Working together with patients and providers for
HIV & AIDS
More than 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV.
HIV interferes with your body’s ability to fight the organisms that cause the disease. Which means once you have HIV, you have it for life. HIV attacks your immune systems T-cells or CD4 cells, which your body uses to fight infections and diseases, but HIV invades them, uses them to make more copies of itself, and then destroys them. HIV is a sexually transmitted infection. It can be spread by contact with infected blood, Semen, vaginal fluids, or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. It can take years for the infection to weaken your immune system to the point where you have Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), but not everyone with HIV progresses to AIDS.
There is no cure for HIV/AIDS but there are medications that can dramatically slow the disease’s progression.
Signs & Symptoms:
Symptoms depend on the phase of the infection.
Primary infection symptoms:
- Muscle Aches
- Sore throat
- Mouth or genital ulcers
- Swollen lymph glands, mainly on the neck
- Joint pain
- Night sweats
Many of the symptoms can be mild enough that they go unnoticed, but the amount of virus in the bloodstream is high at the primary infection time than it is at any other point of the infection stages.
If you think you may have been infected with HIV or are at risk of contracting the virus, see a health care provider as soon as possible.
Anyone of any age, race, sex, or sexual orientation can be infected.
Those who have the greatest risk are people who:
- Have unprotected sex
- Have another Sexually Transmitted Infection
- Use intravenous drugs
HIV cannot be passed through hugging, kissing, dancing, or shaking hands with someone who has HIV. Nor can it be transmitted through the air, water or via insect bites.
Ways you can become infected with HIV:
- By having sex
- From blood transfusions
- Sharing needles
- During pregnancy, delivery, or through breastfeeding
If you are diagnosed with HIV and are receiving medical treatments here are some suggestions to help you stay healthy longer:
- Eat healthily, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain, and lean protein. It will help keep you strong and give you more energy and support your immune system.
- Avoid certain foods like unpasteurized dairy products, raw eggs, and raw seafood like oysters, sushi or sashimi.
- Get immunizations. This can help prevent infections like the flu or pneumonia, but make sure the vaccines don’t contain live viruses because it can be dangerous for people with weakened immune systems.
- Plenty of rest
- Avoid Alcohol, tobacco and drug use
- Daily exercise
- Regular checkups
How We Can Help:
Delmarva provides medications for patients living with HIV/AIDS so that our patients can enjoy their lives to the fullest. Though HIV has no cure it can be controlled by proper medication. We want to help you monitor your treatments and medications so that they are just right for you. Our pharmacists are here to educate, consult, and help with any available information about your treatment options.