Is HIV/AIDS a Chronic Disease?
What is chronic disease?
HIV Chronic Disease? Chronic disease is defined as a medical condition that lasts for 1 year or more. Once a person is diagnosed with a chronic illness, ongoing medical treatment is required. Some examples of chronic diseases are cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Besides cancer or diabetes, HIV/AIDS is also considered a chronic disease. Since there is no cure for the infection, treatment is necessary. However, this treatment must be administered all the time. After an HIV diagnosis, a person will be equipped to live with the virus for a long time if the treatment is followed properly.
HIV is a lifelong infection. Without proper treatment, HIV can progress to AIDS, which is the most advanced stage of the infection. During this stage, opportunistic infections develop. This process is eased with ART therapy.
Introduction of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s
HIV was first detected in the 1980s. The infection was called the human immunodeficiency virus. In the initial years, the death rate of people with the infection was sternly high because ART treatment was not introduced. The long history of HIV created turmoil in medical science, from which finding a cure was challenging. Until today, there is no cure available; however, clinical studies are underway.
Development of ART (Antiretroviral Therapy)
Following the development of ART, HIV has become a manageable chronic infection. The introduction of ART has given HIV-positive individuals a chance to live longer lives. Continuous treatment involving combination drugs inhibits HIV’s hostile impact on the body. ART also works by strengthening the immune system, boosting it to function better against fighting the infection.
Before ART’s development, it was a big challenge for HIV patients to manage their condition. The medicines they took were toxic and couldn’t suppress HIV. Besides the severe adverse reactions that they had to endure every day, consuming 4-5 pills at least twice a day was too much. There was also no assurance of recovery since the medicines were not 100% effective.
Today, treating HIV is easier. Two or three antiviral drugs are combined into one, making it easier for HIV patients to follow their daily medications. The introduction of ART made it convenient to consume only one pill per day. Compared to the early years of HIV treatment, managing the infection today is far less complicated.
ART Drugs Accessible Today
Here are some of the most common combination drugs used in treating HIV/AIDS:
These combination drugs are taken only once per day. They are a combination of different drug classifications, which work by inhibiting the replication process of HIV. These drugs are highly capable of preventing AIDS from developing.
Because HIV/AIDS is a chronic disease, managing it is necessary. Besides the daily consumption of antiretroviral drugs, HIV-positive individuals must also ensure they are healthy. When engaging in any sexual activity, using condoms is always a must to stop the spread of the infection. Furthermore, a regular visit to the doctor to receive more instructions and advice will help you to better manage your condition.