Treating Hiv : A Life Destroying Disease

1297 Words6 Pages
Stevie Riggs
Essay 2
Amcult 365

What To Know About Treating HIV

HIV has been a life destroying disease since the early 1980s. Originally discovered in gay men, it was once thought to only effect homosexuals. Thankfully to great efforts on research and outbreaks in hemophiliacs, it is now associated with other social groups outside of the gay community. The risks of contracting this disease are still high among gay men, highly sexually active individuals (hetero-, homo-, and bi- sexual), intravenous drug users, and health care professionals. By understanding the biological make up of the disease researchers have been able to come up with many options to treating the disease, its progression into AIDs, and other infections that can occur
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Once it has been determined that a patient needs to begin treatment there are several steps taken to determine which type of drugs the newly diagnosed patient will receive. Those steps involve determining the readiness of a patient; to maintain a healthy CD4 count which enables a healthy immune system, a patient must take prescribed medication everyday for the rest of their life, this is a huge commitment and must be taken seriously by the patient. Additionally, a test is done to determine which strain of HIV the patient has, the strain type will determine which drugs will be best to combat the virus, and whether or not it is a drug resistant. According to Dr. Gandhi drug resistance in strains occurs when a HIV carrier does not take their prescribed medication daily and consequently develops a resistance to the drug; therefore, if the newly diagnosed patient receives a drug resistant strain, he/she contracted the virus from a patient who developed a drug resistance first. The fact that drug resistant strains exist stresses the importance of step one; making sure that a patient is ready to start treatment. Once the strain has been documented and an appropriate drug therapy program has been developed the patient is able to start treatment.

Types Of Treatment

The types of drugs that are used to combat against HIV and its progression into AIDs are known as antiretrovirals. Antiretrovirals have
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