Aug 17, 2003
I am HIV positive. Many times I have read about concurrent infections. What are these and can you elaborate? What measures and steps are to be taken to avoid these problems to have better life . Thank you in anticipation of your reply.
Response from Dr. Pierone
A concurrent infection is any other common or uncommon infection that may crop up in the setting of HIV. For example, activation of tuberculosis leads to stimulation of the immune system and this speeds the progression of HIV infection (absent antiretroviral therapy). Likewise, if someone has recurrent herpes infections, there is a spike of HIV replication in conjunction with the herpes outbreak.
The measures to avoid infection are both general and specific. General measures include avoiding drug and alcohol abuse, sleep deprivation, smoking, and excessive stress. Examples of specific measures include keeping up to date with vaccinations, skin testing for tuberculosis, and prophylactic medications for herpes (when present).
When someone is on antiretroviral medication and has good control of HIV infection, concurrent infections usually do not cause the unbridled viral replication that may occur in those off treatment.
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