Immunotherapy And AIDS/HIV: How Some Types Of Therapy Can Extend Your Life

Posted on: 22 February 2015

The diagnosis of HIV/AIDS used to be a terrifying one. It meant fear, slow to rapid death, and medical staff who were afraid to touch you because they did not want to contract the disease. Research has overcome many of these issues, including the treatment of HIV/AIDS with immunotherapy techniques and medicines. Now, you can live longer than most doctors originally predicted, and with proper precautions, you can still engage in friendships and emotional connections with others.

Customized Immunotherapy

Because the HIV virus which leads to AIDS develops and mutates in each individual patient, scientists began looking for a way to treat each patient with their own customized immunotherapy regimen. As early as 2008, treatment for HIV/AIDS using blood samples from each patient to create a drug cocktail specifically made for just one individual became a reality. If your doctor has not suggested customized immunotherapy to help you manage your HIV/AIDS, ask him or her if he or she has heard about it and whether or not you are a viable candidate.

Immunotherapy Treatments Used for Cancer Also Boost HIV/AIDS Immune Systems

In a way, cancer and HIV have a lot in common. The diseases both attack the healthy cells and tissues of the body, rendering the patient susceptible to other diseases. When a patient undergoes chemotherapy and radiation, blood cells are affected, just as they are with HIV. Because of their similarities, doctors have been using immune system boosters, like interferon and genetically altered T-cells, to help patients live longer, healthier lives. These medications and treatments are often supplementary to retroviral medications, suppressing the virus while increasing the body's ability to fight off any infection that HIV/AIDS allows into the body.

Cytokines Are Your New Best Friend

If you have recently been diagnosed with HIV, your best bet for immunotherapy treatment are cytokines. You do not have to be a scientist to understand what this classification of immune system boosters does. All you have to know is that they have been proven effective at helping HIV/AIDS patients address the problem of a weakened immune system and address it successfully. Interferon is the most commonly prescribed cytokine because doctors can hook you up to an IV bag of the medicine as often as they think your system needs the boost.

Discussing Immunotherapy with Your Doctor and an Immunologist

If your general practitioner has not already referred you to an immunologist, consider a proactive approach at finding one yourself. Once you meet face to face with the immunologist like one from Allergy & Asthma Clinic of Wyoming LLC, you can discuss at greater length what immunotherapy drugs and treatments would work for you in your current situation. You may also ask him or her about what types of immunotherapies you might try as they become available in the later stages of your disease.