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HIV (AIDS)

HIV Treatment Options

In the recent years, there have been a number of drugs developed which greatly slow the period of time between HIV infection and the development of AIDS. These drugs block HIV replication and slow down its progress in the body. That leads to the increase in the number of health immune cells. Doctors usually prescribe a cocktail consisting of three or four pharmaceuticals which is called active antiretroviral treatment. Oftentimes, as the result of the treatment the HIV blood concentration drops below detectable levels. However, that doesn't mean that a person becomes HIV-free because in addition to being found in blood, the virus can lurk in lymph nodes and other organs.

The availability of effective treatment options means that knowing about your "positive" HIV-status is vital for long-term survival. Treatment will usually help contain potentially life-threatening illnesses and the disease progression. Also, treatment for many HIV-unrelated ailments (such as syphilis for example) has to be different for HIV-infected persons. Of course, it is very important to monitor for any signs of decreased immune system activity which will help in selecting the appropriate treatment that is most effective in preventing the development of AIDS.

Even though there is no cure for HIV, with advanced treatment options available an HIV-infected person can live quite a long life. In addition to drug treatment, there is plenty of help available from support groups and psychologists that specialize in helping HIV-infected patients make the necessary adjustments in their lifestyle.

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