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In a nutshell about HIV & AIDS, TB and Cancer

by Kamal Salar

AIDS is our number one enemy. This enemy can be defeated. While the research for a cure continues, four principles — love, support, acceptance and care for those affected — can make us winners.” – Nelson Mandela

Treatment for patients who are HIV & AIDS positive is a combination of 3 antiretroviral drugs which are referred to as ART or antiretroviral therapy. This combination is used to repress the HIV virus and stop the progress of the disease. With this latest therapy of treating HIV & AIDS patients, there has been a drop in the death rates and reduced suffering also. Of course this drug has to be taken very regularly and any break in treatment will create a massive set back. Children and pregnant women are also given ART treatment.

Though the drug is expensive there are many NGOs in third world countries, who take the responsibility of treating patients free of cost with funds raised from various sources. The WHO has been taking an active part in the research and treatment of this dreaded disease.

Treatment of drug resistant TB

Tuberculosis that is resistant to drugs is brought on because of organisms of Mycobacterium Tuberculosis. Very often this condition is not easy to diagnose and even the clinical results for this take a long time to be known, so the physician starts the treatment as soon as TB (tuberculosis) is suspected. Directly Observed Therapy or DOT is used in drug resistant therapy. Close monitoring of the patient is a must and if the treatment is not carried out vigorously it could even prove to be fatal.

Very often people who are HIV & AIDS positive contact drug resistant TB. The treatment is the same as for a person without HIV & AIDS but needs expert management of both the diseases carefully.

Treatment for cancer

Chemotherapy is the most effective treatment that research has come up with for the treatment of cancer. This treatment has been evolved with a lot of investigations carried out in research laboratories and now new techniques have come into practice. The method used in Chemotherapy is cell killing or cytotoxic which prevents the cancerous cells from dividing. It will also help in eliminating cancer growths that are microscopic and may have erupted in any other area of the system. The patient can also get a lot of relief from pain. Chemotherapy will shrink tumors, relieve pain and control the growth of tumors. Medical science has been expanding its knowledge in the treatment of life threatening diseases and chemotherapy is one such new and potent therapy.

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