HIV Specialist

Birmingham ID & Infusion

Infectious Diseases Specialists & Infusion Center located in Birmingham, AL

Practitioners at Birmingham ID & Infusion are highly skilled in treating patients living with HIV. The practice -- located in Birmingham, Alabama -- incorporates the latest research into treatments to ensure that patients are empowered to manage their condition and avoid spreading it to other people. Call Birmingham ID & Infusion to schedule your first consultation with a top-rated practitioner today.

HIV Q & A

What is HIV?

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that weakens a person’s ability to fight disease. When a person has HIV, the virus attacks the body’s immune system, specifically CD4 cells, or T cells. If you have fewer CD4 cells than normal, it's harder for your body to fight off new infections.

It’s essential to identify and treat HIV early to avoid the transition into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). People with AIDS have a fragile immune system and have difficulty fighting other infections or viruses.

How do people get HIV?

People may be exposed to HIV through contact with infected bodily fluids, including semen, blood, vaginal fluids, or breast milk.

The most common pathways of HIV transmission are through unprotected sex or shared drug injection syringes with someone who has HIV. It’s always smart to use protection, such as a male or female condom, during sex and to use new and clean needles when injecting legal drugs.

If you’re worried about the possibility of HIV, you should undergo a simple screening test as soon as possible. That way, if you’ve been exposed to the virus, you can talk to your doctor about the different treatment options.

What type of treatment options are available to treat HIV?

The most commonly used therapy to treat HIV is antiretroviral therapy (ART), a combination of medications that reduces the viral load of HIV in your body. If you’re undergoing antiretroviral therapy, it’s essential to adhere to your medication schedule and avoid developing drug resistance.

Antiretroviral therapy works to both reduce the progression of the virus in your body and lower the risk of passing the virus to someone else. Although ART doesn't wholly cure HIV, it allows people with HIV to live their lives, have successful relationships, and enjoy their normal activities.

What if I experience side effects from my HIV treatment?

It’s important to maintain close communication with your doctor during your HIV treatment to speedily address any side effects you may experience.

Don’t skip doses if you’re suffering side effects. Instead, call your doctor to speak about modifying the combination of your medications to solve these issues. Contact your doctor if you’re taking HIV medication and experience any symptoms, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Pain

Birmingham ID & Infusion practitioners are well-versed in treating people with HIV and provide collaborative care options to help you manage your disease. Call today to schedule your first consultation with our top-rated practitioners.