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Presentation on theme: "PHAYRE ELVERSTONE HIV Nurse Specialist"— Presentation transcript:

Using Knowledge to Help Ensure Healthy Living with HIV

2 HIV Myths Myths about HIV are very dangerous. They can cause you to be afraid of something that is not dangerous. And they can make you feel like something is not dangerous when it really is! So be careful. Sometimes seemingly well-informed or well-meaning people give out wrong information.

3 Where did HIV come from? America Europe Polio vaccine Gorillas Cats
The FBI or CIA


5 The origin of HIV ? A study in 2008 dated the origin of HIV to between 1884 and 1924, much earlier than previous estimates. The authors suggest a long history of the virus in Africa and call Kinshasa the “epicentre of the HIV/AIDS pandemic” in West Africa. They propose the early spread of HIV coincided with the development of colonial cities, in which crowding of people increased opportunities for HIV transmission.

6 Four of the earliest known instances of HIV infection:
A plasma sample taken in 1959 from an adult male living in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A lymph node sample taken in 1960 from an adult female, also from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. HIV found in tissue samples from an American teenager who died in St. Louis in 1969. HIV found in tissue samples from a Norwegian sailor who died around 1976.

7 HIV Myths "HIV doesn't cause AIDS.“
If you don't have HIV, you don't get AIDS. If you have AIDS, you have HIV.  Over 20 years of solid scientific proof have verified this. AIDS is not caused by party drugs, AZT, government conspiracies, or anything else but the HIV virus.

8 HIV Myths “Viral load tests don’t really tell anything
about a person's health.” Viral load measures the amount of HIV in a person’s blood. Many studies have shown that people with high viral loads are much more likely to become ill or die than those with low viral loads.

9 HIV Myths “HIV can be spread through tears, sweat, mosquitoes, pools, or casual contact.” HIV can only be transmitted through infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. The most common ways for HIV to be transmitted are through unprotected sexual contact and/or sharing needles with an HIV+ person. HIV can also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding. The following “bodily fluids” are NOT infectious: Tears Sweat Saliva Urine Faeces Casual contact is not considered risky because it does not include contact with blood or other infectious body fluids. Examples of casual contact include: social kissing, public venues, sharing drinks or eating utensils, etc. Insect bites do not transmit HIV. 

10 HIV Myths "Lesbians don't get HIV."
Women who only have sex with women are generally at much lower risk for getting any sexually transmitted disease. But in rare cases, they can still get HIV. One report tells of a lesbian who was infected through sharing sex toys with an HIV+ woman. Also, some women who identify themselves as lesbians occasionally have sex with men, and can get infected that way.  Lesbians who use drugs and share needles can get HIV from a needle that has been used by someone who is HIV+.

11 HIV Myths "It's not AIDS that kills people;
it's the medicines they take!" HIV medications, known as anti-retrovirals, don't cure HIV, but they can help keep people healthy for many years. People died from AIDS before anti-retrovirals became available. Since combination drug therapy for HIV was begun in 1996, the average life expectancy for HIV+ people in Europe and North America has increased. In addition, death rates for HIV+ people who receive combination antiretroviral treatment has dropped. Unfortunately, the HIV drugs do have side effects and toxicity (for some people) that can be life-threatening in very rare cases. The good news is that many of the newer HIV medications have fewer side effects and are easier to take.

12 HIV Myths



15 Living with HIV Everyday questions

16 HIV Dilemmas/questions
Are HIV and AIDS the same? Is there a cure for HIV or AIDS? A person has a low CD4 count and high viral load is this a desirable situation?

17 HIV Dilemmas/questions
CD4 cells coordinate the immune system? Does sexual contact with many partners increase the risk of HIV? Does having a sexually transmitted infection affect the risk of getting HIV?

18 HIV Dilemmas/questions
Can a woman who has HIV pass the virus onto her baby? Do anti-retrovirals make you ill? What is a normal CD4 count?

19 HIV Dilemmas/questions
What is a normal viral load? If I have a low body weight can I adjust my antiretroviral dose (halve my medication?) What are common side effects to ARVs?

20 HIV Dilemmas/questions
How long can you live with HIV? Can you have sex with someone once you have HIV? Who should I tell?

21 HIV Dilemmas/questions
What should I do if I miss a dose of my medication? What should I do if I keep missing doses of my medication? What is the best way to ‘adhere’ to my medication?

22 RULE NUMBER 1: Make It Easy on Yourself!
Adherence RULE NUMBER 1: Make It Easy on Yourself! It can be difficult to take your medications the way you're supposed to. Make it as easy as you can! When being prescribed, tell your health care provider about your daily schedule so that you can use the medications that will be easiest for you to take. Adherence is easier when all of your medications are on the same schedule (twice a day, or once a day). Make sure you understand your medications: Which medications to take; How many pills to take, and how many times a day; Whether to take your pills with food, or on an empty stomach; How to store your pills; and Side effects you might have, and what to do about them.

23 Making your morning coffee;
Adherence Plan ahead for refills or trips so you don't run out of any medications. Use a pillbox and count your pills out ahead of time. Some boxes hold enough for a week or two. Set a timer or alarm to go off when you have to take pills. Choose a regular daily activity to help you remember to take pills: Making your morning coffee; Getting out of bed; A favourite TV show; or Coming home from work.

24 Adherence If possible, make sure your family
members know how important it is for you to take your pills. Ask them to help you remember. You might have problems with side effects, or it might be difficult to take your pills as prescribed. Don't cut back or stop taking your medications until you have talked to your health care provider. You might be able to change your medications and get some that are easier for you to take.

25 Common side effects Some possible side effects are: Diarrhoea
Nausea and vomiting Rash There may be several options for dealing with a particular side effect: Wait for things to improve – especially if in the first few weeks of treatment Address other possible contributing factors, such as diet, smoking or exercise Change how the drug is taken (e.g. time of day, dosage, with or without food) Try treating the side effect Change one or more antiretroviral drugs


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