HIV infection is a severe health condition that can lead to many complications if left untreated. People with HIV may experience varied symptoms that make their everyday activities difficult to perform. It increases the vulnerability to conditions such as AIDS, which can be fatal if not treated properly. Early diagnosis and treatment of this viral disease are essential to preventing the development of severe health challenges. Although it’s still not curable, several therapies help people with HIV to lead long and healthy life. Usually, HIV-affected patients have to go for antiretroviral treatment that allows them to have a better life and alleviates the transmission risk.
As per MyBioSource, HIV treatments are readily available at an affordable cost. The FDA has approved more than 20 combination therapies that seem to be pretty promising. However, there is a lot of social stigmas around this. If tackled well through open discussions, the crisis can be controllable. Experts believe that the primary reason for a high rate of AIDS can be attributable to poverty and no education. Many places that have successfully made people aware of this and possible treatments and prevention methods have seen these cases stabilize. As per the CDC analysis, the number of HIV infections in the US reduced by 17% in 2020 compared to 2019. However, the decrease is reportedly due to fewer HIV testing in 2020 compared to the same time in 2019.
COVID-19 and HIV
It needs more research to find out how coronavirus affects HIV patients. HIV-positive patients tend to be vulnerable to many underlying medical conditions. As per some data, about 50% of the American population diagnosed with HIV are 50 years or older. And aged people and those with other medical history are likely to experience the severity of the illness on catching the COVID-19 infection. Hence, people in advanced stages or without treatments must be extra careful. Likewise, those susceptible to the ailment’s severity or who share the same house or visit them must follow precautions. Masking and vaccination are even more crucial to protect themselves and others from COVID infection.
What to do if an HIV+ person falls prey to COVID?
If you develop coronavirus symptoms, you should test yourself and maintain distance at home and from others. Medical care should continue. You also must continue with your medications as per the prescription for your immunity’s sake. If you haven’t started your HIV treatment yet, you can consult with a medical practitioner to learn about the treatment benefits. Whether you came into contact with someone with the virus or tested positive for it, you must reach out to your doctor to know about the next step. You can also drop by a test location to see your eligibility for a prescription.
If you want to know whether there is a risk of drug-to-drug interactions, the answer is yes, unfortunately. Your doctor should be aware of your medications before prescribing COVID medicines. Health experts recommend that starting with COVID-19 treatment in the initial days of the infection is essential.
Should you take COVID-19 vaccines if you are HIV+?
Vaccination is for everyone, including those who have HIV. It doesn’t matter what’s your viral load or CD4 count.The CD4 count reflects the number of white blood cells in the blood targeted explicitly by HIV. A high CD4 count shows the immune system’s efficacy in fighting off infection. On the other hand, the viral load indicates the spread of HIV in the blood. If your viral load is high, it means you are highly infectious.
Nevertheless, COVID vaccination is a must, as mentioned. But the number of shots required entirely depends on your vaccine choice. If you are a patient of advanced HIV or don’t take any HIV treatment, you may need to take an extra primary dose of the vaccine after finishing the primary series. Generally, this shot precedes the booster dose. The additional shots can enhance the immune response. People with HIV who don’t belong to the advanced HIV group or don’t have high viral load may not need extra doses. For clarity, you can speak with your doctor also.
People with immunocompromised conditions have to follow a particular recommendation. You can get such knowledge from CDC’s booster tool related to coronavirus. Similarly, booster shots are also available for everyone, including HIV patients.
It is essential to understand that vaccination is safe for everyone, including those who are HIV positive. Food and Drug Administration has examined all the vaccines on rigorous parameters to check their safety, quality, and efficacy. During clinical trials, people with this condition were also a participant. And it still needs some proof whether COVID-19 vaccines interact with antiretroviral medications. If you have any doubts, visit official healthcare sites for more knowledge and information on specific details related to HIV patients. No matter what, don’t take any risks with your health.
Leave a Reply