While the treatments for HIV have come along way since the first outbreak cases in the mid 90s, there is still unfortunately no cure for HIV or Aids, but there are treatments available that help slow down the virus giving people the chance to live a better quality of life. After being potentially exposed to HIV one should go to a doctor and ask about PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) to prevent themselves from becoming infected. This treatment must be started within the first 72 hours of possible exposure. It must be taken once or twice daily for four weeks. It’s important to note that this treatment is not always 100% effective and comes with potential side effects. The side effects normally include headache and nausea, luckily no side effect is life-threatening.
If someone has tested positive for HIV they must then get blood tests before starting treatment in order to monitor the viruses progress. Antiretroviral therapy is a treatment used for HIV which is a mixture of medicines taken to help stop the virus from reproducing. It reduces the risk of transmission and the virus turning to AIDS by protecting the CD4 cells. There are a five classes of anti-HIV drugs available. Nucleoside are fake versions of building blocks that the virus needs to make copies of. Another class of drugs are non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors that fight of HIV by damaging the protein that is needed in order to make copies of itself. Integrase inhibitors also target a protein that the virus needs in order to insert itself into the CD4 cells. Fusion inhibitors are drugs that blocks the virus from entering the CD4 cells. It is important for one living with this virus to try and live a healthy life style by eating right, resting well, and exercising.
Understanding the ways to treat and prevent HIV is important for all individuals not just the ones that are infected. This knowledge can save your life or the life of someone close to you. Non-profit organizations can be found in multiple areas of the country that are devoted to helping individual infected with this virus. These agencies hold programs and offer treatment and testing options to any and all individuals.