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Future Treatment for HIV Infection and AIDS

Shintaro Matsubara

Madonna University

ESL 4230- Informative Paper (D2)

March 27, 2017

Future Treatment for HIV Infection and AIDS


The HIV infection and AIDS are very famous health concerns in the world today because

they are two of the most widespread infections. There have been many people who have suffered

from the HIV infection and AIDS. However, these are no longer the diseases that people should

be afraid of because of the latest medicine in the world, especially in developed countries such as

America, Japan, and Germany. People have been trying and will be accomplishing tremendous

medical progress, more specifically a detection of a solution for the HIV infection and AIDS.

AIDS is the disease that is caused by the HIV infection. AIDS stands for acquired

immunodeficiency syndrome. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV causes a

deficient immune system by killing a specific white blood cell called helper T cell or CD4. It is

involved in response to infections, which means that the body will absolutely weaken if helper T

cells decrease. The final stage of the HIV infection is called AIDS (Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention, 2016, n.p.). The population of infected people has still been increasing,

especially in developing countries such as parts of Africa. Developed countries actually have a

little high populations of AIDS as well. Bristol (2007) has described the current situation of

people with the AIDS infection:

Two-thirds of the world's 40 million HIV/AIDS cases are in impoverished sub-Saharan

Africa, which also has 12 million children orphaned by the disease. In the United States,

the toll is heaviest on African-American women. Rich countries and private donors are

now spending billions to fight AIDS in developing countries. But only 2 million people in

those countries receive life-prolonging antiretroviral medications, while millions more

are newly infected. (n.p.)

Many scientists and physicians have researched for a long time and pursued a solution to

cure HIV and AIDS. AIDS is described as the disease that is almost impossible to fully cure.

AIDS was first identified in 1981. Since then, it has continued to spread. In the early 1980s, gay

men started to die of an unknown disease. This disease was named gay related

immunodeficiency disease (GRID). HIV began to be known as the virus that causes AIDS in

1983. The government, scientists, and the media released information about the risk factor of the

disease and what people should and should not do to avoid the disease. For example, doctors

should not use used needles, and people should not have sex without condoms. There is no

treatment to fully cure them. Nevertheless, there is hope because 5.25 million people received an

antiretroviral therapy that prevents HIV from increasing in the body so people will not get AIDS

or any secondary diseases. The number of people who get the therapy increased greatly in 2011.

In 2015, the result of the research of the therapy revealed that HIV infected people who began

taking antiretroviral drugs before their helper T cells amount decreased had a much lower risk of

developing AIDS or other secondary illnesses. Moreover, it indicated that to take the early

therapy considerably prevents people from getting cancers, cardiovascular diseases, and other

AIDS-related diseases. People can now take treatment called the antiretroviral therapy for HIV

infection and AIDS to live longer (The U.S. Department of Health & Human Service, 2011,


The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2015) states that HIV-positive people

can take the antiretroviral therapy to survive. Yet, it does not mean that they will be completely

cured. It only can reduce the risk of the infection to others and control HIV to let them live

longer. People who take this therapy have to take medications called an HIV regimen at the same

time. These medications try to stop HIV from increasing or growing in the body. As a result, the

body can keep helper T cells, which means that the immune system can keep working in order to

fight off infections and cancers (n.p.). This is definitely helpful and hopeful for them.

Figure 1. Line graph shows the virologic response on antiretroviral therapy. Reprinted from

Laboratory Monitoring after Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy, Spach, D, 2015, Retrieved from



The medications that are given to patients with HIV or AIDS have some side effects. In

fact, all medicines have side effects with long term and short term effects because medicine is

usually made by chemicals that work to kill agents instead of their own immune systems. For

instance, if people always use a medicine for a cold, their immune systems will not work

eventually because the immune system becomes lazy or weak by using medicine instead of their

own immune systems to kill antigens in their bodies. The U.S. Department of Health & Human

Services (2009) explains the side effects of HIV and AIDS medication. Not all heavy side

effects happen commonly, and having the light side effects means the medicine is working well.

The final achievement of HIV treatment is having patients takes the right medicine and the right

amount to be strong enough to stop the increase of HIV. All patients should have a conversation

with their doctors about this. The medicines possibly cause anemia, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue,

headaches, nausea, vomiting, pain, nerve problems, and rash as short term side effects. Also,

those medications may cause strikingly long term side effects. All patients should talk to their

healthcare providers about the side effects that they have to adjust to for the treatment for both

HIV and the side effects. Lipodystrophy, Insulin resistance, lipid abnormality, and lactic acidosis

are known as the long term side effects. People with lipodystrophy lose fat around arms, legs,

and face. On the other hand, fat around the abdomen and back of the neck increases. It is because

of the problem with the process that stores, produce, and uses fat. People with insulin resistance

have abnormal blood sugar levels, which means the insulin (which is the hormone made in the

pancreas to keep blood sugar at a certain amount) is not working. People with lipid abnormalities

have similar symptoms to the insulin resistance. Cholesterols in bones increase so older adults

with HIV have a high risk of fracture because of it. People with lactic acidosis may have muscle

pain and liver failure (n.p.). This is an inevitable event. Even though there is medicine that kills

HIV, there also is some side effects. However, the time when HIV infected people will be cured

is steadily coming closer.

Nobody knows about the future, but Knapton (2016) revealed evidence that may show a

big step to a solution:

Cure for HIV and AIDS may be on the horizon after scientists proved they can snip away the

virus from infected cells and prevent the disease ever returning. The HIV virus attacks and

kills immune cells leaving patients highly vulnerable to other infections. But scientists in the

US have shown it is possible to use state-of-the-art genetic editing technology to literally cut

away the virus from the DNA of cells. This is a technology which enables you to change the

genes. Effectively you can engineer the body to cure itself from the inside. Professor Matthew

Cobb, Manchester University. Although the experiments have so far only been carried out in a

lab, researchers at Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, are confident that

within three years they will be able to start trials on humans. (n.p.)

People have almost found the solution for the HIV infection and AIDS.

People do not have to worry about this infection too much like years ago. Not only

people with the infection, but also uninfected people must be scared. Nevertheless, everything

that they need to do is to prevent themselves from being infected. The HIV infection and AIDS

are still described as lethal diseases unfortunately in spite of the fact that it has been 36 years

since people first identified HIV and AIDS. Nonetheless, almost everyone knows how to prevent

this infection, such as putting on a condom every time they have sex and do not share needles.

Thus, there nearly is a cure. People now have a high possibility to be fully recovered. The HIV

infection and AIDS will be no longer a lethal disease someday in the near future. This is still the

only possibility unfortunately, but the time when people do not have a fear of the HIV infection

and AIDS is coming soon.


Bristol, N. (2007). Battling HIV/AIDS. Retrieved from



Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). About HIV/AIDS. Retrieved from


Knapton, S. (2016). Cure for HIV possible as scientists snip virus from cells. Retrieved from



Spach, D (2015) Laboratory Monitoring after Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy: 2017-02.

Retrieved from



The U.S. Department of Health & Human Service. (2015). How is HIV Treated? Retrieved from



The U.S. Department of Health & Human Service. (2009). Side Effects. Retrieved from



The U.S. Department of Health & Human Service. (2011). Timeline of HIV/AIDS. Retrieved

from https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/just-diagnosed-with-hiv-aids/treatment-