HIV can now be treated with a range of medicines. The so-called
antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a combination of several active
substances that contain the multiplication of the pathogen. The
outbreak of diseases caused by the virus's weakening of the immune
system can thus be avoided or delayed.
1987, the first drug against HIV was approved - a decisive
breakthrough in the then almost hopeless fight against the rapidly
spreading disease. There are now more than 30 drugs that are used to
treat the infectious disease. Nevertheless, a cure in the sense that
the virus is completely removed from the body is still not possible.
reason for this is that all drugs available to date only prevent the
virus from multiplying. However, the drugs have no effect on genetic
material that the pathogen has "hidden" in human cells and
that is in a kind of resting phase there. As soon as the substances
are discontinued, the dormant genetic information becomes active
again and the virus can spread again.
aim of the current HIV treatment is therefore to suppress the
multiplication of the viruses. If viruses are hardly produced any
more, the immune system is relieved and new T-helper cells, so-called
CD4 lymphocytes, can form. At the same time, the viral load
decreases, which in turn reduces the risk of infection.
therapy is currently the combined administration of at least two
active substances. The substances used in this highly active
antiretroviral therapy (HAART) partly interfere at different points
in the HIV propagation cycle, which increases the efficiency of the
order to determine the optimal drug combination for each patient,
regular check-ups are required to determine the viral load and CD4
lymphocyte count in the body of the patient. Modern media drugs,
however, are generally well tolerated. However, if side effects of
antiretroviral therapy - such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea -
occur, these can be recorded in the controls and, if necessary,
treated with additional medication. Many different therapy
options/medications are already available today in order to be able
to select the optimal therapy for the patient.
most HIV therapists and medical guidelines recommend an immediate
start of therapy regardless of laboratory values. At the very latest
when the number of CD4 cells falls below the 350 cells/µl mark, HIV
therapy must be initiated.
to the guidelines, HIV patients should be cared for and treated by
doctors and institutions specialising in HIV. Nowadays there are
outpatient clinics and ordinances in many larger cities.
to modern medicines, HIV-infected patients can reach a normal age.
Even if symptoms have already occurred, they can regress under
it is indispensable for the success of treatment that those affected
take their medication consistently and according to the doctor's
instructions, and for a lifetime. This is the only way to ensure that
the active substances are always present in sufficiently high
concentrations in the blood.
the active substance level drops due to irregular intake or
unauthorised therapy breaks, this can lead to a strong increase in
the number of viruses and thus to a relapse of the disease. On the
other hand the development of resistances is promoted in this way.
This means that the virus develops increasing resistance to drugs
used in HIV therapy. In this case, the drug is only partially
effective or, in the worst case, not effective at all.
are not many diseases where prevention is as important and easy to
manage as HIV infection. The key is to protect yourself and others as
much as possible from infection.
most common transmission route is contact with body fluids containing
viruses, such as sperm, blood or vaginal secretions. It is therefore
one of the most important precautionary measures that condoms,
femidoms or dental dams (oral sex) are used during sex. This applies
to both homosexual and heterosexual sexual contacts.
drugs can not only reduce a possible risk after (PEP = post-exposure
prophylaxis) but also before (PreP = pre-exposure prophylaxis) taking
it. However, only one drug has been approved for this use so far.
drug was actually developed for the treatment of HIV infection and
has been successfully used for this purpose for years. Due to the
many years of use, the patent protection for this drug has expired.
means that other pharmaceutical companies may legally "reproduce"
this drug. Drug copies ("generics") are successfully used
for cost reduction with many substances and are practically
equivalent to the original preparation in terms of effect and side
the development costs are eliminated, generic companies can offer
their products at a much lower price. This is also the case with
PrEP: while the original drug is affordable for practically no one
with almost $1,000 for a monthly package, generics are available
for less than a tenth, namely for $60.
has been established for several years that treated HIV patients
whose HIV virus load cannot be detected in the blood for at least six
months and who have no other sexually transmitted diseases (syphilis,
gonorrhea, chlamydia) are practically no longer infectious. This
prevention strategy is known internationally as "Treatment as
HIV high-risk group is an intravenous (i.v.) substance-dependent
group, i.e. addicts who inject substances directly into the vein
using syringes. Syringes, needles and other accessories should only
be used once and should never be shared with other substance users.
Clean syringes and needles are given to drug addicts at various
and nursing staff should use gloves if there is a risk of coming into
contact with patients' body fluids. However, there is no danger in
the normal handling of patients - such as shaking hands.
there is a high probability that an infection has occurred - for
example after unprotected sexual intercourse with an HIV-positive
sexual partner or if a nurse has injured herself on a contaminated
instrument - post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) can be useful. This is
usually a four-week therapy with HIV drugs to prevent the virus from
settling in the body and leading to a chronic infection.
HIV-PEP should ideally be started two, but at the most 24 hours after
the possible infection. Studies have shown that post-exposure
prophylaxis for injuries with contaminated instruments significantly
reduces the risk of infection. Individual case reports show a similar
effect after risky sexual contacts. Nevertheless, nobody should rely
on this measure, because even with optimal implementation an
infection cannot be prevented with certainty. The doctor and patient
should decide together whether there is a relevant risk and whether a
PEP should be carried out.
No. Viruses don't have cures, but symptoms can be controlled with proper treatment.
Viral. AIDS is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
Antiviral Medication. HIV/AIDS is treated with a variety of antiviral medications: fusion inhibitors, protease inhibitors and RT inhibitors are the most common.
AIDS / HIV is Incurable. HIV/AIDS is incurable; as such treatment is aimed at slowing progression and treating symptoms.
Yes. Partners should be informed of your condition and condoms/dams should be used consistently.
No. HIV is incurable; once you are infected, you will carry the disease with your for life.