Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)


Definition: HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that attacks the immune system, specifically the CD4 cells (T cells), which play a crucial role in the body’s ability to fight off infections. If left untreated, HIV can lead to the disease AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome).


Origin: HIV is believed to have originated from simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) in non-human primates in Central Africa. The transmission to humans (zoonotic transmission) likely occurred when humans hunted and consumed these animals. The two main types of HIV, HIV-1 and HIV-2, originated from different SIV strains in separate zoonotic events.


Causes: HIV is primarily transmitted through the exchange of certain body fluids, including blood, semen, vaginal fluids, rectal fluids, and breast milk. The most common modes of transmission include unprotected sexual contact, sharing of needles among intravenous drug users, and from an infected mother to her child during childbirth or breastfeeding.


Population Affected: HIV can affect people of any age, gender, or sexual orientation. However, certain populations, such as men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, and individuals in regions with high HIV prevalence, may be at a higher risk.


Global Prevalence: HIV is a global health issue, but its prevalence varies by region. Sub-Saharan Africa has been disproportionately affected, with a high prevalence of HIV infections. Other regions, including parts of Asia and the Americas, also have significant HIV burdens.


Traditional Medicine: Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard and most effective treatment for HIV. ART helps control the virus, prevent progression to AIDS, and allows individuals with HIV to lead long and healthy lives. While there is no cure for HIV, treatment with ART can manage the virus effectively.


Reversibility: HIV is not considered fully reversible, but with proper medical management, including early initiation of antiretroviral therapy, the progression of the disease can be significantly slowed or even halted. Individuals with HIV who adhere to their treatment regimens can maintain a normal life expectancy and quality of life.


Nutrition, Vitamins, and Supplements: Nutrition plays a crucial role in supporting the overall health and immune function of individuals living with HIV. Some considerations include:

  • Balanced Diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains supports general health and nutrition.
  • Vitamin and Mineral Supplementation: Adequate intake of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc, and selenium, can be important, especially if there are deficiencies.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Found in fish oil, omega-3s may have anti-inflammatory effects and support cardiovascular health.
  • Probiotics: Beneficial for gut health, which can be affected by HIV and certain medications.


It’s crucial for individuals with HIV to work closely with healthcare professionals, including dietitians, to address specific nutritional needs. Supplementation should be done under the guidance of healthcare providers, as individual requirements vary. Adherence to antiretroviral therapy remains the cornerstone of HIV management.


We hope you found the information provided by Thera-Mineral valuable and insightful. At Thera-Mineral, we are dedicated to offering high-quality supplements to support your health and well-being.

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