10 Things You Need To Know About HIV
When HIV and AIDS come to mind gory details of death and wasting come to mind but the reality is that millions of people around the world are living healthily and happily with HIV even with its awful ability to bring detriment to the immune system, HIV isn’t as volatile as you have wrongfully perceived.
Enlightening yourself about HIV is a key factor if you’re HIV-positive or just generally trying to avoid the infection. While modern therapies and technologies have made it far simpler to manage the disease truth be told, it takes more than just pills to really manage the infection. This article reveals the 10 things you can do today to ensure you remain well, peaceful and effective for many years to come, whether you are HIV-positive or not.
- Begin by getting familiar with the symptoms and signs
Apprehending the symptoms and signs of HIV allows to take charge of the diseases, actively getting rid of these infections well before they even occur. It's important to note, however, that there are often no symptoms at the onset of HIV infection, and that when symptoms finally do appear, it's often after the virus has caused irreparable damage to a person’s immune system. The fear and misconceptions about the virus often prevent people from seeking the therapy they need, ignoring the early signs of the virus until they eventually subside.
- Treating HIV on diagnoses increases life expectancy
Treatment on diagnosis not only fuels a greater likelihood of a normal life expectancy, it also reduces the risk of illness by more than 60% irrespective of an individual’s demographics. On Sept. 30, 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) revised its global HIV treatment guidelines to recommend the immediate initiation of antiretroviral therapy soon as an individual is diagnosed. Ideally you should begin treatment as soon as possible, like the day you get your positive result. Early HIV treatment has been shown to provide long-term advantages. Even if you don’t have symptoms, if your infection runs unchecked it can compromise your immune system.
- HIV testing is meant to be undertaken by everyone
The CDC has recommended universal opt-out HIV testing of all persons aged 13 to 64 years accessing health care services in private or public settings to further reduce the number of HIV-infected individuals who are unaware of their HIV status, and to enable these persons have access to HIV care and prevention services. As a general rule, people at high risk for HIV infection should get tested each year. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from getting tested more often, such as every 3 to 6 months. People with HIV come from all walks of life. It’s not just one socioeconomic class that struggles with this, although some do more than others. There’s nothing shameful about getting tested, or talking about it. As a matter of fact, both are important. If you’re going to have a sexual relationship, you need to be able to sit your partner down and discuss pregnancies, STDs and STIs.
- People who are at risk have options to prevent the HIV infection
If you’re part of a “different-statuses” couple, or a pairing in which one person has HIV and the other doesn’t pre-exposure prophylaxis drug can be used to drastically reduce the chances of being infected by the virus. PrEP, as it’s commonly known, is a medication marketed under the name Truvada. The frequent use of the drug, which is a combination of two HIV drugs, can lower the risk of getting HIV from sex by over 90 percent and from injection drug use by more than 70 percent. Usually side effects like nausea occur but they eventually disappear.
- Being pregnant and HIV positive won’t mean transmitting it to your baby
Pregnant women diagnosed with HIV often get scared that they’ll be passing the virus onto their offsprings, although it is likely but if a pregnant person starts out taking the ART as soon as possible the chances of the virus being transmitted to the baby can be 1% or less. Also doctors advise against HIV-positive new moms breastfeeding their babies since the virus can be transmitted via breast milk.
- If by any chance you feel you’ve been exposed to HIV, post-exposure prophylaxis can be taken to potentially avert infection
The drug has to be administered within 72 hours of perceived exposure, PEP can reduce the chances of being infected drastically if you’ve been exposed during sex, during injections, or if you’ve been sexually assaulted. It will need to be taken once or twice for the next 28 days for maximum results. So if you think you’ve been exposed please speak with your doctor, call a healthcare clinic, or go to an emergency room. Any one of these options should be able to get PEP for you as quickly as possible, or better direct you where you can.
- Despite the advances in the treatment of the virus, prevention is high-priority
Abstinence is apparently the surest way to protect yourself, but we live in the real world and most people would opt for safe sex rather than ultimately abstaining so condoms remain the only effective way for preventing HIV today. While study models vary, most research indicates that condoms can reduce the risk of HIV anywhere from 80% to 93%. Nigeria has the second largest HIV epidemic in the world, so really abstinence is key.
In fact, it is a good choice when you feel that you are not ready to become sexually involved with someone else, or that you would rather engage in lower-risk behaviours.
- You can have HIV and not be aware of it
When some individuals are first diagnosed with HIV, they experience cold like symptoms such as fatigue, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, sore throats and sweating within the first two to four weeks. (Other symptoms include painful, swollen lymph nodes and a skin rash with small pink or red bumps.)During the acute stage of the infection, some individuals may not experience any symptoms at all, the CDC reports, and they can spread the virus without realizing it. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. Late-stage HIV — before it becomes AIDS.
- Stay healthy and get vaccinated from time to time
Prevention is pivotal to maximizing your health when living with HIV. Getting vaccinated is one way to prevent dire, life-threatening infections. More than 25 antiretroviral therapy medications are approved to treat HIV. They work to avert the virus from reproducing and destroying CD4 cells, which help boost the immune system to fight the infection. This helps reduce the risk of developing complications related to HIV, as well as transmitting the virus to others.
- Eat right when you’re infected with virus
There’s no specific eating plan for people living with HIV, but all in all, a healthy diet plan can boost your immune system and help improve your health a lot.
The virus weakens your immune system because your body uses nutrients to keep up its defenses against germs, eating well can help you fight off infections. It can also boost your energy, keep you strong, help you avoid health complications, and help combat issues brought about by the virus and its treatment.