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Common Issues
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CD8 Tips

HIV Sero Discordant Couple!

HIV Sero Discordant Couple!
HIV Serodiscordant Couple

Way To Prevent HIV Transmission!

Way To Prevent HIV Transmission!
Way To Prevent HIV Transmission!
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Target For HIV And AIDS!

Target For HIV And AIDS!
Target For HIV And AIDS!
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Taking Care Of Yourself With HIV!

Taking Care Of Yourself With HIV!
Nutrition and HIV are closely connected. When a patient s immune system is severely affected due to HIV, it can lead to malnutrition and vulnerability to other diseases. Such infections can cause diarrhea, weight loss, and weakness. Malnutrition and not maintaining a healthy intake of nutrients can be a direct link or cause to the progression of the HIV disease.

How does good nutrition help?
Healthy nutrition obviously cannot treat or cure an HIV infection, but it certainly can help the patient to maintain and reinforce the immune system. A healthy diet can also contribute to the general well-being of a patient. Healthy nutrition is an important factor in for people living with HIV. Besides, prophylaxis, a cure for unscrupulous infections, and Anti-Retroviral Treatment, nutrition is essential for an HIV patient.

What is a balanced diet for HIV Patients?
A balanced diet is not a singular meal for patients suffering from HIV. It denotes that a person should eat and drink the correct amount of food from various food groups in order to remain somewhat healthy and strong enough to deal with the treatment process. Drinking adequate clean water is imperative.

What should HIV patients consume?
People living with HIV are advised to consume the fresh vegetables grown in the vicinity. Seasonal fruits and vegetables should be incorporated into their diet.

Choosing foods from these food groups is the key to completing a balanced diet.

Cereals, pulses, roots, and rhizomes.
Legumes, nuts, seeds.
For non-vegetarians, the consumption of protein-rich food items such as fish, meat, and eggs is recommended.
Vegetables are the key to any proper diet is eating green vegetables. It is necessary to make sure that the vegetables are washed and cleaned in order to reduce the risk of further infections or diseases.
Daily consumption of freshly grown fruits including seasonal fruits.
HIV patients should focus on eating regularly. Having three meals a day is a must. Along with a balanced diet, drinking lots of clean or purified water ensures that the body is fully hydrated and helps with maintaining a good digestive process. Foods items that are rich in vitamin A, for example, yellow-orange foods are very important in improving immunity. Fruits such as pawpaw, bananas, and vegetables such as carrots, are good sources of vitamin A.

A well-nourished person is highly likely to preserve a sturdier immune system for dealing with HIV and fighting off the infection. Consulting a physician regarding the appropriate diet is important as some food items may not be suitable for patients.
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Live Healthier With HIV!

Live Healthier With HIV!
The Path to a longer, Healthier life with HIV

STD Testing - Why Should You Never Ignore It?

STD Testing - Why Should You Never Ignore It?
An STD or sexually transmitted disease is usually an infection which spreads from one person to another during sexual contact. Some STDs can also be transferred through touch, since they spread by skin contact. People hardly like to talk or discuss about STDs, but it is very important to rule out the possibilities of STD. Whether one likes it or not, if STD testing is ignored, then it can lead to long-term consequences.

Why STD Testing is Important?

Often STDs have no signs and symptoms, and the only way to know that are you suffering from an STD is to get tested for it. So it is a good idea to get yourself tested, as you never know if you might have STD even though you don't show symptoms. Also, when STDs are diagnosed, most of them can be cured.

Consequences of not Getting Tested

If one has STD and is not getting tested for the same, then it could lead to health problems which can cause permanent damages or might prove to be fatal. Some of the problems are:

Undiagnosed and untreated STDs can lead to damaged reproductive system, leading to sterile men and women.
Chlamydia, if untreated can lead to epididymitis and shrinkage of testicles and infertility in men. It also leads to pelvic inflammatory disease. But, good news is, it can be treated easily.
Syphilis can make a person blind and deaf, and can also be passed on to babies.
Gonorrhea, which can also be treated easily with antibiotics, can lead to infertility or death if untreated.
Even HIV/AIDS if diagnosed in early stages can enable the patient to lead a normal life and does not mean only death, contrary to conventional perceptions.
Symptoms of STD

While, gonorrhea, chlamydia and human papilloma virus (HPV) have no symptoms, the common symptoms of STDs might vary.

In women, the common symptoms are pain and burning sensation during urination, blood in vaginal discharge as also abnormal vaginal discharge, abdominal pain, blisters, warts, and swollen glands.
Men often experience inflammation of the testicles, prostate, sores, fever, urethral discharge and pain during urination.
If these symptoms are observed, it is vital to get tested for STDs. Also, the best way to protect your partner is not to practice unsafe sex and to refrain from the same until diagnosed and treatment is complete.

Getting yourself tested for STD is also beneficial, as it can prevent against complications like cancers and infertility. The standard STD panel of tests consists of Herpes IgG antibody and HIV antibody blood tests, along with a blood test for syphilis antibody and DNA urine test for gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
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HIV-AIDS - Things You Never Knew About It!

HIV-AIDS - Things You Never Knew About It!
HIV is simply the virus that causes AIDS while AIDS is the viral disease caused by HIV. HIV means Human Immunodeficiency Virus while AIDS means Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. The virus that causes AIDS is a special one because it is not just a virus but a retro-virus that replicates in a fraction of seconds and attacks the human immune system severely. The immune system contains biological "soldiers" known as antibodies that fight against diseases. The weakening of the immune system makes the human body vulnerable to opportunistic infections including tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. I suppose you know what I have just said about HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS is transmitted through the exchange of blood directly or indirectly from an infected person to another person. The use of unsterilized sharp instruments such as a needle and injection syringe can cause the transmission of HIV/AIDS. Unprotected sexual intercourse can cause the transmission of HIV/AIDS. A mother living with HIV/AIDS can transmit to her unborn child through the umbilical cordwhich connects the mother and the unborn child. Blood transfusion can also lead to transmission of HIV/AIDS if the transfused blood is infected with HIV/AIDS.

So, there are only four known ways through which you can contact the virus that causes AIDS. There's no way you can contact HIV through mosquito bites, having a hand-shake with someone that is infected, hugging, kissing, and sharing personal effects such as towel and clothes with someone that is living with the virus.
The only way you can find out whether you have contacted the virus is through having a blood test. And you have to go for the blood test from time to time, at least twice in a year, because the virus has an incubation period of about 3-6 months. If you are not yet married abstinence from sexual intercourse is the best option for you but if you cannot abstain you have to protect yourself with a condom. Then if you are married you just have to be faithful to your partner - stick to him or her because he or she has got whatever you are looking for out there. You have to make sure that you avoid unprotected sexual intercourse, and other ways of getting infected with the disease.

But there is one thing you don't know about HIV/AIDS. What you don't know is that HIV/AIDS kills slower than the stigma attached to it by some people in our various societies. Yes, you heard well. Stigmatization has killed more people living with HIV/AIDS than the virus or the disease itself. Some people living with HIV/AIDS have been rejected by their families and friends simply because they tested positive to the virus. Some people living with the virus have lost their jobs simply because they are living with the virus. Some people have committed suicide because they thought they could not live to face the stigma. More and more people living with HIV/AIDS have died as a result of stigmatization or the psychological trauma that follows the disease.

You have to show love to these people living with HIV/AIDS. You have to show that their families and friends still want them. You have to show them that the society still wants them irrespective of the fact that they are living with HIV/AIDS. You have to let these people know that they are not less human because of their medical condition. You have to let them know that living with HIV/AIDS is not the end of the world. Let them know that they can still live a normal life though they are living with HIV/AIDS. As a matter of fact, anybody can live with the virus so you have no right to stigmatize anybody because of HIV/AIDS.
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How To Live Healthy With HIV?

How To Live Healthy With HIV?
To be healthy with HIV : Get the help of family & friends.

(1) If one has HIV, can he have a child?
Those who wish to have a baby cannot be obstructed by HIV. There are many options available for them.
A lady with HIV should consult her doctor for safe conception. There are medicines available during the conception, pregnancy & delivery & to the mother & infant for 6-12 weeks that can be taken to reduce the chances of HIV in an infant from 40% to 2%.
For a HIV infected male the short time medicines known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis may be given to his wife so that she will be protected against HIV which will reduce the chances of HIV in newly delivered baby also.

(2) The knowledge required for HIV & Pregnancy.
If a lady having HIV is pregnant, she must consult her doctor immediately.
If HIV infected pregnant lady is not under medications, the treatment should be started at once. If medication is there, she should inform her doctor about the pregnancy.
The gynaecologist to accomplish the delivery should also be informed about HIV infections so that he will take care to medicate the infant to protect against HIV.
If wife is HIV positive & husband is not than the conception should be planned with proper care & planning & some safer method which will protect the husband against HIV & still can hope for conception. Doctor should be consulted for more information & guidance.
If husband is HIV infected & wife is not than some medicines are to be availed for some time which is known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis by the wife to protect from HIV & for successful conception.

(3) Can HIV infected person marry?
Yes. He can marry.
It is true that HIV & physical relations are worth worrying but by adopting some safety measures like use of condoms for every relation, keep faith mutually & fulfilling the responsibility mutually, happy marriage life is possible.

(4) What does it mean by Surrogating?
It means that generally HIV infected person looks for the HIV infected life partner. Though both the partners may be infected, the condoms shall be used for every relation which is necessary for the protection against other venereal diseases.
To be safe, one should discuss open heartedly about the safe ways of physical relations & should adopt the necessary safety measures. The doctor or counsellor may be consulted for more guidance.

(5) Meaning of Mixed status couple:
Mixed status couple means any one of the partners is HIV infected & the other is non HIV. Mixed status is known as cero discordant couple. This type of couple has to suffer some typical types of problems especially about the physical relations.
Every couple should try to keep the other partner safe from HIV. There is high risk of HIV infection for this type of couple & they should keep utmost care to prevent the infection.

(6) What is the need of discussion between the partners?
For any mixed status couple it is necessary to have a frank discussion between them about the physical relations & the risks involved in that. The couple may not be normal during their physical relations due to misunderstandings & worries imposed due to HIV positivity. However they can have embraces, can kiss freely or can touch without any risk of HIV infection. This will help to establish the intimacy between them. Many people avoid the physical relations, kissing, embracing & touching due to the fear of HIV infection. This may cause damage to the intimate relations. The physical needs & the understanding of the relationship may change with time. These problems may be solved either by discussions or by the help of a doctor or counsellor.

(7) What does it mean by safe physical relations?
One can have safe relations with the partner by using condoms. Condoms provide protection against HIV. By regular use of condoms, the risk of HIV can be minimised. If one is under regular treatment of HIV, he is to have very low virus & hence the chances of transfer are also very less. If the condoms & medicines both are used, the risk of HIV infection is practically nil.
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HIV/AIDS - Myths & Realities Of HIV Transmission!

HIV/AIDS - Myths & Realities Of HIV Transmission!
What is HIV and AIDS?

HIV is the acronym for the human immunodeficiency virus. It is a type of virus, which causes disease by infecting and killing blood cells (known as CD4 T-cells) central to the body's defence immune system. As these cells are progressively killed, the body becomes less and less able to defend itself against otherwise common illnesses.

AIDS is the acronym for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. It is the stage of HIV infection where a person's immune system is fully compromised, leaving the body open to a wide range of potentially serious diseases known as opportunistic infections and or non-opportunistic diseases) HIV takes about 10 to 12 years, from initial infection, to fully culminate into AIDS.

HIV infection is predominantly a sexually transmitted Infection, by far the most common mode of infection, particularly in developing countries, is heterosexual transmission.

HIV Transmission:

Despite increased public awareness about HIV, there remains a lot of confusion about how one can get infected and how one cannot. HIV has a way of spurring anxieties in even the best of us and, with it, our sense of reason. We need to understand what conditions are required for an infection to take place and why things like hugging, touching, sneezing, or kissing simply do not satisfy those conditions.

Four Conditions Needed to Transmit HIV:

As serious an infection as HIV is, the virus itself is not all that robust, there four conditions that must take place in order for infection to occur:

1.There must be body fluids in which HIV can thrive. For HIV, this means blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk. HIV cannot survive for very long in the open air or in parts of the body where there is high acid content (such as the stomach or bladder).

2. There must be a way for the body fluids to enter the body. This happens primarily through sexual contact but can also be spread through shared needles, accidental blood exposure in health care settings, or transmission of the virus from mother to child during pregnancy.

3. The virus must be able to reach vulnerable cells and tissues inside of the body. It is not enough for a body fluid to come into contact with skin. It needs to either enter the bloodstream through a break in the skin or penetrate vulnerable mucosal tissues of the vagina or rectum. A deep cut or wound, for example, provides a more likely route of transmission than a minor scuff or scrape.

4. There must be sufficient amounts of virus in the body fluid. This is why saliva, sweat, and tears are unlikely sources of infection since the enzymes in these fluids actively break down HIV and its genetic structure.

A. Sexual Transmission. HIV is transmitted primarily by sexual contact, both heterosexual and male to male. This can happen while having unprotected sex, vaginal and anal sex with someone infected with HIV.

oral sex is much less efficient mode of transmission of HIV than is anal or vaginal intercourse and incidence of infection by oral sex is extremely low. However there have been well documented reports of HIV transmission that resulted from cunnilingus or fellatio. Therefore, the assumption that oral sex is completely safe is not warranted.

B. Perinatal Transmission. The mother can pass the infection on to her child during childbirth, pregnancy, and also through breastfeeding.

C. Blood Transmission. The risk of transmitting HIV through blood transfusion is nowadays extremely low, due to mandatory meticulous screening for HIV and other STIs of blood and blood products. Among injection drug users, sharing and reusing syringes contaminated with HIV-infected blood is extremely hazardous.

It s possible to get HIV from tattooing or body piercing if the equipment used for these procedures has someone else s blood in it or if the ink is shared. The risk of getting HIV this way is very low, but the risk increases when the person doing the procedure is unlicensed, because of the potential for unsanitary practices such as sharing needles or ink. If you get a tattoo or a body piercing, be sure that the person doing the procedure is properly licensed and that they use only new or sterilized needles, ink, and other supplies.

How HIV Cannot Be transmitted?

From both a biological and epidemiological evidence, HIV cannot and has never been shown to be passed from one person to another by the following means:

Touching, hugging, closed mouth or social kissing or shaking hands
Touching an object an HIV-positive person has touched
Sharing utensils or cups
Eating food prepared by an HIV-positive person
Touching semen or vaginal fluid
Using public fountains, toilet seats, or showers
Through saliva, tears, or sweat that is not mixed with the blood of an HIV-positive person
By mosquitoes, ticks or other blood-sucking insects.
Through the air.
You can t get HIV from consuming food handled by someone with HIV. Even if the food contained small amounts of HIV-infected blood or semen, exposure to the air, heat from cooking, and stomach acid would destroy the virus. (Source CDC) .
How Do I know If I have HIV?

The only way to know for sure whether you have HIV is to get tested. Knowing your HIV status gives you powerful information to help you take steps to keep you and your partner healthy.
Always consult a health care provider before going for HIV testing as pre and post counselling for HIV test is vital for proper guidance. Though self-testing by rapid test kits are available in the market, it is well advisable to consult a health care provider as soon as possible after any suspected exposure. Self-testing leads to unnecessary tests performed at very high costs, at incorrect time and intervals.
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Anorectal Abcess - Know Ayurvedic Treatment For It!

Anorectal Abcess - Know Ayurvedic Treatment For It!
An anorectal abscess can be a combination of various conditions such as a rectal abscess, perianal abscess, anal abscess etc. It is a condition where pus and stool ooze out from areas of the rectum and the anus. Some of the possible causes of an anorectal abscess include infection in the anal area, sexually transmitted infections and blocked glands in the anal region. Disorders such as diverticulitis and Crohn s disease can also lead to a deep rectal abscess.

What are the risk factors for this disease?
Some of the common risk factors of this condition include sexual activities involving the anal region, certain medications such as chemotherapy drugs, uncontrollable diabetes, a weak immune system due to conditions such as AIDs and HIV. An anorectal abscess can also be witnessed in toddlers if there exists a family history of this disease.

What are the common symptoms of this condition?
Some of the common symptoms of this condition include

Frequent constipation
Discharge of pus from the anal region
Nausea and fatigue
General malaise
Formation of a nodule or lump in the rectum area,
Night sweats
Hardened tissue
Redness and swelling of the lump near the anal area
Frequent discharge of pus
Painful stool, etc.
Diagnosis and complications:
A rectal exam conducted by the doctor can reveal the condition. In case of any doubt, a doctor often prescribes a proctosigmoidoscopy to rule out other conditions. The doctor might still prescribe tests such as MRI scan, CT scan, ultrasound etc. to get a detailed picture of the area where pus is getting collected near the rectal region. Complications of an anorectal abscess includes scars, anal fistula, constant pain, sepsis and recurrence of pus.

What are the treatment options available in Ayurveda?

Curcumin: Curcumin is the pigment extracted from turmeric. This pigment is considered to be the most powerful naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agent. Its medicinal effect can cure many diseases. For patients suffering from an anorectal abscess, curcumin can control pain and inflammation in the anal region. Furthermore, it ensures that the condition does not aggravate to the next stage.
Triphala: Triphala is a combination of three herbs- harara, bahera and amla. These three herbs should be consumed in a powdery form twice a day to clean the wound and balance the doshas. Triphala can speed up the process of recovery for patients suffering from an anorectal abscess.
Guggul: Guggul is a gum resin that is extracted from the tree known as the Commiphora Mukul. It is used to treat a wide range of medical conditions. Although it seldom cures the condition alone, it cures many ailments when used in union with Triphala and other herbs.
Neem: Neem leaves have many medicinal properties. It is anti-inflammatory in nature and its application in the powdery/paste form can pay rich dividends in curing an anorectal abscess. Furthermore, neem leaves when boiled and applied near the rectal region helps to ease the muscles and remove the blocked pus in the rectum.