So we call a disease that may occur in the later stages of HIV infection with a weakened immune system. Some of them are developed only when the HIV infection in combination with other HIV acquire the most severe, life-threatening form. Ways to combat the Olympics – their prevention, symptomatic treatment and antiviral therapy.
By itself, HIV does not cause illness or death, danger is posed by opportunistic diseases that occur against a background of HIV infection. These diseases are caused by infections that are harmless or almost harmless in normal immunity, but the development of immune deficiency can lead to serious problems. They are also called HIV-associated diseases.
Contrary to popular belief, a simple cold or flu are no more dangerous for HIV-positive people than for others. Not all infections are opportunistic and not so much.
Opportunistic infections in people with HIV
Bacterial Pneumonia – Infection by bacteria in HIV infection can develop into bacterial pneumonia. The risk increases if you smoke or use drugs. Prevention of PCP (pneumocystis carinii pneumonia) and helps prevent bacterial pneumonia. Bacteria can also cause severe gastrointestinal disorders.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – A widespread genital infection caused by a group of viruses, united under the name “infectious warts virus. HPV is easily transmitted from one person to another through sexual contact. The virus causes genital herpes warts that look like bumps on the surface of the penis, vagina or anus. Certain types of HPV can also become a cause of cervical cancer. The virus can be transmitted from one person to another even in the absence of symptoms. HPV can be passed on to everyone, but for people with HIV disease is far more serious, can be repeatedly renewed, and lasts a long time. drugs against HPV does not exist, but there are numerous ways to remove warts and treat dysplasia of the cervix and anus, caused by HPV.
Histoplasmosis – caused by a fungus in the soil, which gets through the bird droppings or other organic substances. In the fungus enters the human body by inhalation of dust containing the fungus. Effects of fungus are many people, but usually in a healthy organism, the disease does not develop. Histoplasmosis usually affects the lungs, but in people with weakened immune system can spread to the entire body. Histoplasmosis is not transmitted from person to person. Histoplasmosis treated with antifungal drugs.
Candidiasis – (Thrush) commonly infects the mouth, larynx, lungs and / or vagina. The fungi that cause candidiasis, naturally present in the human body, they are the cause of most cases. Often found in HIV-negative people, but HIV-positive people exposed to him much more. Severe cases of candidiasis are a person with immune status below 200 cells / ml. Candidiasis is treated with antifungal medication, but the repeated cases are not uncommon.
Mycobacterium avium complex – A disease caused by mycobacteria, Mycobacterium avium and Mycobacterium intracellulare. These two similar types of bacteria are present everywhere in the water, soil, dust and foods. The infection can affect anyone, but in HIV-positive risk of serious illness is much higher. Bacteria can affect some areas, or spread throughout the body. There is a wide range of drugs for the prevention and treatment of complex Mycobacterium avium, as well as to prevent the recurrence of it.
Cryptococcal meningitis – occurs when CD4 is below 50. Caused by a fungus Cryptococcus, which under normal conditions is present in the soil, which gets through the bird droppings. In the human organism Cryptococcus comes when inhaled dust, in which there is this fungus. Effects of fungus are many people, but in a healthy organism, the disease usually does not develop. Cryptococcal meningitis is not spread from one person to another.
Cryptosporidiosis – Intestinal infection is easily transmitted by contact with water, feces and food contaminated with common parasite Cryptosporidium. In HIV-negative disease lasts a week or two, but in people with HIV, it can last much longer and even be life threatening. Medicines for the prevention and treatment of cryptosporidiosis do not exist, but there are various methods to facilitate diarrhea caused by infection.
Herpes zoster – is caused by the same virus Herpes Varicella-zoster, as chickenpox. Although the virus infects HIV-negative people, it is most widespread among HIV-positive because of the weakening immune system with following herpes symptoms. The result of the defeat of the virus is extremely painful rash on the chest, back and face. The rash usually appears on one part of the body and kept for several weeks. Shingles symptoms is treated protivogerpesnymi medicines and for pain relief.
Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) – Pathogen – a microorganism Pneumocystis carinii, living everywhere in the environment. It is believed that the fungus spreads through the air. Fungus may be present in the lungs of any person, however, pneumonia develops only in people with immune status below 200 cells / ml. Pneumocystis pneumonia although completely preventable or curable, but is a serious disease that if untreated can be fatal. Pneumocystis pneumonia is treatable and preventable through a variety of antibiotics such as cotrimoxazole (Biseptol).
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) – A disease caused by a virus Herpes simplex. Herpes simplex virus causes sores on the lips (“fever”) and the eyes, and this virus causes genital or anal herpes. People with HIV rash of herpes occur frequently and are more powerful than HIV-negative. At low immune status is a serious problem. Existing antiherpethetical drugs relieve and prevent symptoms of herpes, but not cure it completely. If you you do not have herpes simplex virus, avoid infection, which may occur through sex or contact with people suffering from the active form of herpes.
Toxoplasmosis. – Pathogen – an intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii, calling for people with immune status is less than 100 inflammation of the brain – encephalitis. Toxoplasmosis is transmitted by use of half-baked meat, as well as from contact with the droppings of cats. Toxoplasmosis is not spread from one person to another and not in people with healthy immune systems. After infection with Toxoplasma may live long in the human body, while reducing the immune status did not allow the infection to go into a dangerous disease.
Tuberculosis (TB) – A dangerous bacterial infection that usually affects the lungs. Catch Tuberculosis people can from a patient with active TB coughs, sneezes, or when talking. Although TB can be ill and HIV-negative, for people with HIV the risk is much higher. Although ill with tuberculosis every HIV-infected people, TB infection accelerates the progression of HIV infection and is the leading cause of death among HIV-positive in the world. That is why HIV-positive is very important prevention, timely diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis. The presence of mycobacteria was determined by Mantoux skin test – it should be done regularly, at least once a year. If the sample is positive (papule of 5 mm in diameter), prophylactic treatment with isoniazid. Depending on the severity of the disease treatment can take months or even years.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) – can cause people with low immune status of a dangerous eye disease – retinitis – leading to loss of vision. CMV also causes diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, nervous system and other organs. The most high risk at CD4 below 50. With a positive reaction to CMV antibodies, and low immune status of prophylactic treatment (ganciclovir and other drugs). CMV is present in the body of most people: it is most often sexually transmitted. If you are CMV-negative, protect yourself by using condoms or safe sex.
How to avoid opportunistic infections
HIV infection is important to avoid infections that can be dangerous for immunosuppressed. However, to live “under the hood” is also not needed. Some elementary advice can help you avoid trouble:
- Talk to your doctor about vaccination against various infections. HIV-positive are not recommended for a “live vaccine”, in other cases they are not contraindicated.
- Do not eat raw fish and eggs, neprozharennoe meat or poultry, they can be dangerous bacteria. Raw and ready-to-eat foods must be stored separately and cut at different cutting boards. Do not store food too long, do not eat up what “is about to go bad.” Always thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables, and, of course, hands.
- Dogs and cats are better fed special food, not raw meat, and do not skip regular visits to the vet. Cats do better all the households and do not let the street. If you have a house cat lives, change her tray only when wearing gloves. If immune status is below 200 cells/ml better if it makes someone else.
- HIV-positive women is important to regularly (about once every 6 months), a pelvic examination. Be sure to ask your doctor for menstrual irregularities, abnormal vaginal discharge or pain in the abdomen. It is advisable to make regular cytological examination of the cervix, it will prevent the development of cancer.
- If immune status is less than 100 cells/ml is better to drink only bottled or boiled water well to prevent such infections like cryptosporidiosis.
- If possible, avoid contact with people with active tuberculosis. If you have had a similar risk – see your doctor, you may need preventive treatment that will prevent the development of tuberculosis.
And finally, do not forget to consult a doctor with serious and dangerous symptoms, which may including applies to various infections: a high temperature, blood in the stool, prolonged diarrhea, severe pain in the chest or abdomen; nagging headache, difficulty breathing, blurred vision ; burning and sore in the mouth. These manifestations can be and is not associated with any serious illness, but why take the risk, if you can help get rid of them.
About The Author:
I am an experienced professional, graduating from King’s College, London in 1986 with a medical degree (MBBS). I have progressed in the medical world culminating in being a senior partner at a general practice in the UK under going melatonin side effects & Vitamin B12 Overdose research based work. I have many qualifications and prizes amongst which are Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (DRGOG), Diploma in Medical Education (DipMedEd), Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP), the Family Planning certificate, a degree in The History of Medicine, the Chief Edo Osagi Prize in Human Reproduction and Diploma in Diabetes.