Rules that allow you to live a full life with HIV

Today, the global fight against HIV is paying off. A person with diagnosed HIV is not doomed. Positive status is not a sentence after which life does not exist. Today, many people around the world live happily with HIV. Of course, the life of a person with HIV is changing: you need to take medication every day, carefully monitor your health, follow simple recommendations. But people with diabetes and high blood pressure have the same recommendations. These rules do not interfere with life.

Rules that make living with HIV normal and complete:

Be sure to take ART. The main task of antiretroviral therapy is to reduce the amount of virus in the body, which will avoid damage to the immune system by the virus, strengthen it and prevent the stage of AIDS. Timely start of treatment allows people living with HIV to live fully for many years, and most importantly, their life expectancy will not differ from the life expectancy of people who do not have HIV. It is necessary to accept therapy in time, it is impossible to pass reception of tablets. If the patient forgets to take the tablets - you should use reminders (notes in notebooks or phones) and special containers-tablets (in them the drug is decomposed for a week in advance, for each dose, which allows you to see whether the patient missed the pill or not). If an HIV+ person is planning a vacation or business trip - you need to take care of the availability of drugs in advance in order not to interrupt treatment. Side effects from ART are a reason to visit your doctor, but not a reason to interrupt therapy. It is important that the treatment process is continuous.

You need to be in constant contact with your doctor. An HIV-positive patient should closely monitor their own health - be examined in a timely manner, take medication only as prescribed by their doctor and inform their doctor about changes in their health.

Lead a healthy lifestyle. Smoking and alcohol consumption do not directly affect the virus, but it is recommended to give up these bad habits, because they affect the body and the immune system as a whole.

Follow a proper diet. Your daily diet should be rich in protein (meat, fish, legumes) and vitamins (vegetables, fruits). Grapefruit and garlic can be eaten in limited quantities. It should be noted that while taking ART, side effects (dizziness and nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss) are possible, which can affect the diet and eating habits. If you experience side effects from ART, be sure to see your doctor.

Have only safe sex. From the moment of diagnosis, only safe sex is possible. This will protect the partner, and will allow the HIV-positive person to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases, the treatment of which in HIV is difficult and long-lasting. Safe sex is mandatory even for a couple with both HIV + partners.

It is forbidden to take medication without a doctor's prescription. Immunostimulants and immunomodulators (eg, amixin, groprinosin, cycloferon, etc.) are strictly prohibited while taking ART. This ban also applies to herbal medicines (echinacea, ginseng, Chinese magnolia, Eleutherococcus, etc.), taking vitamins and dietary supplements is possible only after prior consultation with a doctor.

In any case, seek help. If life with a diagnosis is not easy - this is a reason to seek help. Psychologists and social workers of regional organizations, as a rule, are experienced and ready to come to the rescue, listen, advise, find a way out of difficult life situations.

Once again about HIV: what this disease is, how to get it and how to avoid it

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that suppresses the human immune system by integrating into the DNA of a human cell and blocking its protective functions.

When HIV enters the bloodstream, it attaches to the blood cells that are responsible for immunity, and the active reproduction of HIV begins. Throughout the period of the disease there is no effective response to the presence of HIV. This can be mainly explained by the fact that immune cells are damaged and cannot function properly. HIV is characterized by the absence of pronounced and characteristic symptoms and it is possible to find out about the presence of HIV infection in the body only after passing an HIV test.

In the external environment, HIV is not stable: at a temperature of 56 ° C it dies in 30 minutes, when boiled - instantly. The virus dies quickly when using disinfectants, under the influence of 20% ethanol, ether, acetone, 0.2% sodium hypochlorite, 1% glutaraldehyde. However, it is resistant to ionizing radiation, ultraviolet radiation. In the blood intended for transfusion, the virus lives for years, and in frozen serum its activity persists for up to 10 years.

Ways of HIV transmission:

Sexual (with homo- and heterosexual contacts). In the majority of cases, HIV is sexually transmitted. This is due to the high concentration of HIV in semen, especially during inflammatory diseases and the presence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). For this reason, the risk of HIV transmission in the presence of STIs increases. In addition, concomitant infections are often associated with the development of various formations that disrupt the integrity of the genital mucosa - cracks, ulcers, etc. HIV can also be found in vaginal discharge and cervical discharge.

Parenteral (transfusion of blood and its components, as well as injections). Injecting drug users are at increased risk of contracting HIV when using syringes and needles. There is also a high risk during a blood transfusion procedure or its components. If the infected blood was transfused to a healthy person, in 90-100% of cases there is an infection. With the introduction of mandatory HIV testing of blood donors, the risk of infection has been significantly reduced. However, even in developed countries, cases of infection of a whole group of patients from one HIV-infected donor are rare, due to violations of the method of testing donor blood.

Vertical (from mother to child in utero, during childbirth or during breastfeeding). HIV has the ability to cross the placenta, so infection of the fetus can occur during pregnancy or childbirth. The magnitude of the risk depends on the level of medical supervision and treatment of the woman during pregnancy, the mother's medical indications and the stage of HIV. The possibility of infecting a child during childbirth is indicated by the following observations: 1) in multiple pregnancies, the twin born first has a higher risk of infection from an HIV-infected mother than the twin born second; 2) the risk of infection from an HIV-infected mother during a cesarean section is lower than during delivery through the natural birth canal. There is also a real risk of transmitting the infection during breastfeeding. If the mother is HIV-positive, breastfeeding is contraindicated.

How it is impossible to get HIV:

Transmission of HIV infection through household contact, as well as insect bites for more than twenty-five years of HIV study has not been registered. There is also no convincing evidence of HIV transmission through saliva - no significant cases of HIV infection have been reported during kissing or accidental saliva on the skin and mucous membranes. There are at least two reasons that explain the low probability of HIV infection through saliva: 1) the virus is found in the saliva of only a few HIV-infected people and is present there in small quantities; 2) saliva contains a protein, a secretory inhibitor of leukocyte proteases, which prevents infection of HIV cells. Although there are cases of HIV infection after contact with saliva, in reality they may be due to the transmission of the virus through the blood. Although HIV can be present in almost all body fluids, there is no evidence that the virus is transmitted through tears, sweat, or urine. The hypothesis of HIV infection involving insects has also not been confirmed.

What protects against infection ?:

  • the presence of a permanent sexual partner;
  • avoid casual sex (with any casual sex, use a condom). This will protect not only from HIV, but also from sexually transmitted infections, hepatitis B and C;
  • use of individual syringes, needles.

 

HIV / AIDS denialists: who they are and how dangerous they are

HIV / AIDS denialists – people who believe that the immunodeficiency virus does not exist, and therefore they refuse to take therapy and go to the doctor. This movement is almost as old as the HIV virus itself, discovered in 1981, and three years later psychiatrist Casper Schmidt published the first known critique of the link between AIDS and the new virus. Schmidt argued that "AIDS has a psychosocial origin, and the hypothesis of its infectious nature is generated by the stereotypical thinking of scientists who tend to look for viruses for unexplored diseases." Schmidt himself died of AIDS in 1994.

The views of these people, as well as those of any other pseudo-scientific theory, differ - some consider HIV and AIDS a scam and a hoax, while others say that AIDS exists but arises for other reasons. Some people believe that AIDS is curable, but antiretroviral therapy undermines the immune system. Some acknowledge the existence of HIV, but call it a safe virus.

Regarding treatment, in thematic communities of social networks, are discussed methods of treatment of AIDS and other diseases by starvation, vodka, living and dead water, cumin oil, homeopathic remedies, information and biowave therapy and acupuncture, etc. By the way, in the same communities quite seriously write about the harm of vaccinations, the treatment of cancer with apricot kernel oil and soda, the lack of evidence of hepatitis C.

There is a category of people who do not have a positive HIV status, but they spread information about the absence of the virus. One of the favorite arguments of such people is the "conspiracy of pharmaceutical companies." Another argument is the lack of consensus among physicians on HIV / AIDS. There are dozens of videos on YouTube where people who call themselves doctors claim that there is no immunodeficiency virus.

Until the early 2000s, the scientific community paid little attention to HIV denials: the fight against AIDS was carried out internationally, and funding for research and treatment was sufficient. The impact of AIDS deniers was minimal, despite the fact that they sought to publish their dubious ideas somewhere.

The situation changed when the new president Thabo Mbeki came to power in South Africa. One of his "achievements" was the declaration of AIDS as a hoax at the state level. Mbeki believed that 13 AIDS-associated infections were the result of the country's poverty, not HIV at all. Influenced by Dr. Matthias Rat, a manufacturer of multivitamins, the South African president, along with the country's health minister, called the only method of fighting the disease - the medicine of "tribal sorcerers." By preventing the spread of antiretroviral drugs, they have killed at least 365,000 people. The share of HIV-positive people in the population of South Africa has become the largest on the planet.

As a result of this catastrophe, a declaration was signed in Durban in 2005 confirming the link between HIV and AIDS. More than 5,000 scientists, Nobel laureates, doctors and biologists have signed this document. To exclude allegations of bias, the list of declarants did not include any doctor or researcher associated with pharmaceutical companies.

Of course, being diagnosed with HIV is always a shock. Therefore, having received terrible information for themselves, a person turns to Internet resources, looking for more data. And there are numerous forums where the existence of the virus is denied. There are reports that antiretroviral therapy is killing the liver, that acquaintances have been living with HIV for 15 years and are feeling well. This is a typical defensive reaction. A person seeks support, he cannot accept the diagnosis and understand how to live on.

However, it should be understood that the propaganda of HIV dissidents almost always leads to tragic consequences. The story of a family that killed their children by refusing to accept therapy is not an isolated one. But there are no legal levers of pressure on HIV dissidents. The fact is that the law does oblige parents to monitor their children's health, and refusing to take antiretroviral therapy violates it, but at the same time, Ukrainian law prohibits the disclosure of HIV. Accordingly, doctors who know that someone's children are not receiving treatment are not allowed to report to the police - otherwise, they will face a criminal case.

But there is one effective strategy of influence: the infectious disease doctor who observes HIV + child, in the absence of treatment, writes an official statement to social services, informing them that the child has an infectious chronic disease (without specifying which), which in the case failure to provide care can lead to loss of health and death. Social services have all the levers - from motivational talks to lawsuits to deprive parents of their rights. Pediatricians claim that they wrote such appeals and before reaching the court, the parents began to help the child in the treatment of HIV.

*Based on materials УП.Життя and GET.TEST

2000 units of multi-tests for HIV / AIDS and hepatitis were transferred to the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

The International Non-Governmental Organization “International Institute of HIV / AIDS and Tuberculosis” together with the Sanitary and Epidemiological Department of the Command of the Medical Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine continues to implement an effective strategy to combat socially dangerous infections among personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Thus, on April 30, the Armed Forces of Ukraine received and delivered 2 000 units of multitests to diagnose the social dangerous infections.

The test systems will be distributed among military medical hospitals and medical units of military units involved in repelling and deterring the armed aggression of the Russian Federation in Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

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