by taking a single pill a day. Although there’s no cure for this disorder or AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndromWithin a generation, highly effective treatments have transformed the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from a death sentence to a chronic disease that can often be managed e),
How HIV Treatment Has Changed
When the this disorder/AIDS epidemic began in the 1980s, people with HIV were often given only a few years to live. Today, there are 31 antiretroviral medications approved to treat this disorder, and with prompt diagnosis and proper treatment, people with this disorder can expect to live nearly as long as people without the virus.
“What’s changed in the last 5 to 10 years is the increased attention on developing drugs that are more convenient with fewer side effects,” says Paul Volberding, MD, a professor in the department of medicine at the University of California in San Francisco and the director of the university’s AIDS research institute. “The single-pill regimen has transformed HIV treatment.”
The other main development in this disorder treatment, he says, is new research that suggests current therapies not only suppress the virus but can also prevent its transmission to others.
HIV Treatment Options
Current HIV treatment guidelines from the National Institutes of Health recommend antiretroviral drugs for everyone with the HIV infection, regardless of CD4 count, the indicator of immune function in people with this disorder .
“We no longer wait to start treatment,” says Volberding. “There’s benefit to the people with this disorder themselves as well as to the general public by way of stopping transmission of the virus.”
The main types of antiretroviral medications used to treat this disorder treatment include:
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), which block one of the enzymes that this disorder needs to replicate itself in a cell.
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), which target the same enzyme as NRTIs, but with a different chemical structure.
- Protease inhibitors (PIs), which stop the production of one component of this disorder.
- Entry inhibitors, which block the entry of HIV into CD4 cells.
- Integrase inhibitors, which block this disorder from inserting its viral DNA into host cells.
Choosing HIV Treatment That’s Right for You
Discussing the benefits and risks of different this disorder treatment options with your doctor can help you choose treatment that’s right for you based on your individual health status and lifestyle. “The choice is based on what’s effective and convenient,” says Volberding. Factors that can come into play include your stress level, eating habits, and any other medications you’re taking. Your doctor should also check for this disorder drug resistance with a blood test.