For many people with HIV poor quality of life is something that they have to deal with on a daily basis. While being diagnosed with HIV is still a traumatic experience, the fact is that today treatment options make coping with the virus much easier than it was in the past. Now that doesn't mean that HIV is not something that should still be avoided, it just means that today it is more of a chronic illness than it is a terminal one. Unfortunately while the medications today can keep HIV in check and prevent it from progressing to AIDS in many cases, those same medications have a lot of side effects that can have a big impact on the quality of life of the patient.

HIV Medications Are Necessary For Patients Infected With The Virus

When HIV first began to emerge decades ago being diagnosed with it was a virtual death sentence. With no viable treatment options, the vast majority of people who tested positive for HIV would have it quickly progress to AIDS, with death soon to follow. For these people with HIV poor quality of life was a major understatement. In fact, during this time period, HIV was not something that was often tested for. So by the time a patient went to a doctor about their illness it had often progressed to full-blown AIDS given them a very poor prognosis.

Fortunately, today advances in medicine have transformed HIV from being a terminal illness into a long-term illness. By taking a cocktail of drugs it's possible in most patients to keep the viral load in their blood so low that it is virtually undetectable. Not only does this mean that they will probably never have to watch as their disease progressed to AIDS, it also meant that they were much less likely to transmit the virus to others.

HIV Medications Often Have Very Serious Side Effects

It's been said that sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. In the case of HIV, this is definitely not true because the disease will almost always lead to the death of the patient if they are not treated. However with that being said many of the side effects of the medications used to keep HIV in check can have a major negative impact on a patient's life. Common short-term side effects that are considered to be less severe include fatigue, nausea, headaches, diarrhea, development of a rash, insomnia, and dry mouth. Looking at this list of what are considered to be minor side effects should give you a good indication of how much of an impact these medications can have on a patient.

In addition to short-term and minor side effects, HIV treatment medications can also have more serious and longer-term side effects. These side effects include weight loss, higher cholesterol or triglyceride levels. redistribution of body fat, higher blood sugar levels, a build-up of cellular waste products, and also bone density loss.

HIV Treatment Is The Key To Keeping Patients Healthier

While having HIV will have a fairly significant impact on most patients, the fact remains that today treatment options offer far more hope than they did when the virus first began to emerge. HIV itself can cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms, and the drugs used to treat it can amplify those symptoms, and cause additional side effects of their own. While this can have a big impact on the qualify of life for patients, it's still a better option than allowing the virus to progress to AIDS.

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