Since the public’s recognition of the virus in the early 1980s, HIV or AIDS has become a global problem without a cure. However, people who have been diagnosed with the virus can still lead normal productive lives for many years after the diagnosis because of the advancements in treatment for AIDS and HIV. There is also no vaccine, but there is a demanding four-week schedule of antiretroviral treatment. This is not recommended for anyone who has not had a significant level of exposure.
HIV treatment mainly deals with a far less intensive antiretroviral therapy. This therapy is a mixture of different medications given on a schedule intended to keep the virus constantly fluctuating so that it will be weaker and less likely to attack the immune system. This treatment is known as HAART. It began in 1996 and has been very instrumental in helping people diagnosed with HIV lead normal lives before the onset of AIDS begins.
AIDS is a progression of HIV to the point where the damage to the immune system from the virus has induced its own unique set of problems and symptoms, separate from the disease itself. This means that your body is now fighting on two fronts. It is trying to keep the virus from spreading, while at the same time trying to keep the body parts that have been seriously damaged as healthy as possible. This means that AIDS treatment is very similar to the treatment of HIV. Before the use of HAART, people only lived for an average of 10 months after developing AIDS. Now the lifespan of someone on HAART who has AIDS is between 4 and 10 years.
One of the main complaints people have about the HAART treatment is that it can cause insulin resistance and diabetes. If you are on an HIV treatment regimen and you develop insulin resistance as a result, be sure to let you doctor know as soon as possible. Anything that affects the immune system can cause serious problems in AIDS / HIV patients.