Did you know an estimated 1.2 million people in the United States have HIV? HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, and approximately 13% of people with HIV don’t know they have it. Although there is currently no known cure for AIDS and HIV, there are various treatments available, whether traditional or holistic, to control the symptoms. Early detection, proper medical care, and a healthy lifestyle can increase the chances of having a normal life expectancy comparable to HIV negative individuals.
How is HIV Transmitted from Person to Person?
Transmission occurs through bodily fluids such as blood, genital fluids, and breastmilk. Most often, HIV is passed from unprotected intercourse, making up around 80% of cases. Sharing contaminated needles with someone who has HIV can lead to infection. HIV can also be passed from mother to child during birth and breastfeeding.
To dispel some common misconceptions, HIV is not transmitted via:
- Shaking hands
- Sharing toilet seats
- Air or water
- Sharing food/drinks
HIV / AIDS Symptoms
Early symptoms of HIV can occur in just a few days or weeks after exposure, while some may be asymptomatic for over ten years. With or without symptoms, the virus can still potentially be transmitted to others.
Some symptoms of HIV include:
- Skin rashes
- Muscle/joint pain
- Persistent diarrhea
- Weight loss
- Nausea/loss of appetite
- Mouth/genital/anal sores
Not every person will experience the same signs of HIV. It is important to note that you cannot rely solely on symptoms in order to diagnose HIV/AIDS. Getting tested with the assistance of a licensed medical professional is the most accurate source of diagnosis.
For those who desire more privacy, discreet at-home saliva testing kits are available for purchase in some pharmacies. Before testing, one must abstain from eating or drinking for 30 minutes prior.
A simple swipe of the upper and lower gums, followed by inserting the applicator into a liquid filled tube, will yield results in 20 to 40 minutes. Even with a 92% performance for test sensitivity, there is still possibility for false positive or false negative test results to occur. If you have any doubts, additional testing with a medical professional may be required.
Please note that in order to purchase the HIV rapid home test, customers must be at least 17 years old.
HIV / AIDS & Medical Marijuana
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, and it takes roughly 10 years of untreated HIV to reach the final stage of AIDS. Listed as one of the qualifying conditions for Florida’s medical marijuana program, patients may experience relief from symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS, such as psychological distress, vomiting, weight loss, and nausea, through the use of cannabis.
A clinical trial conducted at Columbia University focused on HIV positive marijuana smokers concluded that cannabis use, “increased daily caloric intake and body weight with little evidence of discomfort and no impairment of cognitive performance.” (Haney et al., 2007).
Living with a chronic illness has the potential to take a toll on one’s mental health and quality of life over time. When San Mateo Medical Center in California surveyed 252 HIV patients, they found that 57% consumed cannabis in order to relieve anxiety or depression.
One cannabis related study was conducted with adults experiencing HIV-associated sensory neuropathy: a painful burning nerve sensation experienced in the legs. Participants that smoked cannabis reported “daily pain reduction by 34% with no serious adverse events reported.” (Abrams et al., 2007).
Another observational study looking at HIV-related inflammation found that, “cannabis use was associated with lower levels of inflammatory biomarkers, consistent with specific anti-neuroinflammatory effects that may benefit HIV neurologic dysfunction” (Ellis et al., 2020).
Celebrities with HIV / AIDS
Four time NBA championship winner and basketball legend Magic Johnson opened up about his HIV positive status resulting from unprotected sex in 1991. During the time, there was a common misconception that heterosexual individuals rarely contracted HIV. Johnson decided to open up about his HIV status in order to spread awareness.
Formerly the highest paid actor on TV, Charlie Sheen disclosed his HIV diagnosis in 2015 during an interview with NBC. Sheen decided to come out in order to alter the stigma associated with the illness and to help others. Taking four antiviral pills per day helps Sheen manage his condition.
Medical Marijuana Card Evaluation Services in the United States
If you are considering alternative medicine, medical marijuana could potentially be suitable for you. Marijuana Doctor’s state-certified doctors are licensed to prescribe medical cannabis for qualifying conditions such as HIV/AIDS and more. Our appointments are risk-free with a money back guarantee if you do not qualify for medical marijuana.
We also have 25+ medical marijuana evaluation clinics across the state of Florida, and offer telemedicine services in Connecticut, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Please note that in Florida due to state regulations, all MMJ appointments must be made in-person. To schedule your appointment for a medical marijuana card evaluation, call (844) 442-0362 or click here.
In recent news, we celebrated the opening of our newest Marijuana Doctor location in Lake City, Florida. Our Lake City MMJ clinic serves the surrounding areas of Jasper, Fort White, Mayo, Live Oak, High Springs, and Madison in Florida.