HIV Treatment
Alexander McMeeking, MD
155 West 19th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10011
Phone212.929.2629 Fax212.929.4971
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Alexander McMeeking MD FACP

The most comprehensive HIV care and treatment for better living.

HIV treatments: treating compromised immune systems

There are many HIV complications that can come with this condition, but one of the worst is having a low immune system. An HIV-compromised immune system makes treating any ailment critical, because the low immune system cannot effectively fight off infection.  Many HIV positive patients actually die from other, less serious illnesses, such as the flu. Their compromised immune system is too weak to fight off the illness. The infected HIV immune system becomes crowded with hijacked T cells, or coordinator cells, which are necessary in the fight against opportunistic infections. 

So, how do doctors go about treating compromised immune systems? The key is prevention and protection. As an HIV positive patient, you need to get yourself to the doctor as soon as you begin to feel badly. This way, a doctor can get you any medication or treatments you need—and you can get back to your daily activities. Whether it's an ear infection, the common cold, or something as serious as pneumonia, your doctor needs to be immediately told. 

Treating compromised immune systems: Prevention and protection
While highly active antiretroviral therapy can reduce the amount of HIV in your body, and help bring your immune system back somewhat to working order, it's still important to prevent illnesses like staph or other opportunistic infections. People with a compromised HIV immune system develop these illnesses at a much higher rate than people free of HIV, so keeping up with vaccinations is a significant first step to prevention. Taking any and all medications prescribed by your doctor is also very important and helps to keep your low immune system working as best it can. These HIV complications can be life threatening, so any doctor will recommend doing as much as possible to avoid contracting them. Patients with immune system diseases should also be careful about coming into contact with other sick people. The easiest preventative is to make sure they wash their hands, which limits germ exposure.

Manage a compromised immune system

HIV usually doesn't mean a death sentence, so long as you pay attention to your health and follow instructions from your doctor. HIV complications, however, are trickier. Due to your low immune system, something as trivial as a cold can develop into a much more serious infection—if it isn't treated. Visit with your doctor regularly and alert him or her the moment you notice any abnormalities in your health. Remember, prevention and treatment are the keys to managing and treating compromised immune systems.