HIV and AIDS Treatment For Adults
There is no HIV and AIDS treatment, but there are some treatments that can slow the progression of the disease. This treatment can make people infected live longer and can lead a healthy lifestyle. There are various types of drugs that are combined to control the virus.
Early HIV Emergency Drugs
If you feel or suspect you have just been exposed to the virus in a 3×24 hour timeframe, anti-HIV drugs can prevent infection. This drug called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) or in Indonesia is known as post-exposure prophylaxis. Prophylaxis is a health procedure that aims to prevent rather than cure.
This treatment should be started up to three days after exposure (exposure) to the virus. Ideally, this drug can be taken immediately after exposure. The faster the treatment, the better.
Treatment using PEP lasts for a month. The side effects of this drug are serious and there is no guarantee that this treatment will work. PEP involves the same drugs as people who have tested positive for HIV.
These drugs can be found in a specialist sexually transmitted infectious disease (STI) or in the hospital.
HIV Positive Test Results
If a positive or reactive test result means we are infected with HIV. The results of this test should be delivered by a counselor (counselor) or doctor. They will tell the impact on everyday life and how to deal with the situation that happened at the time.
Blood tests will be done regularly to monitor viral progression before starting treatment. Treatment is done after the virus begins to weaken the human immune system. This can be determined by measuring the level of CD4 cells (cells that fight infection) in the blood.
Treatment is usually recommended after a CD4 cell count below 350, whether symptomatic or not. If the CD4 is near 350, it is advisable to take treatment as soon as possible. The goal of treatment is to reduce the level of the HIV virus in the blood. It is also to prevent or delay HIV-related illnesses. The possibility to spread it also becomes smaller.
Involvement of Other Illnesses
For people with hepatitis B and hepatitis C who are also infected with HIV, treatment is recommended when the CD4 cell count is below 500. If the HIV patient is undergoing radiotherapy or chemotherapy that will suppress the immune system, treatment is done with any CD4 cell count. Or when you also suffer from other diseases such as tuberculosis, kidney disease, and brain diseases.
Antiretroviral (ARV) are some of the drugs used to treat HIV infection. These drugs do not kill the virus, but slow the growth of the virus. HIV can be adaptable and immune to one class of ARVs. Therefore, a combination of ARV classes will be given to the patient. Some classes of ARVs are:
- NNRTIs (Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors). This type of antiretroviral drugs will work by removing the proteins that the HIV virus needs to replicate.
- NRTI (Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors). This class of antiretrovirals inhibits the development of HIV in the cells of the body.
- Protease inhibitors. This type of antiretroviral drugs will eliminate the protease, the type of protein that HIV also needs to multiply.
- Entry inhibitors. This type of antiretroviral drugs will prevent HIV from entering CD4 cells.
- Integrase inhibitors. This type of antiretroviral drug will eliminate the integrase, the protein HIV uses to enter the genetic material into the CD4 cells.
This combination treatment is better known as antiretroviral therapy (ART). Usually patients will be given three classes of ARV drugs. The combination of antiretroviral drugs is different for each person, so this type of treatment is personal or special.
Some ARV drugs have been combined into one pill. As soon as HIV treatment begins, it may have to be taken for life. If one ARV combination does not work, it may be necessary to switch to another ARV combination.
The incorporation of several types of treatment to treat HIV infection can lead to unexpected reactions and side effects. Always consult a doctor before taking any other medications.
HIV Treatment In Pregnant Women
For pregnant women who are HIV-positive, there are special antiretroviral drugs for pregnant women. The drug is to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV to her baby. Without treatment, there is a comparison of 25 out of 100 infants infected with HIV. Risk can be lowered by less than one in 100 if treated early.
With earlier treatment, the risk of transmitting the virus through normal delivery does not increase. But for some women, it is still advisable to give birth by caesarean section.
For HIV-infected women, it is advisable not to breast-feed their babies. Viruses can be transmitted through the breastfeeding process. If you are a HIV-infected partner, talk to your doctor as there is an option to remain pregnant without risk of contracting HIV.
Regular Drug Consumption
You should make a regular schedule to incorporate HIV treatment into your daily lifestyle. HIV treatment can work if you take medication regularly (at the same time every time you take medication). If you miss a single dose, the effect may increase the risk of failure.
Side Effects of HIV Treatment
All treatments for HIV have unpleasant side effects. If abnormal side effects occur, you may need to try a combination of other ARV drugs. The following are examples of common side effects:
- Rash on the skin
- One part of the body is fattening, the other is thin
- Mood swings