AIDS or Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome is a condition caused by HIV or human immunodeficiency virus. This condition is a chronic and potentially life-threatening one. The virus attacks the immune system, thereby weakening it. A weakened immune system cannot effectively fight off diseases.
The most common mode of transmission for HIV is through sexual intercourse, making HIV a sexually transmitted disease. However, this is not the only mode of transmission. Coming into contact with an HIV-infected blood can result in the spread of the virus. An HIV-positive mother can also spread the virus to her child through pregnancy, childbirth, or even breastfeeding. Without proper medications, the immune system will eventually get weak, resulting in the development of AIDS.
HIV/AIDS does not have any cure. But, medications can help slow down the rate at how the disease progresses. Taking medications can also help an HIV/AIDS patient improve his or her well-being.
Managing HIV/AIDS involves the following medications:
- Entry or fusion inhibitors such as maraviroc (Selzentry) and enfuvirtide (Fuzeon). They block the entry of HIV into the CD4 cells.
- Integrase inhibitors such as raltegravir (Isentress), dolutegravir (Tivicay) and elvitegravir (Vitekta). They disable integrase, a protein used by HIV to insert its genetic material into the CD4 cells.
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) such as efavirenz (Sustiva), nevirapine (Viramune) and etravirine (Intelence). They disable a protein needed by HIV to make replicates.
- Nucleoside or nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) such as Abacavir (Ziagen) as well as combination drugs lamivudine-zidovudine (Combivir) and emtricitabine-tenofovir (Truvada). They are faulty versions of building blocks needed by HIV for replication.
- Protease inhibitors (PIs) such as darunavir (Prezista), atazanavir (Reyataz), indinavir (Crixivan) and fosamprenavir (Lexiva). They disable protease, another protein needed by HIV for replication.
Research in medical and pharmaceutical sciences have helped to control acquired HIV/AIDS and other auto-immune diseases. In the past, these conditions were considered untreatable but with ongoing research, the horizon is expanding for potential treatment options. However, being aware of and understanding the disease is still the central part of treatment process.
Other Related Auto-Immune Diseases
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (affects muscles, bones, and immune system of the patient)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- and more
Please consult your doctor about the medications you should be taking. You can also visit these useful links for reference:
- AIDS.gov – www.hiv.gov
- Arthritis Foundation – www.arthritis.org
- Spondylitis Association of America – www.spondylitis.org
- HIV/AIDS | CDC – www.cdc.gov
For your inquiries, the staff at Shawn Specialty Pharmacy can be reached at 718-417-0200.
IMPORTANT: Please make sure to have your updated contact info on our records. Kindly inform our pharmacy staff if you recently changed your phone number and/or email address so you can continue to receive refill reminders from Shawn Specialty Pharmacy.