Personalized Care & Treatment for HIV/AIDS in Williamsport, PA
The HIV virus attacks the body’s immune system. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS — but with proper treatment and medical care, HIV can be managed and controlled. The only way to determine whether you have HIV or AIDS is to get tested.
People with early stages of HIV may think they have the flu. Signs and symptoms usually appear within the first month of infection, called the primary or acute infection. They may include:
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph glands
When the infection is chronic, it may cause:
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Weight loss
- Shingles (herpes zoster)
There are no signs and symptoms specific to the actual development AIDS. With AIDS, your body is unable to fight infections, so symptoms are related to the development of opportunistic infections, such as:
- Night sweats
- Chronic diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Skin rashes or bumps
- Persistent white spots or unusual lesions on the tongue or in the mouth
If you or a loved one are experiencing these symptoms, doctors at UPMC provide exceptional care to diagnose and treat HIV/AIDS in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas. To make an appointment, Find a Provider at UPMC.
HIV is an infection spread through blood, semen and vaginal fluid. Women can pass the virus to their babies during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. AIDS is caused when HIV multiplies and cripples key portions of the immune system.
HIV/AIDS Treatment & Prevention at UPMC
HIV is not curable, but it can be managed. There are several classes of drugs that can treat HIV. Usually, the first treatment involves a combination of three different drugs from at least two classes.
Three classes of drugs—called NNRTIs, NRTIs and INSTIs—block the virus from duplicating.
You can reduce the risk of acquiring or spreading HIV by:
- Always using a condom during sexual activity
- Telling your sexual partners if you are HIV positive
- Not sharing needles for injectable drugs
- Asking your doctor about the daily preventative oral drug Truvada if you are at high risk of contracting HIV
Infectious disease specialists at UPMC specialize in complete care and treatment for HIV/AIDS in Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.