Is there is a cure for HIV?
Before answering this, it’s important to look at what curing HIV means.
In simple terms, to cure someone means relieving the person of the symptoms of a disease or condition. Considering this, curing HIV would mean clearing HIV from the body. So, is there any existing cure for HIV that clears the disease from the body? While the existing treatments cannot completely remove HIV from the body, a lot of research is being done to improve the effectiveness of the HIV preventive and management methods.
What is PrEP?
As mentioned above, significant research is being done today to improve the effectiveness of the HIV preventive and management methods. While completely curing HIV is still not possible, the research being done has helped significantly in managing HIV. When the prevention and management of HIV are discussed, the subjects that immediately come to mind include UVL, PrEP and PEP. So, what do these things refer to and how do they help in the prevention and management of HIV? Let’s find out.
We’ll start with PrEP. An acronym for Pre-exposure prophylaxis, PrEP is the use of HIV medicines by people at a very high risk for HIV to lower their chances of getting infected. A highly effective HIV preventive measure, PrEP can prevent HIV from spreading throughout a person’s body. The daily use of this preventive measure can help people to lower their risk of HIV by 90%. Also, a person can significantly lower his risk of getting HIV from sex by using a combination of PrEP and condoms. There are many reasons to use PrEP for HIV prevention including:
- Being in control of your HIV status
- Around the clock protection against HIV
- Relieving the stress and anxiety associated with sex
Prevention of HIV
In addition to PrEP, there are some other ways of keeping HIV at bay. This includes PEP. A short-term antiretroviral treatment, Post-exposure prophylaxis or PEP lower the chances of getting infected after potential exposure to HIV, either through sexual intercourse or occupationally. A form of HIV prevention, PEP is an emergency HIV treatment. A short-term treatment, PEP prevents HIV from becoming a long-term infection. However, you need to keep in mind that PEP isn’t available everywhere and it isn’t given to everyone. For this reason, consulting a health professional to find out whether you should take PEP is recommended.
Finally, it’s time to discuss UVL and the role it plays in the treatment of HIV. In simple terms, UVL means undetectable viral load.
What is viral load?
Viral load is simply the level of HIV in your blood. People without an HIV infection have no viral load. Viral load shows how HIV is affecting your body. Generally, your CD4 count will be low if you have a high viral load. Responsible for activating your immune response, CD4 cells are destroyed by HIV which in turn reduces the response of your body to the virus.
A treatment that keeps your body’s viral load under control and prevents HIV from destroying the CD4 cells in your body is the Antiretroviral therapy (ART). A medication, ART can lower viral load to undetectable levels (UVL) and prevent HIV from spreading throughout your body.