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Treatment of Migraine Treatment
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Hiv Prophylaxis Post Exposure
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HIV-Human Immune Deficiency Virus is a virus known all around the world and has contributed to a large number of deaths over the years. As its name suggests, HIV is a virus that attacks an individual’s immune system by destroying the white blood cells and reproducing itself inside the same cells. This slowly weakens the immune system of the affected person and eventually, without treatment the body finds it difficult to fight any disease. A person with HIV, and taking no treatment, is estimated to survive for ten to fifteen years. However, this also depends on the health, background, and age of the patient.
The treatment for HIV has been a huge challenge for the medical fraternity, ever since the virus was identified some years ago. The difficulty with this particular virus is that it spreads itself or multiplies, and this poses a different kind of challenge for physicians. In the process of multiplying, this virus can alter its form, which is medically known as mutation and the newly formed or mutated virus can be resistant to the drug being administered. The doctor will then have to recommend a second line of treatment and prescribe another set of drugs. In some HIV patients, a third line may also have to be resorted to after observing the progress with the second line of drugs.
Drug Resistance Tests Used
When a person is under HIV treatment, it may emerge that the drugs are not yielding the results expected from that line of treatment. It is then that the doctor will advise a drug resistance treatment to determine the resistance level of the virus, and therefore, a new set of drugs will then be prescribed. With experience, doctors have now started advising drug resistance tests on new HIV patients also. This is to check which drugs the virus is resistant to. This is similar to the culture analysis conducted in the conventional system.
Second and Third Line of Drug Resistance
A lot of research has already been done to find the cause of failure for the first line of treatment of HIV and how the second line can then be started. But there are cases, where about 3% of patients develop resistance to the second line of drugs being administered as well. It may not be practically feasible for the medical team to detect the level of drug resistance at the time of starting one level. This is because the multiplication and mutation of the virus might start to occur after some time. Doctors will therefore have to wait for a while before the drug resistance test can be done. This holds equally good for the subsequent levels as well.
Choosing an Optimal Path Essential
After studying the impact of the virus mutation and the difficulties posed in the treatment of HIV, doctors have now turned to planning the treatment in an optimized manner. The patient is put through tests to identify the virus and then the appropriate combination of drugs is prescribed. Subsequently, a close surveillance is maintained to monitor the outcomes and progress of the treatment. If any new mutations occur, then the treatment course is modified to ensure that the effect of the mutations doesn’t cause any further damage to the patient. Ensuring the patient follows the treatment regimen stringently is a challenge and patients have to cooperate with the medical team to see that they don’t miss a dose of medication even once.
The progress from line one to third line regimen shows development in treatment options. While reports show that more patients die when the second regimen is being undertaken, a lot of value and research are being put towards the third dline. Increasing access to first line of treatment in some countries are constrained and it would be difficult for patients to get third line treatment.
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HIV and tuberculosis (TB) are two life-threatening and common diseases in the world. The two diseases are very closely connected so much so that their occurrence is normally labeled as a co-epidemic. In most cases tuberculosis is found to be the most transmissible contagion in HIV-Immunocompromised victims, proving to be the cause of their death.
What is HIV?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus, more commonly known by its abbreviation HIV, is a virus that attacks the immune system, which is the body's natural defense against illnesses. The virus terminates a kind of white blood cells (WBCs) in the immune system known as the T-helper cell also known as CD4 cells. This virus then proceeds to duplicate itself within these cells.
As HIV reduces the T-helper cells, by duplicating at an increasing rate, it slowly breaks down the patient’s immune system. This leaves the individual susceptible to other deadly diseases such as tuberculosis. HIV infection is a permanent disease with three phases of progression. HIV medications can reduce or stop the evolution of the disease from one phase to another. The treatment can also decrease the chances of spreading HIV to other people.
What is tuberculosis (TB)
Tuberculosis is a transmittable disease triggered by the presence of bacterium known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is still considered a deadly disease in most developing countries where treatment is scarce. Generally, TB affects the lungs but it can also affect other parts of the body. Symptoms include – coughing with blood, fever, night sweats and loss of weight.
The relation between TB and HIV
In second world countries, most patients infected with HIV suffer from TB as the initial indicator of AIDS. Tuberculosis can occur at any phase of the HIV infection. The danger and severity of tuberculosis rises rapidly after infection with HIV. Even though tuberculosis can be a fairly primary indicator of HIV infection, it is imperative to observe that the risk of tuberculosis increases as the CD4 cell count reduces along with the progression of the HIV infection.
Positive treatment for TB usually entails 6 months of rigorous therapy. HIV patients with TB usually respond well to this therapy, if the regimen comprises INH and a rifamycin for the period of TB therapy and cure. TB generally reappears when the immune system is unable to respond to stop the development of mycobacteria. The cytokine IFN-γ plays a key role in the response of the immune system all through the contagion.
HIV and TB infections area two-directional communication of the two pathogens. TB is one of the main causes of disease and fatality among patients with HIV in Africa and other severely affected regions. With almost a 50% kill rate around the world, raising awareness about this disease and consulting doctors when signs or symptoms appear is vital in reducing the extent of this epidemic.
Rifampicin- HIV treatment are complicated by the fact that one of the key drugs used in TB treatment, rifampicin, reduces blood levels of nevirapine (Viramune) by 30 to 55% and also reduces levels of most protease inhibitors.
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When you are potentially exposed to HIV, and if there is a way to prevent from getting infected, you will seek to perform it. One such procedure is Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) which must be initiated within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV.
What is PEP meant for?
The Human immune deficiency virus causes HIV infection that affects the immune system and is considered to be one of the deadly forms of infections. This virus spreads through bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal fluids and breast milk. There are chances of encountering the infection under the circumstances such as having sexual intercourse or sharing needles with an infected person by accident. In such a case, PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) can come to your aid in preventing the infection.
The medical term PEP refers to the intake of ARV or antiretroviral medicines after being exposed to the human immunodeficiency virus. To be more specific, PEP is a short-term antiretroviral treatment that works towards reducing the symptoms and likelihood of the HIV infection after being exposed to it.
Who should opt for PEP treatment?
PEP can be ideal for everyone who comes in contact with the HIV and is an HIV negative. Whether one is exposed to HIV through a needle stick injury during his/her work as a health care professional, or whether it’s unprotected sex that has exposed one to HIV, or the sharing of used needles or through sexual assault, opting for the PEP can be the next best step as it is particularly meant for emergency situations.
When and how long PEP can be taken?
As per the research, PEP should be taken within 3 days or 72 hours from the possible time of being exposed to HIV. If taken after 72 hours, the PEP most likely cannot help in preventing the HIV infection, hence the sooner, the better in this case. The course of PEP involves 3 ARV or more per day for almost 28 days. Along with taking the ARV medications, one must visit his/her health care professional at certain intervals for HIV testing and other related tests.
Are there any side-effects of taking PEP?
When opting for PEP treatment, some people may experience a few side effects due to it, which varies from person to person, such as vomiting, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, fatigue, etc. However, none of the side effects are life-threatening and can be easily treated. Often, it is due to the reaction of the PEP medications with other drugs that one is taking at the same time that the side-effects start showing. Moreover, as PEP can potentially prevent HIV infection, this benefit certainly outweighs the inconvenience caused as side effects.
PEP is considered to be one of the most effective and promising treatments available for preventing HIV infection if taken correctly and within the certain time duration. In case one thinks he or she has been exposed to HIV somehow, talking to a health care professional regarding PEP becomes crucial. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a General Physician.