CD4+ Cells - Topic Overview
CD4+ cells are part of the immune system and are a type of white blood cell. White blood cells protect the body against infection. CD4+ cells are also called T-lymphocytes,T-cells,or T-helper cells. HIV invades and destroys CD4+ cells. But the body continues to produce new CD4+ cells to fight the HIV infection. If the infection is not treated with medications,the body gradually loses the ...
Resistance to HIV Medicines - Topic Overview
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) changes (mutates) often. Sometimes these changes make the virus resistant to a particular medicine or class of medicines,which means the medicine is no longer effective against the virus. When this happens,the medicine no longer controls virus growth (replication) or protects the immune system. If you start taking antiretroviral medicines early in the ...
HIV: Risks of Sexual Contact - Topic Overview
During vaginal,oral,or anal sex,the receiving partner has the higher risk of contracting HIV. Men who allow other men to perform anal sex on them have the highest risk. The inserting male partner has a lower risk,but the risk increases if he is uncircumcised. Women who have vaginal or anal sex with infected men are also in danger. The risk decreases with the use of condoms. HIV can be ...
HIV: Stages of Infection - Topic Overview
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classify HIV infection into four stages. 1 Stages of HIV infection Stage 1 : There are no AIDS -related conditions AND the CD4+ cell count is greater than 500 or the percent of CD4+ cells is at least 29% of all lymphocytes. Stage 2 : There are no AIDS-related conditions AND the CD4+ cell count is 200 to 499 or the percent of CD4+ cells ...
Counseling for HIV Infection
During psychotherapy, a qualified counselor helps you cope with or change your thoughts, feelings, or behaviors regarding HIV infection. Your family and caregivers may also benefit from psychotherapy.Psychotherapy is usually short - term (8 to 20 visits) but may take months or years.You may seek short - term therapy more than once as the HIV infection progresses.Sessions may be individual or as pa
HIV: Giving Support - Topic Overview
It is important to think about the emotional well-being of the person with HIV you care for. Because every person's emotional needs are different,no single approach is best for everybody. Encourage the person to become involved in medical decisions that affect his or her care and daily schedules. Being involved will provide a sense of control and independence. Don't avoid the person. Like ...
HIV and Exercise - Topic Overview
Exercise cannot control the HIV infection. But exercise may help you feel better by reducing stress. Exercise may also help your immune system work better. Exercise: Is safe. Improves strength and endurance. Improves heart and lung fitness. May help you feel less tired or fatigued. Enhances your sense of well-being. May help stabilize or prevent declines in CD4+ cell counts. Start ...
Self-Care for AIDS Caregivers - Topic Overview
Providing support for a person who has AIDS can be a stressful and emotional experience. You may feel frustrated watching a person become sick despite your efforts. To help manage feelings of frustration,share your feelings with others,including other caregivers,counselors,clergy,or health professionals. Call your local AIDS service organization for support. Remember that you are not ...
HIV and AIDS: Who Is Affected - Topic Overview
HIV and AIDS can affect anyone. Worldwide,an estimated 33 million people are living with HIV or AIDS. 1 In the United States,more than a million people are infected with HIV. 2 Many of these people do not know they are infected. Since the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) became widespread in 1996,the incidence of AIDS has decreased. Factors responsible for the decline ...
Should I start antiretroviral medicines for HIV infection even though I have no symptoms?
Treatment of HIV infection without symptoms (asymptomatic) with three or more antiretroviral medicines (combination therapy,or highly active antiretroviral therapy [HAART]) is based on: 1 Your general health. Your CD4+ counts. Your willingness and ability to take your medicines as prescribed. Following your antiretroviral therapy schedule is essential for successful treatment of your HIV ...