Guidelines for HIV/AIDS patients: Dr. Harjani

crop12_240x240_1dec14Dr Raj Harjani is a Practicing Dermatologist since last 35 yrs and HIV/AIDS Specialist for the last 20 years at his multi-specialty Ashirwad Hospital in Mumbai for people living with HIV/AIDS.

He is the recipient of “Thane Gaurav Award” for his untiring work in the field of HIV/AIDS by Thane Municipal Corporation in 2011. He is a Honorary Skin Specialist and Founder Director of AIDS Research & Control Centre at Rajiv Gandhi Medical College and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital, Kalwa.

Dr Raj Harjani answered Sify readers’ queries related to the above in an exclusive chat. Read the transcript below.

Is AIDS/HIV carried in one’s blood or fluid?
Yes HIV is carried in ones body fluid like blood,semen, vaginal secretions. It is not carried in tears,sweat, vomit, stool or urine. my message to all my friends who are infected with HIV is that HIV is Now days chronic manageable disease like any other disease.

Is AIDS or HIV a bacterial disease?
No. Its a viral disease.

How and what to look for in a good HIV/AIDS doctor?
Doctor should listen to the patient. Answer his/ her questions properly, give adequate time to patient counselling, explain the patient on mobile phone and Doctor has got facility of different specialty in his set-up to get the opinion from different doctors when need arises.

What should be the guidelines that should be followed by HIV/AIDS patients?
Take medicines regularly, don’t change the medicines on someone’s suggestion, adhere to the doses, have a good sleep, balanced diet, do exercise, no alcohol/tobacco and regular monitoring HIV by doing CD4 and viral load test when recommended by doctor

What are the chances of HIV/AIDS patient’s survival after treatment?
With an ART HIV patient can live a near normal life. His quantity and quality of life is improved and survival is as good as a person not infected by HIV.

What are your suggestions to HIV/AIDS patients who are undergoing treatment?
Take the treatment regularly. HIV monitoring periodically. And safe intercourse with your partner if condom breaks use TavinEM for your uninfected partner.

Please tell me Sir, are there any good rehab centers for HIV/AIDS patients in Mumbai? I am asking this for my friend.
There are in Navi Mumbai and Shahpur, on the way to Nashik.

Are AIDS/HIV tests always accurate?
Yes but they have to be confirmed by western Blot test.

Are there chances of HIV/AIDS being transmitted during surgeries or dental procedures?

Are gays/ lesbians also prone to HIV?
Yes very much.

Are there treatments for new born babies if they get transmitted with HIV from their mothers?
Yes. Anti retro viral therapy is there for babies also.

Also can a mosquito bite lead to HIV or AIDS as its transmitted through blood contact?

Are medications the only option for AIDS treatment?
Yes. With Anti retro viral therapy, one can live near normal life. HIV negative lady can conceive without infection herself and deliver HIV negative baby if her HIV infected husband has taken Anti retro viral therapy and his viral load is fully suppressed.

Do contraceptives help to prevent HIV?
No.It for the prevention of pregnancies.

How safe are our blood banks? What to look for in a trusted blood bank?
All licensed blood banks are safe.

What contraceptives help to prevent HIV or AIDS?
Only latex lubricated should be used to prevent HIV/AIDS. Contraceptives have no role in AIDS/ HIV prevention.

As I travel a lot for my work purpose. I want to know whether contacts like using the toilet, coughing sneezing can cause HIV?
No it cannot.

Can kissing also lead to HIV INFECTIONS?

Can HIV patients indulge in sports or high intense physical activities/ exercises like weight training or lifting heavy weights?

Is blood transfusion the main cause for HIV infections or even AIDS?
No it is not the main cause. The most common is the condomless intercourse.

Greetings dr. Do all HIV patients lead a normal life after treatments?

I usually like to donate blood sometimes. I am healthy male, 33yrs. As Aids and Hiv are easily transmitted through blood or even injections, suggest some safety tips for me.
HIV is not transmitted when you are donating blood.

Are there any vaccinations for adults for Aids and Hiv prevention?

What age group is more prone to HIV /AIDS Sir?
15 to 49 years.

Good eveng, Are there some treatments for HIV today that heals it completely?
One has to take a lifetime treatment. And in today’s era ART is recommended for lifetime.

Is AIDS or HIV more common in males?
No !

And what kind of tests are suggested for Aids?
HIV ELISA 4th Generation test

What kind of tests indicate that one is suffering from Aids?
HIV ELISA 4th Generation test

crop11_240x240_1dec14Should everyone get themselves tested at some point of their life for HIV-aids?
Not necessary.

I am a male- 51yrs. I have a son aged 8yrs and a teen daughter aged 13 yrs. How can I or my wife educate our kids about Aids & HIV?
You should give the desired education to your son and the mother could educate your daughter or both of you can educate both your kids together as it sounds comfortable.

Is AIDS and HIV a life threatening disease?
Yes if untreated.

Hi Dr. Harjani, how harmful is HIV actually?
Its a killer disease if the ART is not taken for a lifetime.

Dear doctor, what are the most common symptoms of HIV/AIDS?
Prolonged fever for 2-3 months or 6 months along with weight loss or diarrheas are the most common symptoms of AIDS.

How often in a year should a normal male or female go for an AID or HIV detection check up?
It depends upon whether the patient is of high risk group. If he is of a high risk group then they need HIV check up every 3 months. A normal person does not need to go for any check up.

Can contaminated water or food items also lead to HIV infections?

Are there any medicines available for AIDS AND HIV prevention doctor?
Yes. Medicines are available. Its a combination pill that is TavinEM, one tablet before intercourse and one tablet after intercourse.

There are many promotions that one can easily mingle around with HIV and Aids patients. So is it that, there is no danger involved in meeting Hiv/ aids Patients?
People cannot get HIV infections from HIV patients until and unless there is a condomless intercourse. So there is no chance of getting HIV by mingling with HIV patients.

Does even the transmission of HIV and AIDS vary?
Only HIV is transmitted because it is a viral infection.

At what age should one go for an AID or HIV detection check up?
If intercourse/ blood transfusion/ surgical procedure/ ear piercing/ tattooing, is not done then one does not need to go for an AIDS /HIV check up.

What are the chances of HIV infections recurring?
Once a person is infected with HIV it remains life long and remains infectious lifetime if he is not taking ART( Anti retro viral therapy). But he can get a reinfection with a resistant virus from other person making the therapy more complicated and poor results.

Are HIV and AIDS two different diseases or are they almost same?
HIV is the name of the virus, AIDS is a symptomatic situation of the HIV infection. Whereas both of them need anti retro viral therapy.

Hello Sir, what all precautions do you suggest to prevent HIV/AIDS ?
Use condom if condom breaks the take post exposure prophylaxis

By what different ways can one get HIV/AIDS?
From infected mother to child Blood transfusion from HIV infected person. Ear piercing devices used or unsterilized needles used for tattooing. Unprotected/ Condomless intercourse.

I have horrible razor bumps when I try to shave down there that last for months and cannot be fixed by anything. Please help. Is it bacterial?
it is bacterial infection. Apply antibacterial cream or consult dermatologist and show him the lesions