Throughout the world, there are more than 37 million people currently living with HIV. The major problem with the significant prevalence of HIV is the fact that about 21% of people infected with the virus are unaware of their status.
In Africa, there are some locations where almost 40% of the local population is infected with HIV. Botswana currently has the highest prevalence of HIV, with an estimated 39.9% of the adult population in the area being infected. The prevalence is also alarming in Zimbabwe, where an estimated 33.7% of the population is infected.
Advances In Treatments For Aids
Antiretroviral therapy remains the most common treatment option that is provided to patients who are diagnosed with HIV infection. While these drugs can provide an effective approach to delaying the damage that Aids causes in the body, it is important to take note of the current challenges that are faced.
This includes drug toxicity and the possibility of developing a resistance to the medication used as part of antiretroviral therapy. Additionally, the burden of having to take multiple doses of drugs each day can feel overwhelming.
Some of the more recent advancements in Aids treatment options include:
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors
- Protease inhibitors
Even though these drugs do offer a more potent effect on the virus that causes Aids, it is important to understand that initiating treatment at a later stage may still not yield effective results.
The Importance Of Early Treatment
Treatments that are currently available for patients who have been infected with Aids have advanced to the point where the individual has presented an opportunity to experience a normal life. The use of antiretroviral therapy, along with some of the newer pharmaceutical drugs, can effectively prolong the survival years that a patient can expect when they initiate treatment.
The major problem that is currently being faced with these treatments is the fact that a number of people with aids are unaware of the infection. This means the individual might only learn that they have been infected with the virus at a time when they start to develop complications associated with the infection.
When a person learns of the infection at this stage of the infection, the treatment may not yield such a significant improvement in symptoms – and the extension of the individual’s survival years may not be as effective compared to implementing the treatment at an early age.
The good news about early treatment is that testing for HIV has become significantly easier. Medical companies like Ghana Medicals present individuals access to accurate testing kits that can be used at home – offering a more private way of testing for the infection.
Being infected with HIV can cause a number of adverse effects on the body and lead to an early death. While there are many advancements in aids treatment, early treatment is still essential to assist in providing the patient with an increase in survival years. The implementation of treatment means detecting the infection at an early stage – which is why routine testing for HIV is critical.