AIDS treatment includes sex, to improve quality of life

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In addition to the cocktail, doctors encourage people with HIV to maintain a normal quality of life.

Treatment of AIDS it involves drugs, healthy habits and even sex

Gone were the days when AIDS was considered a death sentence and the patient could be recognized for his thin and depressed appearance. In recent years, the arrival of new medicines has provided more time and quality of life HIV-positive people. For infectologist Dr. Ralcyon Teixeira, from the Emílio Ribas Infectious Diseases Institute, in São Paulo, the treatment of the disease goes far beyond the daily use of pills.

- Other attitudes contribute significantly to the well-being of the patient, such as physical exercise, adoption of a balanced menu, smoking and other smoking cessation, moderation in alcohol consumption and even an active sex life, provided with a condom.

In case of condom breakage, the recommendation is to advise the doctor urgently to prevent contamination of the partner. Psychological support is also necessary for the patient to maintain self-esteem and overcome their fears, prejudices and guilt.

quality of life

The infectologist Dr. Ricardo Diaz, head of the Laboratory of Retrovirology of Unifesp (Federal University of São Paulo), points out that starting treatment early is one of the secrets for the welfare and safety of the infected.

- Without medicine, the HIV accelerates aging and anticipates the onset of some diseases that usually arise with advancing age, including osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes and heart attack.

quality of life

In addition, he cites another advantage of the medication: "the reduction to almost zero of the patient transmitting the virus to another person, especially in a sexual relationship."

Medicines cocktail

In the past, a patient diagnosed with AIDS sometimes took more than 20 tablets a day to try to control HIV and low-immunity-related illnesses. This made adherence to treatment difficult and caused countless side effects.

With the evolution of medicine and making the early diagnosis of infection, this number fell to up to three pills daily with less "setbacks". The Brazilian government is also studying the national production of a pill containing three active ingredients in a single daily pill, which would further facilitate treatment.

The medication, according to Dr. Teixeira, prevents the multiplication of the HIV virus and consequently prevents the weakening of the immune system and prevents the appearance of so-called opportunistic infections - pneumocystosis and neurotoxoplasmosis, for example. It is also important to keep vaccination up to date, especially against influenza and pneumonia.

Treatment is expensive, but since 1991, Brazil offers the free antiAIDS cocktail and distributes condoms to the entire population. Even so, there is still a lot of resistance from people to have safe sex and the HIV test, as the infectologist Emílio Ribas laments.

- One in four people do not know they have AIDS, and with early diagnosis it is possible to have quality of life. If a pregnant woman, for example, discovers the disease early, it is possible to treat it by preventing the baby also being contaminated. Not to mention that young people are forgetting about safe sex.

Collateral effects

The new drugs have managed to improve treatment but do not exempt the patient from the dreaded side effects. Among the most common, Dr. Ralcyon highlights lipodystrophy - changes in body fat distribution.

- There is a decrease in fat in the legs, arms and cheeks and an increase in fat in the abdomen, breast, neck and neck region. These modifications eventually deform the person's physical appearance and sometimes we need to intervene with fills and prosthetics.

The doctor adds high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, cholesterol change and anemia as other consequences of the medication. Even so, the Unifesp specialist advocates treatment at any stage of the disease.

- It is true that we do not know the effects of medication in the medium and long term, but we have advanced a lot in this regard and, as we are still far from cure, we have to prioritize a better life. This will only be possible with the tablets.

For Dr. Diaz, overcoming fear and getting tested for HIV at least once a year is the first step in a longer life.

“Admitting that you are infected with the HIV virus, adhering to treatment and adopting healthy habits is the path to success. Despite improved treatment, allowing the HIV-positive person or the AIDS patient to maintain a high level of quality of life, preventing the disease should still be a priority for anyone.

I myself do not like PreP within the context in which they are inserted

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