Medical Marijuana For HIV/AIDS
One in five Canadians with HIV do not know they have it. There is no cure for either HIV or AIDS, but there are medications that can control the symptoms.
What Is HIV?
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It’s a virus that attacks the immune system and the longer it goes untreated, the weaker your immune system is getting until it can’t fight off infections anymore. When someone has HIV, certain types of white blood cells called CD4 cells start decreasing – these are the cells that let your body know you have in infection and to start fighting it off.
What Causes HIV?
It’s important to understand that HIV can’t be transmitted through saliva, but rather it’s found in blood, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluids. It can be passed through unprotected sex, sharing needles, and to your baby in the womb, or if you breast feed.
What Is AIDS?
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome caused by HIV. When left untreated, AIDS can be a life-threatening illness because your immune system is so badly damaged. When people get treatment for HIV right away, it’s unlikely they’ll develop AIDS.
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What Are Common Symptoms?
Many people will experience a “flu” within a month or two of contracting HIV, so it’s important to get tested if you experience this common symptom if you’re sexually active/have had unprotected sex. The “flu” symptoms will include:
- Achy muscles
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Sore throat
How Medical Marijuana Can Help HIV Symptoms
Doctors actually started using marijuana to help people living with HIV in the early 1980s in the United States. They had little treatment options left to explore as AIDS began killing a large amount of people every year and other medications simply weren’t working. When medical marijuana is ingested regularly, it can help your CD4 cells stay at a healthy level and also block receptors linked to infecting our immune system.
People with HIV also commonly report weight loss/loss of appetite, depression, anxiety, and nausea. Taking other over-the-counter or pharmaceutical medications can often make symptoms worse, particularly when it comes to fatigue, energy loss, and loss of appetite. Medical marijuana not only help improve your sleeping patterns, and loss of appetite, but it is also known for helping people with depression and anxiety and boosting energy levels.
If you have an active sex life or are an avid drug user, it’s imperative you get tested regularly, regardless of experiencing symptoms or not. The earlier you know you have HIV, the better chance you have of lessening the symptoms that can lead to AIDS, a life-threatening disease. Medical marijuana is a natural way to drastically improve your mood, energy levels, decrease fatigue and nausea, and fight off infections from attacking your immune system.