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Internal Medicine

HIV Treatment

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a non-treatable virus. It spreads via physical contact with semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, rectal fluid or pre-seminal fluid of the person with HIV. HIV destroys the immune system, lowers its CD4 cells and can lead to a person contracting AIDS, which is a life-threatening disease. There are three stages in HIV—acute infection, clinical latency and AIDS. The virus can spread to another person at any stage. As soon you are infected with HIV you may have symptoms like flu, fever or rash. Other severe symptoms include chronic diarrhoea or weight loss. Though there is no cure or vaccine for HIV yet, antiretroviral therapy, which includes regular medication, can reduce chances of transmission and help increase lifespan. Pre-exposure prophylaxis is prevention for people who have a high chance of contracting HIV and post-exposure prophylaxis is prevention for people working or living closely to a person who is HIV-infected. As the immune system of people with HIV is weak, they always have a higher risk of getting cancer.

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