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Infectious disease specialists answer frequently asked questions about HIV and AIDS

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Research, treatment and education on the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) have changed dramatically over the last few decades. Dr. Ben Appenheimer, an infectious disease specialist at Iowa University Hospital and Clinic, has resolved misunderstandings about HIV and AIDS, treatment, testing and more. What is the difference between HIV and AIDS? “The difference between HIV and AIDS is essentially whether HIV can damage someone’s immune system. If you are diagnosed with HIV, it is essentially that person is the cause of HIV. It means that you are infected with the virus. Someone’s immune system is damaged and you start to get an infection that you can’t get otherwise. This is what we classify as AIDS. “Someone’s immunity.” How can I tell if my system is damaged enough to be diagnosed with AIDS? ”CD4 count cutoff CD4 cells are a specific type of cell that fights infections. These are reduced in people who are infected with HIV. If these are less than 200, they are considered AIDS. Did you get it? “Many people are wondering if they can get infected from casual casual contact in their daily lives. Shaking hands, sharing tools, sharing drinks, hugging, etc. HIV does not get infected from such casual conversations in everyday life. I would like to clarify that you may come into contact on a daily basis You will not be infected even with things like kisses Individual exposure, blood-to-blood exposure, use of intravenous drugs, specific sex These are the only known ways to communicate HIV. ”Are there any precautions that HIV-infected people can take before they move to AIDS?“ This is an early testing stage. HIV infection. If a person is found and a diagnosis is made before the immune system is damaged, the HIV virus will not circulate in the blood and drugs that essentially allow it can be administered. “Is there a cure for HIV?” ? ”There is no cure for HIV yet, so although it can reduce the level of HIV in the blood, it is still lurking in the body. “How do HIV and AIDS affect a person’s lifespan?” Many (patients) are very upset, and I think the major concerns are: They have a vision of HIV and AIDS in the 80’s and early 90’s before good drugs were prescribed. They haven’t done it in the last decade or so. A 20-year-old child was diagnosed with HIV in the mid-90’s. If so, their lifespan was only 39 years. But now, when a 20-year-old child is diagnosed with HIV, its lifespan is essentially the same as without it. The key is that now there are really good medicines that are well tolerated and people have taken them for decades and they really work. As long as they can take the medicine continuously. The risk of shortening their lifespan is very minimal. ”What is PrEP?“ PrEP stands for Pre-Exposure Profylaxis. PrEP’s goal is to prevent people from becoming infected with HIV and to make it HIV. To prevent infection. Basically, this is a two-drug formulation that is effective against HIV and only prevents you if you are infected with HIV. Prevents HIV from being taken into your body and transmitted. Prevent. There are certain people we recommend, such as those at high risk of continuous exposure to HIV, especially those at high risk of sexual exposure. Who is affected by HIV and AIDS? ? “Historically, (black and gay communities) were perceived as the highest-risk people, but recently we have found that heterosexuals also have an increased incidence of HIV. Not only is it a disease that affects men who have sex with men, but it is also a disease that can be transmitted through encounters with heterosexuals and the use of intravenous drugs. ”Hesitate to be tested for HIV and AIDS. Why do I need to be tested ?? “We often encounter people who hesitate to be tested and who are usually in danger. I recommend Is to actually be tested and retested as soon as you feel at risk, because it is very important to detect HIV early if someone becomes infected. Yes, this is from both a public health perspective and an individual health perspective. Early treatment can reduce the amount of virus in the blood and essentially eliminate the risk of infecting others. From the perspective of personal health, it is important to receive treatment early before the virus is transmitted. It is an opportunity to damage the immune system and avoid irreparable damage from the HIV virus and infection. Is this a treatment that puts a strain on the patient’s body? “I think people were previously worried about getting tested because the treatment was very toxic and felt very difficult to carry out. 10 to 15 doses have serious side effects. The treatments currently available are actually advancing. Over the last 10 or 15 years, we are currently developing several different tablets that are administered once daily and they are very much. It is well tolerated and people have no serious side effects or drug side effects after decades of taking it. Therefore, it is important to get tested early. By not infecting others, your own illness You can prevent and continue to take your medication. ”For more information on Iowa’s inclusive healthcare options, see One Iowa’s Healthcare Resources. Click here for more LGBTQ + resources in Iowa. Click here for a list of 2021 Pride Month events.

Surrounding research, treatment, education Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) And Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has changed dramatically in the last few decades.

Dr. Ben Appenheimer, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinic, has resolved misunderstandings about HIV and AIDS, treatment, testing and more.

What is the difference between HIV and AIDS?

“The difference between HIV and AIDS is essentially whether HIV can damage someone’s immune system. If you are diagnosed with HIV, it is essentially infected with the virus that causes HIV. It means that someone’s immune system is damaged and they begin to develop infections that cannot be obtained otherwise. This is what we classify as AIDS. “

How can I tell if someone’s immune system is damaged enough to be diagnosed with AIDS?

“We use a specific cutoff for CD4 counts. CD4 cells are a specific type of cell that fights infection. These are the ones that decrease in people infected with HIV. And if they fall below 200, It is considered AIDS. “

How is HIV transmitted?

“Many people are wondering if they can get infected from casual daily contact. Shaking hands, sharing tools, sharing drinks, hugging, etc. HIV does not get infected from such casual conversations in everyday life. I would like to clarify that you may come into contact on a daily basis You will not get infected even with things like kisses Individual exposure, blood-to-blood exposure, use of intravenous drugs, specific sex These are the only ways HIV is known to be transmitted. ”

Are there any precautions I can take before HIV-infected people move to AIDS?

“It reaches the stage of early testing. If you can find someone infected with HIV and get a diagnosis before the immune system is damaged, the essence is that the HIV virus will not circulate in the blood. You can administer drugs that make it possible, and you can prevent HIV from progressing to AIDS. “

Is there a cure for HIV?

“Since there is no cure for HIV yet, we can lower the level of HIV in the blood, but HIV is still lurking in the body, but without it it does not damage the immune system. Drugs. “

How do HIV and AIDS affect a person’s lifespan?

“Many (patients) are very distraught, and a major concern is that they have such a vision of what HIV and AIDS were like in the 80’s and early 90’s before good drugs were prescribed. If a 20-year-old child was diagnosed with HIV in the mid-1990s, their lifespan was very short 39. But recently, a 20-year-old child was diagnosed with HIV. If so, its lifespan is essentially the same as if it had not been diagnosed. A person can take it for decades, but it can really work. Continued. As long as you can take the drug, the risk of shortening your life is negligible. ”

What is PrEP?

“PrEP stands for Pre-exposure Prophylaxis. The goal of PrEP is to prevent people who may be exposed to HIV and to prevent them from becoming infected with HIV. When exposed to HIV, it is taken up by the body. There are certain people who recommend it to people who are at high risk of being exposed to HIV, especially those who are at high risk of sexual exposure.

Who is affected by HIV and AIDS?

“Historically, (black and gay communities) were perceived as the highest-risk people, but recently we have found that heterosexuals also have an increased HIV prevalence. Men who have sex with HIV can be infected not only by the disease, but also by encountering heterosexuals and using IV drugs. “

I’m hesitant to be tested for HIV or AIDS, why should I be tested?

“We often encounter people who hesitate to take the test, or who are usually at risk. I recommend that you actually do it as soon as you feel it is at risk. Being tested and retested because it is very important to detect HIV early if someone becomes infected, both from a public health perspective and from a personal health perspective. With early treatment, you can reduce the amount of virus in your blood and essentially eliminate the risk of infecting others. From an individual health perspective, before the virus is transmitted. Early treatment is important, as it is an opportunity to damage the immune system and prevent irreparable damage from the HIV virus and infections. ”

Is the treatment burdensome to the patient’s body?

“I think people were previously worried about getting tested because the treatment was very toxic and felt very difficult to carry out. 10 to 15 doses have serious side effects. The treatments currently available are actually advancing. Over the last 10 or 15 years, we are currently developing several different tablets that are administered once daily and they are very much. It is well tolerated and people have no serious side effects or drug side effects after decades of taking it. By not infecting others, you can prevent yourself from getting sick and continue to take the drug. I will. “

For more information on Iowa’s comprehensive healthcare options, See One Iowa Healthcare Resources.

For other LGBTQ + resources in Iowa, click here..

For a list of 2021 Pride Month events click here..

..

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