Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) & Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Seraph Medical’s approach to treating chronic illnesses has been developed through decades of experience and research in the field of HIV and AIDS.
Over 20 million people globally have been diagnosed with HIV. Currently, over one million Americans are HIV positive. This group is comprised of 55% homosexual or bisexual males, 22% percent heterosexual males, and 23% females.
The virus is contracted through intercourse or exposure to blood tainted with the virus. Infants can also contract HIV when passing through the birth canal, or breastfeeding from an HIV positive mother.
Medically speaking, HIV is not assigned its own set of symptoms. However, once exposed to the virus, the patient’s immune system goes to battle with the virus and is weakened – resulting in patients experiencing flu-like symptoms in a matter of weeks. Other symptoms can also include fever, chills, night sweats, headaches, muscle aches, sore throat, rashes, chronic fatigue and swollen lymph nodes.
The virus attacks and annihilates the immune system’s CD4 cells, commonly referred to as T-cells. These white blood cells play a significant role in the immune system. The reason HIV depletes the immune system is because it utilizes the same cells to replicate itself as the body uses to fight infections – so it becomes a war between the virus and the body over the same cells needed to eliminate the other. Left untreated, this battle can go on for a decade or more, and then turn into AIDS.
The HIV virus spreads quickly throughout the bloodstream, but relatively new antiretroviral therapy (ART), which includes Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs) and Non-nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs), along with Protease Inhibitors (PIs), helps HIV positive patients keep the virus at bay.
Common HIV treatments combine three to four antiretroviral drugs, because each drug category targets different things at different stages of the virus’ development.
The goal of these medications is to achieve what is known as an “undetectable viral load.” When the viral load stays below 50,000 – 60,000 copies of the virus per milliliter of blood, antiretroviral drugs are no longer needed. When the load reaches 100,000 copies per milliliter of blood, the patient must begin treatment again with pharmaceuticals. By keeping the viral load undetectable the immune system is not compromised. Low levels also reduce the chances of an HIV positive patient transmitting the virus to someone else.
Should the HIV virus cause the immune system to weaken to the breaking point, the patient develops a condition called AIDS. This is a result of the HIV virus damaging the immune system to the point of no return. The AIDS condition makes it difficult – and ultimately impossible – for the body to fight off what are termed “opportunistic infections.” These infections include pneumonia, cryptococcal meningitis, tuberculosis, invasive cervical cancer, coccidioidomycosis, and more are what actually causes death in a patient with AIDS.
In 2012 a new drug called pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP), known commercially as Truvada, was approved by the FDA. This drug is used to help reduce the risk of contracting intercourse-related HIV. Combined with safe sex practice, patients in the high-risk category often elect to take this daily medication to ensure they don’t become HIV positive.
We are a team of highly qualified physicians and scientists who treat patients with chronic medical conditions by combining traditional medicine with various integrative, science-based treatments that delay or reverse the advancement of life-threatening, chronic medical conditions.