AIDS / HIV Treatment
AIDS / HIV Treatment
HIV treatment has developed considerably over the years. People with HIV now, have just as much promise for a long and healthy life as others. There are now 20 approved antiretroviral drugs available for HIV treatment.
Medications for the treatment of HIV and AIDs
HIV antiretroviral drugs
Tenofovir tablets are considered the main choice of treatment for HIV or AIDS. They work to postpone the immune system damage, though they are not considered to be a cure. HIV medicine such as this must be taken strictly at the same time every day, for the rest of the patient’s life. Antiretroviral HIV treatment is to help minimise and maintain low levels of HIV within the patient. This then will prevent further detriment to the immune system. It also enables the immune system to recover from any prior damage caused by the disease. Antiretrovirals are also known as ARVs, anti-HIV or anti-AIDS drugs. Oftentimes a patient will take two or more antiretroviral drugs at a time. This is called combination therapy. The benefit in taking two or more antiretrovirals reduces the rate at which resistance could develop, therefore making the HIV treatment more effective.
Typical side effects of HIV treatment
- nausea (feeling sick)
- skin rashes
- neuropathic pain
- lipodystrophy – (alterations to the way body fat is distributed throughout the body)
Medicinal Cannabis Treatment of HIV and AIDs
HIV and the AIDs epidemic broke out into the news in full force in the early 1980’s. At this time America was in the midst of the “war on drugs” campaign. This meant that anyone in possession of marijuana, no matter the form were arrested and convicted. The research was abruptly suppressed at this time and it was not until the 1990s did we see it being reintroduced based on the clear medical and scientific findings. Of these findings were treatments for many conditions, HIV being one of them. Studies indicated Cannabis and a variety of medical purpose in the treatment of HIV and AIDs. This included:
Medical Cannabis Restores Appetite to HIV Patients undergoing Chemotherapy.
In a report commissioned by the White House in 1999, the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine indicated that nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety each could be treated by medical cannabis. Each of these symptoms is also related to those undergoing chemotherapy for HIV/AIDS. People fighting HIV require a much larger number calories to maintain their weight. Also, in the final stage of HIV where the body succumbs to the disease and develops into AIDs, there is the most accelerated weight loss. In this stage the disease is accompanied by extreme fever, fatigue, diarrhoea, pneumonia and depression. THC has been known for its psychotropic effects, but also in its appetite promotion which clearly has its uses in the treatment of HIV and AID’s patients.
Medical Cannabis Relieves Pain and Nausea
In February 2007 the medical journal Neurology published a study which suggested that medical cannabis had reduced chronic pain with great efficiency in AIDs patients and had little to no side effects. Still to this day it is rather disturbing that the greater populous believes cannabis causes cancer – even though this has been fought with credible research indicating that this is not true.
Statistics: Population diagnosed with HIV / AIDs in Australia
As the end of 2011, there had been 31,364 diagnosed HIV infections in Australia, and just around 24,731 people were living with HIV/AIDS.
An estimated 26,900 people in Australia live with HIV. In 2013, 1,236 people were diagnosed with HIV. Most HIV infections occur among gay men
Total Diagnoses: By 31 December 2013, 35,287 cases of HIV had been diagnosed in Australia since the first diagnoses in 1982.
People with HIV: An estimated 26,900 people in Australia live with HIV. Of these, around 24,100 are men, and around 2,800 are women.
What is AIDs?
HIV causes the AIDS virus. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV breaks down the immune system — our body’s protection against disease. HIV causes people to become sick with infections that normally wouldn’t affect them.
AIDS is short for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It is the most advanced stage of HIV disease.
Causes of AIDs/HIV
Having unprotected sex with a person who has HIV.
Other causes for contracting HIV:
- sharing needles, syringes and other injecting equipment
- a mother may transfer to her baby before or during birth as well as by feeding
- sharing toys of an intimate nature with someone infected with HIV
- healthcare workers accidentally pricking themselves with an infected hiv needle (this risk is extremely low)
- blood transfusion
HIV is not passed on easily from one person to another. The virus does not spread through the air like cold and flu viruses. HIV lives in the blood and in some body fluids. The body fluids that contain enough HIV to infect someone are:
- vaginal fluids, including menstrual blood
- breast milk
- lining inside the anus
Other body fluids, like saliva, sweat or urine, do not contain as much of the virus to infect another person.
Symptoms of AIDs / HIV
- Lack of energy
- Weight loss
- Frequent fevers and sweats
- Persistent or frequent yeast infections
- Persistent skin rashes or flaky skin
- Short-term memory loss
- Mouth, genital, or anal sores from herpes infections.