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Sanofi ARVS - Positive Partnerships

Contact

Sanofi

Sanofi House
44 on Grand Central Office Park
2 Bond Street
Grand Central Extension 1
Midrand 16

Tel: +27 (0)11 256 3700
Fax: +27 (0)11 847 5099

If your question is related to an emergency, please consult your doctor or emergency unit.

Medical Information and Pharmacovigilance

Tel: 0800 601 228 (Customer Services)
Email:


Content :

ARVS

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 25 million lives over the past three decades. There were approximately 34 [31.4–35.9] million people living with HIV in 2011. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with nearly 1 in every 20 adults living with HIV. Sixty nine per cent of all people living with HIV are living in this region.HIV infection is usually diagnosed through blood tests detecting the presence or absence of HIV antibodies. There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective treatment with antiretroviral drugs can control the virus so that people with HIV can enjoy healthy and productive lives.1

 

In 2011, more than 8 million people living with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) in low- and middle-income countries. Another 7 million people need to be enrolled in treatment to meet the target of providing ART to 15 million people by 2015.2

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) targets the immune system and weakens people's surveillance and defense systems against infections and some types of cancer. As the virus destroys and impairs the function of immune cells, infected individuals gradually become immunodeficient. Immune function is typically measured by CD4 cell count. Immunodeficiency results in increased susceptibility to a wide range of infections and diseases that people with healthy immune systems can fight off. The most advanced stage of HIV infection is Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), which can take from 2 to 15 years to develop depending on the individual. AIDS is defined by the development of certain cancers, infections, or other severe clinical manifestations.

 

Signs and symptoms3

Symptoms vary from person to person. The only way to be sure if you have HIV is to have an HIV test. You cannot tell from symptoms alone.

If you have HIV, it’s very important that it’s diagnosed, for the best chance of getting treatment and care, and of staying well.

Many people have a short, flu-like illness, often called a ‘seroconversion’ illness, soon after they are infected with HIV. Typical symptoms include a fever, sore throat, swollen glands, aches and pains, and a blotchy rash.

In some people this illness is so mild that it passes without being noticed. Some people mistake it for the flu, but for some people it is more severe and they may need to see a doctor. However, because the symptoms are similar to symptoms of many other conditions, HIV might not be diagnosed at the time.

If you think you might have been at risk of HIV (for example you’ve had unprotected sex) and notice these symptoms about two weeks later, you might want to consider having an HIV test.
After this initial illness, it’s not uncommon for people to live with HIV and not to have any symptoms at all. But the virus will still be causing damage to the immune system, and without treatment most people with HIV will eventually become ill because of it.

HIV-related illnesses can cause a wide range of symptoms. These can include fevers and night sweats, a high temperature, a cough that won’t go away, unexplained weight loss, severe diarrhoea, bad headaches, or persistent mouth and skin problems. Of course, these can all have other Transmission4
HIV can be transmitted via the exchange of a variety of body fluids from infected individuals, such as blood, breast milk, semen and vaginal secretions. Individuals cannot become infected through ordinary day-to-day contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands, or sharing personal objects, food or water.

 

1,2,4 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs360/en/index.html
3 http://www.aidsmap.com/hiv-basics/HIV-AIDS/page/1412437/

Updated June 20, 2013

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