About three years ago I met someone with HIV for the first time. I am sure during each phase of my life thus far I have met people with HIV and AIDS. However, this was the first person I knowingly met with HIV, and we became fast friends.
The one thing that concerned me the most was if her strain of HIV would suddenly become drug resistant. Though developments in the fight against HIV/AIDS continue to be made, the resistant strain is a huge concern.
Tibotec Therapeutics has introduced Prezista, a drug that hopes to combat the resistant strain. In combination with Norvir, there have been some great results. Many of those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS have been unable to continuously lower the amounts of HIV in their blood. With Prezista the amount of HIV in the blood became far less detectable. This is a great advancement in the treatment of the disease.
Some other HIV/AIDS drugs on the market:
A quick reminder: What is HIV?
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It causes the immune system to break down so that it can no longer respond to infection, which develops into AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) It is important to remember that many HIV and AIDS medications have not been studied over a long period of time. This means that the long-term effects have not been 100% established. The FDA tends to put HIV/AIDS drugs on the fast track towards approval, giving hope to many. Right now, there is a great push for a “generic fast-track” for these medications, so as to make them available to impoverished countries around the world. Prezista is looking at a cost of at least $60 per daily regiment at the retail pharmacy level. This is a far cry from what HIV/AIDS activists would like to see on the market.
The virus can be transmitted at any stage of infection. You need not be symptomatic, or even know you are infected, in order to pass the AIDS virus to someone else. People are most infectious within the first six months to one year following their own infection, and then six to ten years later as their immune system becomes more suppressed.
Most people who contract HIV remain symptom-free for the first few years. A few suffer a brief period (3 to 14 days) of fever, joint pain, rash, and swollen lymph nodes – -the small bean-shaped organs in your neck, jaw, armpits, and groin – -within a month of being infected. Later, as the immune system grows weaker, a common group of warning signs may appear, including fevers, night sweats, tiredness, weight loss, coughing, and diarrhea.