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HIV infection: Pathology and disease progression

By Rosy Weston, MRPharmS, and Brett Marett, DipClinPharm, MRPharmS

HIVOur knowledge of HIV has grown since the virus’s discovery in the 1980s. Globally, 33 million people are now infected

 

Summary

UK HIV infection rates continue to increase and the proportion of undiagnosed infection remains a problem. Undiagnosed individuals are at risk of developing advanced disease and infecting others. Transmission can occur sexually, parenterally or from mother to child and current prevention strategies target these routes.

HIV infection can be characterised into distinct stages from time of infection to advanced disease or AIDS. Many patients are asymptomatic for long periods before they develop HIV symptoms. Antiretroviral therapy is necessary to prevent disease progression in patients with declining immune function.

Rosy Weston is senior lead pharmacist, HIV and sexual health, and Brett Marett is lead pharmacist, HIV and sexual health, both at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

Email: rosy.weston@imperial.nhs.uk

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist URI: 10980717

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