ways to prevent hiv symptoms

Helpful Ways To Prevent HIV Symptoms

When HIV spreads out of control, the amount of virus in your blood increases, causing your immune system to suffer. CD4 cells are destroyed by it. Without enough of them, your body struggles to fight common infections and other health issues that it would typically be able to manage with ease.


Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 27th May 2022.

Helpful Ways To Prevent HIV Symptoms

You are infected with HIV. You are now experiencing symptoms you have never felt before. Perhaps you are losing weight for no apparent reason or cannot manage to get rid of a persistent cough.

What is the source of your sickness?

It is possible that you don’t have HIV under control. This is the most probable scenario if you are not on antiretroviral therapy (ART), which fights the virus. It may also happen if you are not taking ART properly or if the medications aren’t helping you.

When HIV spreads out of control, the amount of virus in your blood increases, causing your immune system to suffer. CD4 cells are destroyed by it. Without enough of them, your body struggles to fight common infections and other health issues that it would typically be able to manage with ease.

If you develop new symptoms, contact your doctor. They can figure out what is wrong and provide solutions to make you feel better.

Ways To Prevent HIV Symptoms and Treatment

Weight loss:  Losing weight without trying is a clear indication that your HIV is progressing in the wrong way. HIV, or the infections you receive due to it, may cause you to lose weight if left untreated. Plus, if you are unwell, you may not want to eat.

If you lose 10% or more of your body weight (for example, 15 pounds if you weigh 150 pounds) 

You may have a wasting syndrome. You also get diarrhoea, weakness, and fever for approximately a month. This is primarily a problem for those who have advanced HIV.

It’s crucial to attempt to regain the weight. Aside from taking your HIV meds, there are a few things you can do to help:

  • Consult a dietician to ensure that your diet is balanced and provides you with the calories you need.
  • Weightlifting and resistance exercises such as pushups, planks, and squats may help you gain muscular mass.
  • Supplements with a lot of protein are a good idea. (First, see if you need to see a doctor or a dietician.)
  • Infections that cause diarrhoea or a lack of appetite should be treated.
  • Your doctor may recommend megestrol acetate (Megace) and dronabinol (Marinol). To aid with wasting syndrome.

Skin problems: Dry, itchy skin is a typical problem among HIV patients whose weakened immune systems. Skin infections such as impetigo and tinea may also be an issue.

The following are some of the treatments:

  • Creams that are antifungal or antibacterial.
  • Antihistamines and steroids
  • Moisturisers 

Molluscum contagiosum is a skin infection caused by a virus that forms little flesh-coloured bumps. For individuals with HIV, the condition may develop out of control, so contact a dermatologist immediately for treatment.

Painful, blistering rash: It might be shingles if you have ever had chickenpox; the same virus causes both. Shingles usually affect persons over the age of 60. If you have HIV, though, you may get it at any age.

If you suspect you have shingles, you should visit your doctor immediately. Antiviral medications may help you recover faster, but you must begin taking them as soon as possible.

Other options for therapy include:

  • Pain relievers.
  • Itching may be relieved with calamine lotion, colloidal oatmeal baths, or moist compresses.

Fever: When you have a fever, your body is battling an infection. Your doctor may recommend tests to determine what is causing your fever so that they can determine how to treat it.

To bring down a fever, try the following things in addition to following your doctor’s advice:

  • Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve your pain.
  • Apply cold compresses to the affected area.

Nagging cough: Coughing is not usually an indication of anything more severe. However, one that lingers for weeks, maybe.

People with low CD4 counts are more prone to have pneumocystis pneumonia, a kind of lung infection (PCP). It might leave you with a dry cough, shortness of breath, and exhaustion.

If you experience signs of this infection, see your doctor immediately since it may be fatal if left untreated. You may need to be admitted to the hospital for diagnosis and treatment.

Tuberculosis is more common in those with weakened immune systems (TB). When you cough, you may cough up any when you coughYouphlegm and have chest discomfort, fever, and weight loss. If testing reveals that you have tuberculosis, you will be prescribed medication for many months.

Night sweats:  Do you ever wake up soaked in sweat in the middle of the night? It might be a sign of HIV or another illness (like TB). Sweating will cease if your doctor determines the source of the issue and cures it.

In the meanwhile, what more can you do?

  • Reduce the temperature in your bedroom and use fans to keep it as cool as possible.
  • Pyjamas and sheets that drain away moisture are purchasable.

Mouth problems: It’s relatively uncommon for HIV patients to develop sores in their mouths. As the infection progresses, it may produce symptoms such as thrush or cold sores.

These problems may make chewing and swallowing difficult. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics and pain relievers to help you battle the infection and discomfort.

Long-lasting diarrhoea: Infections that cause diarrhoea may affect people with weakened immune systems. It may endure a few weeks. Your doctor will do a comprehensive examination to determine the source of the issue.

Your doctor may recommend the following to help you manage your symptoms:

  • Anti-diarrhoea medications slow the movement of waste through your intestines, allowing you to go less often.
  • Bananas, rice, and potatoes are soft, easy-to-digest meals.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, tea, and other nutritious beverages.

Contact your doctor if your diarrhea worsens or you get a fever, vomiting, or discomfort.

Get Treated to Prevent Symptoms

The following symptoms and diseases are likely the consequence of advanced HIV, which indicates the virus has been spreading uncontrolled in your body for months or years.

If you haven’t started taking ART or aren’t taking it appropriately, now is the time to start. These medicines will reduce the number of viruses in your blood, allowing your immune system to heal. Even people with uncontrolled HIV may obtain the treatment they need and enjoy a healthy life. Ensure you take your HIV medication and any other medications recommended for your particular circumstances as directed by your doctor.

If you can’t handle the side effects or are not treating your disease well enough, you may need to switch medications. But don’t stop taking them without first seeing your doctor.

Sources

  1. https://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/treat-hiv-symptoms 
  2. Gary Sinclair, MD, HIV/AIDS specialist in Dallas.
  3. Averting AIDS and HIV: “Symptoms and Stages of HIV Infection,” “Tuberculosis and HIV Co-infection.”
  4. AIDS.gov: “Viral Load,” “HIV Lifecycle,” “Changing or Stopping Treatment.”
  5. U.S Department of Veterans Affairs: “CD4 counts and infections,” “HIV Wasting Syndrome."
  6. NAM AIDSMap: “Fact Sheet: Unintentional Weight Loss,” “Fact Sheet: Skin Problems,” “Cough.”
  7. American Academy of Dermatology: “Molluscum Contagiosum.”
  8. The Mayo Clinic: “HIV/AIDS Symptoms.”
  9. CDC: “Shingles (Herpes Zoster),” “Pneumocystis pneumonia.”
  10. AIDS Education and Training Center Program: “Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care: Fever,” “Guide for HIV/AIDS Clinical Care: Diarrhea.”
  11. International Hyperhidrosis Society: “Night Sweats.”
  12. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: “Mouth Problems and HIV.”

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