Endemic

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The ABC

ENDEMIC
October 15th, 2010

For the Webster’s dictionary, “endemic” means peculiar to a particular people or locality … an endemic disease.

In HIV terminology, we speak of countries where HIV is endemic. The term refers to an important and constant presence of the disease in the population of said country…

In research on HIV/AIDS, the term « endemic » may designate a country where HIV is transmitted mainly by heterosexual contact.

Triple therapy

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The ABC

TRIPLE THERAPY
June 16th, 2011

Current antiretroviral therapies cannot cure HIV infection.

Triple therapy, consisting of three medications that attack HIV in at least two different ways, aims to:
. eliminate the plasma viral load, or in other words, reduce the amount of virus in the blood until it cannot be detected with current tests;
. keep the viral load undetectable as long as possible;
. rebuild the immune system to reduce the risk of infections;
. prolong life;
. improve quality of life;
. prevent HIV transmission.

Source: L’essentiel du VIH/sida, Portail VIH/sida du Québec, 2011, Benoît Lemire

Opportunistic infections

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The ABC

OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTIONS
October 9th, 2011

In the absence of effective treatment against HIV, the immune system of the infected person weakens and the body can no longer defend itself properly. Even microbes that usually do not cause any problems and are quickly eliminated become dangerous intruders that can create real diseases. These are called opportunistic infections because they take advantage of a weak immune system. These opportunistic infections, and not the AIDS virus itself, are what often cause the death of those not treated with antiretrovirals.

Compliance

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COMPLIANCE
July 31st, 2012

Therapeutic compliance refers to a person’s ability to undergo a treatment according to the prescription. This ability is influenced positively or negatively by numerous different factors that can interact with each other.

Among the most common causes of non-compliance include forgetting, not being at home, changes to daily routines, difficulty in taking treatments according to the set schedule, the desire to avoid side effects, feeling depressed, fear of being seen taking the treatment, or interruption in the supply of antiretrovirals for HIV-positive people in low- and medium-income countries.

In the case of side effects, studies have clearly demonstrated their negative impact on the degree of compliance.

Counselling and support are indispensable in improving therapeutic compliance, and are part of comprehensive care that takes into account patients’ experience of their illness and the meaning that they give to their treatment and its side effects.

Source: counselingvih.org

Primary infection

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PRIMARY INFECTION
February 18th, 2013

This is the period immediately after the virus enters the body. At this stage, the virus multiplies rapidly and the risk of transmission is heightened. This first phase can be accompanied by symptoms resembling the flu, such as fever, sore throat, muscle soreness, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and skin rashes. These symptoms, which disappear after a few weeks, are not present in every infected person. The primary infection stage can sometimes go completely unnoticed. This is the period when the immune system produces antibodies to protect itself against the virus.

Source: L’essentiel du VIH/sida, Portail VIH/sida du Québec, Benoît Lemire

Advocacy

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ADVOCACY
July 26th, 2013

Originally, to advocate meant to stand up in court to make a plea to defend the rights of a particular party.

Today, advocacy often refers to a discourse developed by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to defend the rights of people who are unable to defend themselves in the face of powerful institutions (governments, international corporations, big property owners, etc.) pursuing their own interests.

The objective of advocacy is usually to defend the rights, and improve the living conditions and well-being of society’s most disadvantaged, people living in extreme poverty, oppressed minorities, people living with disease, and those who are marginalized and rejected.

Through the power of the advocacy and public testimony, NGOs seek to win in the court of public opinion, the only place where the policies of large corporations and powerful leaders can be influenced. Advocacy work encourages the emergence of a global conscience.

Source : entre’AIDES – #31