Side effects of HIV on sexual health
HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a virus which attacks and weakens the human immune system. If untreated, HIV can cause severe physical damage in the form of side effects, potentially leading to a weakened state of health.
General signs and severity of the disease
The severity of the side effects of HIV can depend upon the individual, as not every person experiences HIV in the same way. However, general signs of the disease include frequent infections, fevers, and fatigue. Many people might only experience mild symptoms, such as colds, sore throats, and urinary tract infections; while more serious symptoms tend to escalate over time with an untreated infection.
Prone to certain another specific type of illness
People living with HIV are more prone to developing certain illnesses or diseases, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis, due to their weakened immune systems. There is also an increased risk of developing certain cancers, such as Kaposi sarcoma, which is a cancer of the skin cells. Other illnesses include stomach viruses, yeast infections, oral diseases, and more.
Expressing a wide range of social and emotional distress
People living with HIV may also experience a wide range of emotional and mental health implications as a result of the virus. For instance, depression, anxiety, and cognitive issues are common issues. It can also be difficult to engage in daily activities, maintain relationships, and perform a job or school-related tasks.
Side effects from the medications itself
Although HIV is a manageable disease, the current treatments are not able to rid the virus from the body, so long-term management remains necessary. There are a variety of medications available to maintain health and minimize the side effects of HIV. Many of these medications can cause side effects of their own. For example, those taking HIV medications may feel dizziness, nausea, headaches, and fatigue, as well as more dangerous side effects such as liver and kidney damage.
Finally, HIV can also financially impact individuals living with the virus. Medicines, doctor's appointments, and other treatments can be highly costly, resulting in financial stress and strain.
Living with the HIV virus requires a great deal of persistence
HIV has been a global health problem for decades, and it can cause many other health complications, including a weakened immune system. Thankfully, advances in medicine have dramatically lowered the mortality rate of HIV, but living with the virus still requires a great deal of vigilance and precaution.
HIV cells attack the immune system
The primary way in which HIV weakens the immune system is by attacking and destroying certain immune cells, namely CD4+ T cells, which are responsible for responding to disease-causing organisms. When the virus attacks and destroys these cells, the body is unable to effectively fight off infections and other diseases. This can cause persistent immune system dysfunction, leading to both minor and major health problems.
Rebounding of HIV infection
HIV also weakens the body’s natural ability to repair itself after a bout of illness or infection. HIV increases damage to healthy cells and therefore interferes with the body’s natural healing process. This can prolong illnesses, cause persistent, chronic symptoms, and increase the risk of secondary infections and other illnesses.
Making it difficult for the body to fight further infections
HIV also lowers the effectiveness of anti-HIV medications, making them less effective against the virus. This is because HIV attacks and destroys immune cells, including those that would otherwise protect the body from the virus. This makes it more difficult for the body to fight off HIV and increases the risk of transmission and further weakening of the immune system.
Medicine for HIV
Lamivudine, commonly known by its brand name, Epivir, is a prescription medication used to treat and prevent HIV, as well as certain types of liver disease associated with the virus. It is a type of antiretroviral medication, which act as an inhibitor of the reverse transcriptase enzyme responsible for the replication of HIV and hepatitis B viruses.
Function of Lamivudine
Lamivudine 150mg functions by interfering with the enzyme responsible for copying the genetic material of the viruses, which stops the viruses from reproducing and multiplying. The goal of this medication is both to reduce the number of virus particles in the body and allow the cells of the immune system to function normally, thereby providing benefits for the overall functioning and health of the body.
Overall, HIV can cause serious damage to an individual’s health, both physically and emotionally. It is best to seek medical attention for any unusual symptoms or changes in health, as early intervention can minimize the severity of side effects. An HIV diagnosis does not mean the end of enjoying a healthy life and quality of life, it means beginning a new journey that requires proper care and management.