Effective HIV Treatment Approaches And The Best Practices

Edited By Maharshi Soni on Aug 18,2023
HIV disease treatment. Pills and drugs around HIV text

HIV and AIDS have been known to mankind for their deadly effects over decades, and medicinal resources have been pushing their studies hard to crack the cure. However, to date, the virus has not been concluded to have a cure but does have certain breakthroughs. HIV treatment includes processes that contribute to managing the conditions for a lifetime. The virus is understood to weaken the body's immunity, and these processes involve actions that reverse the effects of the virus. Lets journey into the HIV treatment process and medication side effects. 

Anti-retroviral Therapy

Anti-retroviral therapy for HIV

The first and most effective known HIV treatment is antiretroviral therapy, a reliable combination of medications to manage the virus in your body. This therapy is designed to reduce the virus count in the body and stop it from replicating. The drug is prepared as pills, which are instructed to be consumed daily. 

ART is a widely used form of HIV treatment and has been shown to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. However, therapy medication side effects prominently include fatigue, nausea, and headaches. Keeping in touch with the doctor or healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan should be done when on these medications.

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

PrEP, or Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is another type of HIV treatment specially designed for worsened conditions or progressed disease stages. The medication has proven effective enough to reduce the transmission risk by 99%. These drugs are majorly prescribed for people who have multiple sexual partners having the trouble of one of them being HIV positive.

This does not make PrEP an answer for safer sex practices; those would still be condoms that reduce the risk of HIV transmission. The medication side effects could be nausea and headaches, so it is essential to inform your doctor or healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan.

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis, or PEP, is the HIV treatment medication for people who have already been exposed to the virus. The purpose of this drug is to restrict further exposure to the infection after the individual is already carrying the virus. This medication is prescribed for 28 days and has the most potential when consumed within 72 hours of exposure to the HIV infection. PEP is recommended for people exposed to HIV, such as healthcare workers or people who have been sexually assaulted.

Post-Exposure Prophylaxis is not 100% effective, and condoms are still recommended when indulging in sexual activities. This medication's side effects are stomach pain and headaches; it is vital to keep your doctors in check with your body's reaction after consuming them. This will safeguard you from unwanted problems that could lead to further replies and aggravate the condition.

Alternatives to Antiretroviral Therapy

Antiretroviral therapy alternatives are essential for a backup plan if the medication side effects become difficult to deal with. These alternatives include herbal therapies, nutrient supplements, and lifestyle changes. Herbal treatments use medicinal herbs to treat HIV, while nutrient supplements boost the immune system. Lifestyle changes are essential and include eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and reducing stress.

Stage-Specific HIV Treatments

Acute HIV Infection

Chart showing symptoms of acute HIV infection illustration

Acute HIV treatment requires restricting virus multiplication and preventing transmissions of any fluids. This stage persists for 2-4 weeks from initial exposure. During this phase, medication like PrEp is prescribed that is crafted to fulfill the purpose of restricting HIV from acting further. However, the medication side effects could create trouble along with the symptoms that will already show in your body. Ensure you understand the symptoms and side effects differences with your doctor to be safe and prepared.

Chronic HIV Infection

Once the HIV infection moves from the acute phase to the chronic step, the confirmation of the virus in your body becomes difficult, especially with the progression of the condition. The virus in this stage persists at lower levels and has a chance of not showing any symptoms. This stage can last for decades, and the virus can still be transmissible to other people. It is best to check your patterns of symptoms and consult the doctors to be safe. Antiretroviral therapy is prescribed in this stage, stopping the progression and preventing further immune damage.

AIDS

AIDS is the terminal stage of HIV and is easily recognized by the condition of the body suffering from extreme immunity loss. The diagnosis of AIDS happens when the tests are performed, and the CD4 cell counts go below 200. There are numerous HIV treatment options for when the phase progresses to AIDS; medication isnt the only method. AIDS is problematic, and balancing the body's immunity while fighting the virus becomes difficult. They understand that the symptoms also aggravate at this point, and the body has to fight the medication's side effects. Doctors are required at every part of treatment for this stage.

Home Remedies

Home remedies are treatments that can be followed when the individuals are at home to help reduce the symptoms of HIV. These include HIV treatment through a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. A healthy diet focuses on boosting the immune system, while exercising regularly can help reduce stress and increase energy levels. Getting enough sleep can help to improve overall health and reduce fatigue.

Mental Health Support

AIDS red ribbon in hand, symbol of the fight against HIV

HIV treatment is a complex process, let alone the mental stress of dealing with the fact that you have a deadly condition for life. This takes a lot of pressure to keep fighting the conditions and support resources are required to smoothen the lifestyle. Mental health support can include talking to a therapist, joining a support group, or talking to a friend or family member. Taking time for yourself and doing things that make you happy and relaxed is also a part of HIV treatment.

Complementary Therapies

So far, you have gone through the standard procedure for HIV treatment, but there also are more ways to take measures. Every mainstream process needs a complementing process to stabilize the medication side effects and other such hiccups along the way. Complementary therapies include acupuncture, which is a Chinese medicine. Getting a massage requires pressure and manipulation of the bodys soft tissues. Practicing meditation helps by focusing on the breath and being mindful of the present moment.

Self-Care

HIV treatment does not involve taking the proper medications and following a strict routine. The most important bridge that connects all these processes is the self-care mandate. Self-care is about getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, relaxing, and doing what you enjoy. Self-care reduces stress and improves overall health and mental resistance to fight HIV.

Also, read this articleGet Tested for HIV: Understand the Role of HIV Testing and the Options Available.

Conclusion

HIV Treatment adherence is taking medications as prescribed and following the medical advice of a doctor or health care provider. HIV Treatment adherence is crucial because it reduces the amount of virus in the body. Through the awareness of the medication's side effects and how to handle them, you can set a straight path to a long and healthy life even with the infection in your body. Speak to a doctor or healthcare provider for any concerns about medicationsMarch towards the end with a strong will and a more muscular body.

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