HIV treatment in India
AIDS- acquired immune deficiency syndrome is a syndrome caused by a virus called as HIV – human immunodeficiency virus. This virus alters the immune system thereby making people the people more vulnerable to diseases and infections. The HIV virus is found throughout the body tissues but it gets transmitted through the body fluids (semen, vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk) of an infected person.
To clearly differentiate, HIV is a virus and AIDS is a medical condition which appears in the advanced stage of HIV infection. HIV virus can cause AIDS, however, it is possible to have an HIV infection without developing AIDS. Once you are affected by AIDS, then you will have lifetime diagnoses.
Causes of HIV & AIDS:
HIV is a retrovirus which affects all the vital organs and cells of the immune system. The virus multiplies at a faster rate if not treated by antiretroviral therapy (ART), which is a treatment that slows down or prevents the growth of HIV virus. The rate at which the virus multiplies will vary from individual to individual and depends on various factors such as
- Body’s ability to defend HIV
- Access to healthcare
- Existence of other infection
- Genetic inheritance
How is HIV transmitted?
HIV is transmitted only when two people come in physical contact with each other. The following are the ways by which HIV gets transmitted:
- Sexual transmission: this happens when there is a direct contact with infected sexual fluids. This can take place during unprotected sex or while sharing sex toys with a person affected by HIV.
- Perinatal transmission: a mother can transmit the HIV infection to her child during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
- Blood transmission: the virus gets transmitted through the syringes or surgical tools that have been used to treat an HIV-infected These days, HIV transmissions have been greatly reduced due to severe screening and protection.
The symptoms of HIV are due to the infections caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi. These symptoms are not seen in people with the healthy immune system. The symptoms include:
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Enlarged glands
- Red rashes on skin
- Unintentional weight loss
Asymptomatic HIV: in some cases, the symptoms disappear after a few days and will not reappear for many years. During this time, the virus multiplies itself affecting the whole of the immune system and other organs.
Late-stage HIV infection:
If it is left untreated then the person will lose the ability to fight infection and will be vulnerable to serious illnesses. This condition is called as AIDS. Some of the symptoms at this stage include:
- Blurred vision
- Dry cough
- Night sweats
- Permanent tiredness
- Shortness of breath
- White spots on mouth and tongue
Misconceptions about HIV & AIDS:
Generally, there are many misconceptions about HIV & AIDS. The virus will not be transmitted by:
- Shaking hands
- Casual kissing or hugging
- Touching open wound
- Sharing towels or cutlery
- Using same toilets
- Other forms of casual contact
Diagnosis of HIV & AIDS:
The CDC- the center for disease control and prevention declares that about 1 out of every 8 individual is unaware of HIV infection. It can be diagnosed by:
- HIV blood tests: blood tests are taken to specifically figure out the HIV virus. If the result is positive then the person is HIV infected but before giving the result to the patient, the test is repeated number of times.
- The earlier it is detected more likely that the treatments are successful.
HOW DO YOU TREAT HIV?
Currently, there is no cure for HIV & AIDS. The treatments can only help people cope with the virus and stay longer. The ART treatment is necessary as it can increase life expectancy and reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
There is no complete cure for HIV, but there are a lot of advancements in the treatment techniques when compared to a few years ago. Before you begin your treatment disclose all the medical history of yours to your doctor. This will help them to go further with their medications.
Daily medications and regular testing can keep the virus under control and also slow down the effects of the virus on your body.
ART (Antiretroviral therapy):
Antiretroviral drugs are those that are used for the treatment of HIV. These drugs are of 6 different types and each type will fight against the virus in a slightly different manner. These 6 drugs fall into 2 main groups. Studies show that taking a combination of medicine is the best way to control HIV and lower the chances that the virus becomes resistant to the treatment. One should also take medicines for the health problems related to or caused by HIV.
The ART THERAPY can cause certain side effects as the body finds it difficult to adapt to these medications in the beginning. Some of the short-term medications include:
- Skin rashes
- Trouble sleeping
- Pain or numbness in various parts of the body
Usually, these side effects will disappear as the body adjusts itself to the medicines.
Tests for HIV treatments:
CD4 count- this tells the doctor how healthy is your immune system. The HIV attacks your CD4 cells. This test will tell you the number of them you have it in your blood sample. Doctors advise you to take this test every 3 to 6 months.
VIRAL LOAD- this gives the measure of how much of HIV virus is in your blood. You will have to take this test every 3 to 4 months to check if your antiviral medicines are still working.
The doctor will also advise taking other health tests to see if your body is affected by other HIV-related diseases. Some of those tests include:
- Blood tests for anemia, blood sugar
- Urine test to check your kidneys
- Test to check your cholesterol level as many of the antiviral drugs will increase the fat levels.
- Sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea, etc
- To check for any infections or diseases such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, etc
Will your insurance help you in any way?
If you have an insurance then your insurer can pay for your treatment. If you don’t have one then you can seek help through any of the government agencies. You can even contact our doctors on www.freehelpline.com or call us at +918010555444. They can guide you better through your treatment plans and in some cases help you with the insurance procedures.
Most of the antiviral therapies cause side effects. Due to this very reason, about 70% of the HIV-positive patients turn towards other alternative medications. Some people use a combination of alternative and standard western medicines. These are called as “complementary” or “integrative” medicines.
The alternative medicines also include various types of therapies. The main goals of these therapies include:
- Strengthen your immune system
- Improve the quality of your life
- Provide relief from symptoms and side effects
The alternative medicines include a wide range of healing therapies. Many are holistic approaches, which means they connect mental, physical, emotional and spiritual life. The alternative medical system includes:
- Homeopathic medicines: it involves natural substances like vitamins, minerals, and herbs. The basic principle is that these substances can cure the disease when given in small doses.
- Naturopathic medicines: it involves the natural healing forces within the body to help it heal and stay healthier
- Ayurveda: it focuses on connecting the mind, body, and spirit to prevent and heal diseases.
- Physical therapies also come under alternative medicines. It focuses on the body and senses to promote a sense of well-being and healing. Some of the physical therapies include:
- ¨ Yoga
- ¨ Massage therapy
- ¨ Acupuncture
- The mind-body therapy uses the mind and body to heal the pain and create a sense of well-being.
- ¨ Meditation
- ¨ Visualization
- ¨ Humor and inspirational audiotapes
- Biologically based therapies use the materials found in nature to make the body healthier.
- ¨ Herbal therapy
- ¨ Dietary supplements
Is there an HIV vaccine?
Though HIV drugs have helped the patient far way better in coping with the disease, it cannot cure the diseases completely. Someone who is at high risk for HIV can prevent by taking pills. However, he/she must take one pill a day. This on a long run can surely cause side effects.
So the only way to escape from HIV is to prevent it beforehand. Is there any possibility of prevention? Is there an HIV vaccine?
A vaccine is something that prevents or controls specific infection by training the body’s immune system to fight against the infections. Over years, researchers have made efforts to develop a vaccination of various diseases such as typhoid, measles, influenza, smallpox, etc. It took about 47 years to find a vaccine for polio. But, studies and researchers still can’t find a vaccine for HIV. The fact being it is difficult to find one.
An HIV vaccine is even more difficult because:
- The HIV virus makes copies of itself quickly
- HIV has clever ways of outwitting the immune system
- Many types of HIV exist and new types keep forming
Still, researchers are trying to figure how well the immune system can prevent an HIV.
Some of the best centers for HIV treatments in India:
- Osmania general hospital, Hyderabad
- Government general hospital, Guntur
- Ram Mohan Lohiya hospital, Delhi
- All India institute of medical sciences, Delhi
- N. Hospital, Imphal
- KEM Hospital, Mumbai
- JJ Hospital, Mumbai
- Madras medical college, Chennai
- Kilpauk medical college, Chennai
- Madurai medical college
Some of the specialist for HIV/AIDS in India:
- Athul Patel
- Glory Alexander
- Sumitha Solomon
- Naveet wig
- Alka deshpande
- Janak maniar
- Shashank joshi
- Maniender setai
- Dattarey saple
- H.R. Jerajini
PREVENTION is the better way!
As of now, there is no treatment or vaccine to prevent HIV. So the only way is to be more cautious and prevent ourselves from these deadly diseases. You can also seek medical help from our healthcare professionals on www.freedoctorhelpline.com or call us at +918010555444.
Some of the preventive measures include:
- Avoid unprotected sex
- Use unshared needles and other surgical tools
- Reduce the risk of exposure to contaminated blood and blood fluids
- Prefer delivery through the cesarean section to reduce the risk of transmission.
- Creating awareness about sex education is very important.