Though there is currently no permanent cure for HIV, the disease can be managed. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is used in the treatment of the infection. It involves the use of different HIV medicines called antiretrovirals (ARV).
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Showing 1–16 of 45 results
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a type of virus called retroviral, so drugs used in its treatment are referred to as antiretrovirals (ARV). Meds for HIV and AIDS are a combination of different ARV drugs for a therapy treatment called antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Medications for HIV and AIDS (ART) work by slowing down the replication process of the virus (i.e. slowing down or stopping the virus from making more copies of itself), thus reducing the impact on the body.
HIV treatment with ART at the initial stage usually involves the use of three (3) different pills from two (2) different drug classes, at least. (ARVs approved for HIV treatment are divided into seven (7) classes based on their interference with the replication process of the virus).
Unfortunately, ART is currently incapable of completely curing HIV, however, it is effective in managing or controlling the disease. HIV positive individuals can go on to live a long, healthy life, just like any healthy non-infected person if they are on ART and strictly adhere to the prescriptions.
In one way, anti-HIV tablets can be seen as the perfect remedy for HIV as they effectively fight against the virus, eventually reducing the viral load to undetectable levels - if the prescription is adhered to. It is very important to stick to prescription as missing doses can enable the virus to develop resistance to the drugs being issued. This may bring about little complexities or side effects and the need to switch regimens may arise.
Casually, it is right to say that anti-HIV tablets fight against HIV and eventually take the viral load down to undetectable levels. However, a lot more happens behind the scene when anti-HIV drugs are taken. Here’s a brief explanation of how HIV replicates, and how the meds control it.
Generally, when HIV enters the body, it infects cells that attempt to replicate (make more HIV copies) using a specific enzyme called reverse transcriptase. Without this enzyme, the virus cannot grow.
Since the virus cannot replicate without this enzyme, anti-HIV meds work by limiting the activity of the enzyme, which in turn slows down the replication process. It goes into the bloodstream once taken to interrupt reverse transcriptase, and hence, slow down or halt the virus' growth.
A contraindication is a condition that demands the discontinuation of a treatment or therapy, even if it's effective, because of the possibility of potentially harmful side effects. An HIV medication may be contraindicated if it is used with other drugs it may interact with (for example, azole antifungals).
A contraindication may be either absolute or relative. While an absolute contraindication warrants that under no circumstances should a particular therapy or treatment be used because of the associated risks, a relative contraindication is a situation where a treatment that may have side effects is still followed for the reason that the benefit outweighs the risks.
Common contraindications include:
Individuals experiencing contraindication to the use of ART may require a modification in the ART being administered. However, modification (switching) should only be carried out when potential benefits of modification surpass possible complications that may result from altering treatment. The main goal of modifying treatment is to ensure viral suppression and utmost care must be taken while doing so.
HIV drugs are not like regular everyday drugs; they are to be taken in a special kind of way else a lot could go wrong. An individual infected with HIV will have to take ART every single day for the rest of the person’s life (at least for now). Without strict adherence to prescription, HIV drug resistance may develop and with a few variants available one could run out of options.
Taking this into consideration, below is a detailed way to take drugs used for HIV/AIDS.
Plan for strict adherence to the medication prescription: the issue of strictly adhering to prescription cannot be overemphasized as it is the bedrock of getting the best out of the therapy. There are a number of good tips that make it easier to follow prescriptions, including:
Way to go if you mistakenly skip an HIV medication: No one is above mistakes and one may forget to take the necessary pills at the right time.
While this may not be the end of the world, how this is handled matters greatly. Unless it is almost time for the next dose of the drug, or it was your healthcare provider who advised otherwise, you should take the missed dose once you realize you skipped it. Never take two doses at once to compensate for a missed dose.
In all, if you find it difficult to follow prescriptions due to their complexity, have a talk with your healthcare provider. It is often possible to switch up your regimen to one with fewer pills to take.
Good questions to ask your healthcare provider about your HIV/AIDS regimen usage.
As stated earlier, different regimens exist for the treatment of HIV, and with the information provided, a healthcare provider will be able to decide which will be the perfect fit. Important questions to ask a doctor include:
With these questions asked, an individual on the HIV/AIDS drugs will know how best to use it.
HIV medicines enable people infected with the virus to control the disease and go on to live longer, healthier lives. However, sometimes the drugs pose some adverse effects. And while some of the adverse effects are manageable, some can be very serious. Regardless, these drugs continue to be used for treatment as their benefits far exceed the downsides.
Fortunately, new regimens for HIV treatment are developed every day, and they pose way smaller side effects than the older ones. With the use of newer regimens, infected individuals are less likely to suffer side effects.
People who are on the same HIV med can experience different side effects. That is, while one user may suffer headaches with the initial use of the drug, another may experience dizziness. To a great extent, it boils down to genetic makeup.
What’s more, while some of the adverse effects may appear a few days or weeks from using the medicines, others may take months or even years to surface. For this reason, we divide the side effects that can appear into short-term (effects that may surface when a person first starts the treatment), and long-term effects (those that may surface after years from using the treatment).
Temporary adverse reactions that you can notice include:
Irrespective of an experienced side effect, it is important to report all to a healthcare provider, as they might be symptoms of a more serious health challenge. Moreover, some side effects may result from drug interactions and a healthcare provider can determine ways to control or treat it depending on the cause.
On the one hand, long-term effects that can occur include:
Possible side effects that may result from taking HIV/AIDS medication can be managed. Your healthcare provider will let you know what symptoms to look out for and how to manage them (e.g. avoiding spicy foods can help prevent nausea).
A drug interaction is a reaction which takes place between two (2) or more drugs, foods, or supplements, causing a delay or decrease in the absorption of the drugs. If drug interactions are not checked during HIV treatment, it could lead to unwanted adverse effects. 3 (three) different types of drug interaction exist, and they include:
Though ART is an effective treatment for HIV, drug interaction can hamper its effectiveness and even cause an adverse effect.
A majority of patients who have used FDA-approved drugs such as Truvada, as well as the generic versions, speak positively of the effectiveness and ease of use. Besides complaints about minor side effects such as dizziness, fatigue, and vomiting, lots of users have expressed their satisfaction with the drugs.
However, a few users have given some of these drugs negative reviews, stating that they experienced adverse reactions such as fatigue, dizziness, and headaches that would not go away. While these are side effects that can arise with the use of some drugs for HIV, the method of use is a great determinant of their effect to a great extent. It is very possible that a good number of people complaining about these drugs are using them incorrectly.
Drugs for HIV must be taken correctly (as prescribed) to get the best results and avoid complications. Refer to the sub-topic, how to take drugs for HIV/AIDS, to see how the drugs should be taken.
Antiretroviral medicines are very effective in the treatment of HIV infection and are available for purchase. However, they cost quite a lot of money, about $1,200 for a 30-day supply of the brand names like Truvada that is made in the USA (not the generic version). While assistance can be acquired from certain support organizations, the tough criteria for eligibility and rigorous paperwork process required make it difficult to qualify.
Fortunately, with the approval of the generic versions of these brand drugs by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the drugs can be bought at cheaper prices online. However, it is advisable to buy the drugs from reliable online pharmacies only. PrEPGeneric is one such store, and it offers individuals looking to get drugs at a very cheap price.
Besides making the medicines available at an affordable price, PrEPGeneric also has favorable provisions to benefit from. The pharmacy offers one of the best deals on generic drugs from India via coupon codes. It also offers discounts for bulk purchases of drugs for HIV treatment and several other over-the-counter (OTC) medications for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
Other favorable terms offered by the store include free shipping/tracking for purchases over $250, discreet packaging for all medicines, and 100% money-back guarantee. Finally, deliveries are quick, dispatching every order within two (2) hours from the check out time.