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.
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^ Jump up to: a b c d Kumaranayake, L.; Watts, C. (2001). “Resource allocation and priority setting of HIV/AIDS interventions: addressing the generalized epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa”. Journal of International Development. 13 (4): 451–466. doi:10.1002/jid.797.
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The only way to know if you have HIV is to take an HIV test. Most tests looks for signs of HIV in your blood. A small sample of blood is taken from your arm. The blood is sent to a lab and tested for HIV. There are other tests available that check for HIV in the urine and oral fluid. The urine test is not very sensitive. There are currently two FDA-approved oral fluid tests. They are OraSure and OraQuick Advance.
Treatment with HAART is not without complications. HAART is a collection of different medications, each with its own side effect profile. Some common side effects are nausea, headache, weakness, 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.
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In addition to the concern for new opportunistic infections, pre-existing infections can reactivate and cause significant disease in people with AIDS. The most important example on a global scale is that of tuberculosis, as reactivated tuberculosis can cause symptomatic disease with lower levels of reactivation.
HIV is spread through contact with the blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, or breast milk of a person with HIV. In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by having anal or vaginal sex or sharing drug injection equipment with a person who has HIV.
Patients with AIDS have had their immune system depleted by HIV and are very susceptible to such opportunistic infections. Common symptoms are fevers, sweats (particularly at night), swollen glands, chills, weakness, and weight loss.
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