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In the intricate landscape of infectious diseases, two formidable pathogens – HIV and Hepatitis – often coexist, leading to a challenging scenario of co-infection.
This coexistence, akin to a complex biological interaction, can significantly influence patient prognosis. In this discourse, we will elucidate the correlation between these two viral entities, examining their individual pathologies, their synergistic effects, and the implications of their simultaneous presence within the human host.
So, prepare for an enlightening journey into the medical intricacies of HIV and Hepatitis co-infection.
What are HIV and Hepatitis?
Human Immunodeficiency Virus often known as HIV is a health disease that targets humans’ entire immunological system particularly the cells called CD4 also known as T-cells, which play a very significant role in the body’s defense against illnesses.
Moreover, HIV is repeatedly associated with AIDs, and people often use both these terms interchangeably. However, it’s the wrong thing to do because both are different in terms of their implications.
To be precise, HIV is the scientific name of the virus that births the disease AIDs(Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). Additionally, if the virus is not addressed in the initial phase, AIDs is the result.
Speaking of Hepatitis, the primary similarity between the two is that both are born from the virus. However, Hepatitis primarily affects a particular organ of the human body i.e., the Liver. On top of that, unlike HIV, hepatitis comes in three genotypes i.e., Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.
There are many ways in which these genotypes might spread and cause differing degrees of liver damage. Let’s understand the symptoms of HIV and Hepatitis to better differentiate between the two.
HIV and Hepatitis Symptoms
There is a very major difference between the disease implications of the two, since modes of transmission, affected region, and long-term effects vary significantly. Let’s dig deep;
- signs similar to the flu that appear two to four weeks post an infection. For instance; chills, fever, hives, sweating during the night, muscular pains, throat discomfort, exhaustion, enlarged lymph glands, and mouth ulceration.
- These signs may persist somewhere between days and weeks too.
- The transition from the initial stage to the severe stage includes extreme symptoms like pneumonia, herpes zoster, weight fall, diarrhea, and candidosis.
- Appetite loss, exhaustion, feverishness, muscular & joint pains, queasiness, abdominal pain, jaundice, and rashes.
- Naevus Araneus and portosystemic encephalopathy
- The sickening thing about hepatitis is the majority of its genotypes exhibit the symptoms when the virus starts to propagate and reproduce itself swiftly. That’s why often for the Hepatitis B treatment alone with Entecavir 0.5mg tablet supporting medication like Tenof EM tablet is also prescribed.
Can Hepatitis Turn Into HIV?
The quick answer would be simple No. Because HIV and Hepatitis are caused by two vastly distinctive viruses. HIV primarily targets the immunity system while hepatitis virus preys on the human liver. But wait, that doesn’t mean both of these ailments can’t coexist.
There is a very significant chance that you might develop one if you are infected with another. If this seems hard to believe, look at the data.
As per the research and data collected by the World Health Organisation, HCV affects two to fifteen percent of HIV-positive individuals. Moreover, other such reputed and authorized organization states that 1 in 10 HIV-positive individuals also happen to possess HBV(Hepatitis B) while 1 in every 4 HIV positive carries HCV.
Why Does Your Risk of Hepatitis Increase if You Are HIV Positive?
As we just saw above, turning Hepatitis into HIV is not possible but there is a substantial chance that one may get Hepatitis if they already are HIV positive. Why so? It’s because one of the frequent modes of these ailments transmission is unprotect coitus and sharing of syringes.
Engaging in certain behaviors that facilitate the transmission of bodily fluids, thereby escalates the likelihood of acquiring both HIV and hepatitis. Furthermore, the immunocompromising nature of HIV heightens the individual’s vulnerability to additional infections, including hepatitis.
What are the Best Prevention Methods for HIV and Hepatitis?
Presently both these ailments are rising at an alarming rate and the main reason behind this is the lack of awareness about it. We need all the hands we can get to educate and spread the word to people around the globe. However, these are some effective prevention methods for both HIV and hepatitis.
Celibacy: Choosing to refrain from sexual activities serves as the most foolproof method to evade the contraction (however, it’s not possible for everyone) of HIV and Hepatitis B and C, which are predominantly sexually transmit diseases.
Protected Intercourse: The consistent and correct use of prophylactics during every sexual encounter can drastically diminish the probability of disease transmission.
Needle Hygiene: The practice of not sharing needles is crucial in preventing the propagation of HIV and Hepatitis, as these infections can disseminated via blood.
Prophylactic Medication: Medications such as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) are available for individuals at elevated risk for HIV, aiding in the reduction of infection susceptibility.
Periodic Health Check-ups: Regular screenings for HIV and Hepatitis can facilitate early diagnosis and treatment, thereby curtailing the further spread of these diseases.
Immunization: Despite the absence of vaccines for HIV or Hepatitis C, immunization options exist for Hepatitis A and B.
Therapeutic Intervention: For individuals diagnosed with HIV or Hepatitis, undergoing appropriate treatment can aid in preventing the transmission of these diseases to others.
What is the relationship between hepatitis and HIV?
Because these infections are transmitted in the same manner in the same way as HIV, people with HIV in the United States are often also affected by chronic viral Hepatitis. Viral Hepatitis progresses more quickly and can cause more health issues among those with HIV as compared to people who don’t have HIV.
Can you live 100 years with HIV?
Many people living with HIV can expect to live as long as their peers who do not have HIV.
How do people get hepatitis?
Hepatitis A virus can spread by ingesting it (even in microscopic amounts too tiny to detect) by close personal contact with an affected person, or from drinking or eating foods that contain the virus.