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Learning
HIV

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Introduction
HIV and the immune system
Disease progression
Monitoring immune health
Symptom observation
Lab studies and blood analysis
CD4 + Testing
Viral Load Testing
Summary: Testing
Intervention against HIV
General health maintenance
Supportive therapies
Antiviral Strategy
Immune modulating strategy
Opportunistic infection strategy
When to start treatment
Available treatments
The Bottom Line

Lab studies and blood analysis

a) HIV-antibody testing
b) CD4+ cell testing
c) Viral load testing
d) Basic blood tests

Advantages
Indications of illness show up before illness becomes apparent. The tests enable patient and doctor to act to prevent serious infections before they occur and to act on the basis of hard numbers, not just guesses.

Disadvantages
It is difficult to act on test results, since you often feel fine no matter what the lab numbers say. People who feel healthy may be less motivated to begin treatment. Test results are variable, changing for many reasons.

Because HIV infection can be a life-or-death matter, it is critical to choose the second approach. Taking a preventive approach makes it possible to:

  • use treatments when they are most effective
  • prevent the most serious infections
  • slow the rate of disease progression and permanent damage to the immune system.

Some people say they hesitate to act before they are sick because today's treatments are not perfect, hoping to wait for something better to come along. However, no one knows when perfect treatments will become available. It is now well proven that today's treatments can extend survival time. Although we can't predict the results in every case, we do know what generally happens without treatment.

The purpose of preventive action is to slow the progress of HIV. Once infected, you have one chance to manage HIV disease correctly, so consider your options carefully and learn how to tell if a therapy is working for you. A preventive approach is the one which seems to offer the clearest hope.

Thanks to gay.com
for providing this information