HIV at a glance
– HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome is the virus that causes AIDS.
– HIV has few or no symptoms for up to 10 years before symptoms of AIDS develop.
– There is currently no cure available for HIV/AIDS, but the are treatment options available.
– HIV is transmitted through, infected blood or blood products.
Sharing contaminated syringes, needles or other injecting equipment.
Exchange of bodily fluids such as during sexual intercourse, and during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
– The most common ways that HIV is transmitted is through unprotected sexual intercourse, especially with many partners.
– Use of male or female latex condom provides better chances of HIV infection.
There is currently no treatment for the HIV or AIDS condition. Which means that no medical procedure or medication that has been proven scientifically to remove reliably or eliminate the virus or its symptoms and transmission from a person or to completely or significantly reverse the damage of the virus to the immune systems. However, there are treatment options available for this condition. The most popular of these treatment and therapy options is the consistent use of Anti-retroviral drugs that keep the virus suppressed limiting its damaging effect on the immune system. This regimen of drugs is available locally, and any patient who wants to begin a treatment plan should seek for referrals to these clinics or hospital. Again, many health facilities sponsored by HIV/AIDS organisations or government health ministries and agencies have a dedicated HIV/AIDS department.
There has been in the last few years major advances taken in HIV treatment and therapy which have significantly made better the quality and length of life these patients. There are some patients whose immunity can naturally suppress the effect of the virus without the need for medication. These people are known as ‘Elite Controllers’ and are rare to find. The absence of symptoms in a patient who has been tested and found to be HIV positive, (this term is used to refer to a patient who has the HIV in their body) should never be misconstrued to mean that this person does not require HIV treatment or therapies.
There have been well-documented cases of HIV patients who have been practically cured of HIV. Two of these cases include the Berlin Patient and the functional cure of a toddler who had been infected at birth. The term functional cure refers to the condition of a patient who was, after going through the treatment does not require to be on HIV medications, and there is also so less of the virus remaining within the body, and their immunity is not being damaged or transmit it to anyone else. These two cases have never been recreated with anyone else. The long-term effectiveness of this treatment has also not yet been proven.
Currently, there are many research programs ongoing to find a total cure for HIV/AIDS. Some of these research programs are at an advanced stage with some claiming to be on the brink of a breakthrough. However, everyone regardless or being infected or not must take personal initiative to protect themselves and the people they care about.