HIV/AIDS

Mango Medical

Podiatry & Primary Care Practice located in Kamuela, HI

About a million people in the United States have HIV, and nearly 39 thousand people receive an HIV diagnosis each year. For compassionate, state-of-the-art care managing HIV/AIDS, Timothy Duerler, MD, AAHIVS, a certified HIV specialist by the American Academy of HIV Medicine, and the primary care team at Mango Medical in Kamuela, Hawaii, provide comprehensive medical services to people living with HIV/AIDS. Dr. Duerler and the other providers are familiar with and able to help you manage acute issues that arise as a result of your disease. To learn more, call the office to schedule a consultation or book online.

HIV/AIDS Q & A

What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, and AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Being diagnosed with HIV means that you’re at risk of developing serious infections and certain types of cancers as a result of your immune system destroying white blood cells. AIDS is the final stage of infection when you have HIV, but not everyone with HIV develops AIDS.

HIV

Since HIV is a virus that attacks your immune system, if left untreated, your immune system becomes weaker and weaker and is unable to ward off infections. If you do have HIV, taking antiretroviral treatment (ART) can help you live a long, healthy life. The sooner you begin treatment, the more effective it can be in helping you prevent illness.

AIDS

AIDS is a set of symptoms that develops as a result of having untreated HIV. Over the course of about 10-15 years, your immune system becomes too weak to fight off disease, so you develop symptoms and illnesses. Left untreated, AIDS is fatal.

What causes HIV?

You can get HIV through the transmission of bodily fluids, including:

  • Semen
  • Vaginal and anal fluids
  • Blood
  • Breast milk

In the United States, the main causes of HIV include unprotected vaginal or anal sexual intercourse with an infected person and sharing equipment for injectable drugs.

What are the symptoms of HIV/AIDS?

In some cases, people with HIV have no symptoms until months or even years after becoming infected with the virus. Alternatively, you may experience flu-like symptoms 2-6 weeks after contracting HIV. Early signs of HIV that can lead to AIDS if left untreated include:

  • Chills and fever
  • Joint pain
  • Night sweats
  • Muscle aches and weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Enlarged glands
  • A red skin rash
  • Thrush

HIV symptoms are similar to ones you might experience when your body fights off many other types of viruses. If you believe you might be at risk of contracting HIV, you should get tested at Mango Medical to be sure.

What is the treatment for HIV/AIDS?

Since there’s no cure for HIV/AIDS, the best thing to do is to begin taking antiretroviral treatment to fight the infection and slow the spread of the virus throughout your body. As a certified HIV specialist, Dr. Duerler at Mango Medical works with you to customize an effective treatment plan based on your individual needs, including mental health services for emotional support. With an individualized combination of ART, you can still live a long, relatively healthy life with HIV.

For complete, compassionate care for HIV/AIDS, contact Mango Medical by phone or online.