Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) spreads through certain body fluids that, as a result, attack the body’s CD4 (T) cells in the immune system. If the HIV is severe enough, it will destroy so many T cells that you are no longer able to fight off infections or diseases. HIV is a virus that can progress into acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) if left untreated. More than one-fifth of those infected with HIV are not aware that they have it.
Once the body has HIV, it can never completely get rid of it, so once you are diagnosed, you will have it for the rest of your life. Many people can live a happy, healthy life even if they have HIV, as proper medical care can help control the virus. However, once HIV develops into AIDS, life expectancy drops significantly due to pre-existing damage to the immune system.
Stages of HIV
Stage 1: Acute HIV Infection
Two-to-four weeks after an HIV infection, individuals may experience an illness that resembles the flu, lasting as long as a few weeks. During this acute infection stage, people have a large amount of virus in their blood and are very contagious, but they may not know that they are infected.
Stage 2: Clinical Latency
HIV reproduces at low levels during this stage, and there may not be any symptoms. If you aren’t taking medication for HIV during this time, this stage can last a decade or longer. HIV is still transmittable during this stage, and when it is ending, viral levels increase, and T cells decrease.
Stage 3: AIDS
This is the most severe phase and it involves many severe opportunistic illnesses. Symptoms of AIDS include fever, sweats, swollen lymph glands, weight loss, and weakness.
Getting tested for HIV is the only way to know whether or not you have it.
Can Medical Marijuana Help HIV?
As many as one-third of those who suffer from HIV/AIDS experience severe pain because of antiretroviral therapy. Appetite loss, weight loss, vomiting, and nausea are common side effects, sometimes so severe that people abandon treatment altogether.
The Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes sites that medical cannabis makes individuals 3.3 times likelier to continue to follow through with conventional treatment. Medical cannabis can help eliminate nausea, appetite loss, and vomiting. Research also points to medical cannabis’ ability to prevent the virus from attaching to cells in the brain as well as stopping the virus from duplicating throughout your body.
Medical cannabis can also help reduce peripheral neuropathy, reducing pain, improving mood, reducing nausea and stimulating appetite.
Visit Our Professionals at Greenhouse
Once you have your registry identification card, visit one of our Greenhouse locations, where a professional will gladly help you find the right products.