ sec=’7′]