HIV, which also stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is an infection that attacks our immune system and makes our immune system weaker, making us susceptible and vulnerable to other diseases such as allergies or even cancers. HIV transfers from one person to another through unprotected sexual intercourse, shared needles, mother to child during birth or breastfeeding, and sharing infected blood. For many years, HIV was one of the most dangerous viruses to humanity because HIV treatment was not progressing.
Over the past few years, there have been many developments and breakthroughs in treating HIV like the introduction of the Rapid hiv test kit. If we do not treat HIV well, it has a high chance of progressing to AIDS, also known as Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is worse than HIV and hampers our immune system more than it did before, making us more vulnerable to other diseases.
HIV is known as a life-threatening disease because it will stay with us forever if we are infected. HIV has taken many lives, and there is still no 100% treatment to remove HIV from our system. However, there has been significant progress, and there are possibilities to live a healthy life even after becoming HIV positive.
Historical Perspective of HIV Treatment
The HIV concept got misunderstood when first discovered. People created a social stigma around the illness and completely disregarded those who have HIV. Some people believed that HIV spread just by talking to someone with HIV-positive, which made it harder for infected people to adjust to society.
The social stigma created around the disease was hard to break. As there were no treatments for HIV in the past, people did everything to stay away from the infected people. There was limited understanding surrounding the topic of HIV, and there were limited treatment options as well.
HIV has made a lot of progress over the years. HIV awareness and understanding are becoming more common. People have started understanding that people living with HIV are not direct threats to anyone.
There was a breakthrough in HIV treatment when ART, also known as Antiretroviral Therapy, came out. ART helped people living with HIV live a normal life and not a chronic, life-threatening virus. ART helped HIV patients to manage HIV and improved the expectancy of life by a lot.
The breakthrough of ART helped not only HIV-positive people but also helped in reducing HIV transmission by a lot. ART gave people hope, and people started to understand HIV better and did not treat HIV patients as someone different. Today people infected with HIV can still live a normal life.
Role Of Healthcare Providers In HIV Treatment and Management
Healthcare providers play an important role in treating HIV and managing the disease. Some of the important role healthcare providers play in HIV treatment and management are:
HIV Testing and Diagnosis
Healthcare providers are responsible for HIV testing and providing diagnosis for the patients. Healthcare providers also help in counseling the patients after testing positive and guide them on the important aspect of treating HIV.
Treatment and Monitoring
After discovering that the patient is HIV positive, healthcare providers help the patient with further treatment of HIV. They assist them throughout the treatment process and also monitor them throughout the process. Healthcare providers help patients start their ART cycle and everything related to it.
Healthcare providers will provide regular medical care to patients with HIV. They will perform routine checkups of their CD4 cell count. They manage and treat HIV and the patients living with it with the utmost care they require.
Prevention and Risk Reduction
Healthcare providers ensure HIV-positive patients know the prevention and risks they pose to other people. They inform their parents about practices to stop HIV from spreading, such as safe sex, protection, and regular HIV testing for them and their loved ones.
Healthcare providers also provide awareness programs to the general public as an awareness campaign about the disease and to clarify misconceptions.
Recent Progress in HIV Treatments
While there has been no medication or treatment process that completely removes HIV from our system, there have been functional treatments that help the patient live normally. The virus remains undetectable for a long time without needing the patient to get on ART.
There have been various treatment approaches that have been explored, such as “shock and kill.” While medical teams worldwide are trying to find a treatment that cures HIV permanently, progress has been slow.
Healthcare providers dedicate their life and time to finding the cure for HIV and helping HIV-positive people worldwide. Finding the treatment will also help the patients and help in lowering the transmission rates.
In conclusion, with the newest technology and latest revelations, there has been a lot of progress regarding HIV. Although it has been a long road, HIV-positive patients can now live a normal life in society. We have broken the social stigma of HIV and have embraced it as a treatable disease.
People are educated about HIV and encouraged to practice safe physical activities through various education and awareness programs across the globe. People are also prioritizing HIV testing due to awareness. Practicing safe sex is important to stay safe. As HIV spreads from one person to another through unprotected intimation, sharing infected needles, and from an HIV tested mother-to-child during birth, one needs to be careful. So, by now we are very much aware of protecting ourselves from HIV.
Our ability to treat HIV is improving every day; in the future, we may be able to find 100% solutions for HIV. Until then, we must understand the disease risk and follow the prevention methods. HIV patients are now living normal lives and they do not have to worry about dying because of a functional cure and sustained remission.