It’s estimated that about 1.1 million people in the United States have human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Currently, there’s no cure for HIV, but the virus and its symptoms can be controlled with antiretroviral (ART) medication. Many with HIV also seek alternative therapies to alleviate symptoms. At Green Leaf MD, the medical marijuana certifying doctors and pain addiction specialists, led by Shawn Stranckmeyer, MD, can talk to you about natural and alternative therapies for the management of your HIV. For a consultation, call the Springfield, Missouri, office, or make an appointment online.
HIV is a viral infection spread through blood, semen, breast milk, pre-seminal fluids, rectal fluids, and vaginal fluids. The virus attacks and destroys the immune cells that help you fight off infection, which are known as CD4 cells. Without enough CD4 cells, your body isn’t able to fight off infections, as well as certain types of cancers.
When left untreated, the virus completely destroys your immune system, which leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the most advanced stage of HIV.
Initial HIV symptoms usually appear within two to four weeks of contracting the virus. These initial symptoms may include fever, body aches, and a skin rash. These symptoms may last a few days or several weeks.
During the early stages of your infection, the virus is multiplying in your body very quickly. However, it can take years until you develop more serious symptoms of HIV, such as opportunistic infections or infection-related cancer.
Without treatment, it takes about 10 years for HIV to advance to AIDS.
Of the 1.1 million people with HIV, it’s estimated that one out of every seven don’t know they have it.
Antiretroviral (ART) medications are the primary treatment for HIV. ART includes a combination of medications you must take daily to suppress the replication of the virus. ART also reduces your risk of transmitting the virus.
Your ART medications can’t cure your HIV, but they can keep you healthy and prolong your life.
The pain and addiction specialists at Green Leaf MD determine if you would benefit from medical marijuana for your HIV during a consultation. HIV is one of the qualifying conditions allowed by the state of Missouri for the use of medical marijuana.
If the team considers you a good candidate, they can complete the necessary paperwork so you can be added to the medical marijuana registry. For those with HIV, natural therapy may help reduce systemic inflammation and increase HIV DNA decay when combined with ART.
To schedule an appointment with the compassionate team, contact the Green Lead MD office by phone or online today.