Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, which is abbreviated as AIDS is a chronic and potentially life-threatening condition which is caused by the HIV virus (Human Immunodeficiency virus). HIV is known for damaging the immune system, thereby making it possible for opportunist infections to affect the body. The immune system plays the crucial role of helping the body fight against infections. If HIV is left untreated, it will also infect and kill the CD4 cells, which are a very vital form of immune cells known as the T cells. Over the years, the HIV virus will continue killing more CD4 cells, thereby exposing the body to different types of infections and cancers.
The HIV virus is typically transmitted through semen, blood, vaginal as well as rectal fluid. Mothers can also transmit HIV to their babies during pregnancy, at birth and through breastfeeding. There are therefore a number of ways through which HIV can spread from one person to another, including, through vaginal/anal sex, sharing needles, syringes and other items for injection drug use, sharing unsterilized tattooing equipment, exposure to the blood of someone living with HIV, such as through a needle stick, during pregnancy, labor and breastfeeding, as well as through “pre-mastication,” or chewing a baby’s food before feeding it to them. HIV is not spread through air, water or casual contacts.
HIV has no cure yet, and without treatment and a healthy lifestyle, HIV carriers will develop the condition known as AIDS. At the point of AIDS, the immune system becomes so damaged that it is unable to fight off other illnesses and infections and this could in turn result in death. The expectancy of untreated AIDS is about three years. People who have developed AIDS are vulnerable to many diseases, including tuberculosis, oral thrush, pneumonia, cytomegalovirus (CMV), cryptococcal meningitis, toxoplasmosis, cryptosporidiosis as well as certain types of cancers, including Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS) and lymphoma. Even though HIV, is yet to have a cure, the virus can be treated with the antiretroviral therapy, to ensure that the carrier has a life as long as people who have not contracted the virus.
The early symptoms of HIV include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, skin rash, sore throat, nausea, headache, general aches and pain as well as an upset stomach. The symptoms of AIDS on the other hand include, night sweats, recurrent fever, chronic fatigue, chronic swollen lymph glands, dark splotches under the skin, or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids, bumps, lesions or rashes on the skin, recurrent or chronic diarrhea, rapid weight loss, neurological problems, including troubles concentrating, memory loss and confusion, sores, spots, or lesions of the mouth and tongue, genitals, or anus as well as anxiety or depression. Although the virus cannot be cured, there exist about 25 antiretroviral therapy medications for the treatment of HIV.
There are evidences that CBD has a huge impact on some of the signs and symptoms of HIV and AIDS. The role of CBD in treating HIV is linked to the endocannabinoid system. The reason is that the cannabinoids as well as the receptors that are present within the endocannabinoid system plays the crucial role of maintaining a state of homeostasis within the human body. This assertion can be explained by the fact that the body can healthily and successfully maintain proper responses to both internal and external factors.
The endocannabinoid system in HIV positive and AIDS patients often experience a few disruptions that cause the immune system to fail. As a matter of fact, the lipid mediators in the endocannabinoid system typically stimulate CB1 and CB2 receptors to carry out central nervous system management, inflammation control as well as pain management. Research has, however proven that the modulation of these mediators and receptors in HIV patients produces an imbalance that inhibits homeostasis, thereby leading to many HIV and AIDS symptoms, including lack of appetite, weight loss, lethargy as well as other syndromes that result from a weakened immune system.
CBD is reported to be effective in altering immune responses in patients with HIV. This assertion can be explained by the fact that CBD stimulates the CB1 and CB2 receptors that are located within the endocannabinoid system to successfully reestablish normalized bodily reactions. Of course, CBD can also stimulate direct lipogenic action, that goes a long way to improve the distribution of fat in AIDS patients experiencing considerable weight loss.
Some researchers have also opined that CBD could also be effective in treating Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), which is a common opportunistic infection in HIV positive people. According to scientists, the antitumor properties of Cannabidiol (CBD) helps in inhibiting tumor growth, which is associated with Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus. It should be noted that although CBD cannot completely cure Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus, it can reduce the growth of the tumors.
It is also apparent that CBD could effectively work in alleviating headaches, body pains, depression as well as anxiety, which often affects people living with HIV/AIDS. Several scientific studies have pointed towards the fact that CBD is effective in treating these conditions. Nevertheless, since CBD is yet to be approved as one of the standard medications for the treatment of HIV, there is a need for more research.
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