HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a kind of slow virus (lentivirus) with a long incubation time and often ends in fatal outcomes. HIV targets and destroys CD4 cells. Also known as T cells, CD4s are white blood cells that play an essential role in keeping you healthy by opposing infections. CD4’ss count is one of the fundamental indicators in categorising the stages of the condition. AIDS is the final stage of HIV, in which the body’s immunity is decreased dramatically; thus, sufferers face a combination of opportunistic infections, including parasitic disorders. Demodex mites are parasites that can take benefit of the weak immunity and develop with different severities at different stages of HIV.
After explaining the HIV stages, this essay examines the role of Demodex in HIV patients. It presents solutions to stop these mites as well as other opportunistic infections. Stay tuned with Ungex.
The Stages of HIV Infection
According to the CDC, HIV has three stages, and if the sufferers fail to receive the proper standard of care, the condition typically progresses through the stages and reaches the final step, named AIDS. Fortunately, the effective treatments in recent years could slow or stop the disease process so that many sufferers never reach stage 3.
First Stage: Acute Stage of Infection (ARS)
Acute retroviral syndrome (ARS) is the first step that occurs in up to 90% of patients, displaying itself with flu-like symptoms about two weeks after the initial exposure. Other manifestations of ARS include loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, itchy red rash, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, muscle aches, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and even seizures and coma. The natural defence is yet powerful enough to react to the infection and suppress it at this stage. Roughly 30% of people develop Maculopapular Rash at this stage, which is pink to red bumps in the upper trunk, face and head. During ARS, sufferers are ultimately contagious as they carry many viruses in their blood.
However, the manifestations go away on their own, usually after two weeks. The speed of virus reproduction slows down, and the infection enters its incubation period. However, lymph node swelling can stay for a few months. The only way to diagnose HIV at ARS is to diagnose acute infection through antigen/antibody tests or nucleic acid tests (NATs).
Second Stage: Chronic Infection
Clinical latency, asymptomatic HIV infection, or chronic stage starts once the natural defence can control the HIV. Nevertheless, the virus still exists, masking in different body tissues and cells. HIV reproduces gradually in a dormant state and slowly destroys the CD4s. Clinical latency persists for about a decade or more without receiving proper care, although this time can be as short as two to three years in some people. However, people who receive standard treatments and HIV medicine may never move to the third stage. On the other hand, swollen lymph nodes may last during the early phase of asymptomatic HIV infection. Sometimes they grow huge, reaching up to an inch or more in length.
Infected people can spread the virus during the chronic stage and are vulnerable to different opportunistic infections such as bacterial, viral, and fungal conditions as the body gradually falls in immunity. Therefore, it is vital to take specific measures to prevent pathogens. Personal hygiene, food hygiene and extra vaccinations are crucial to maintaining the health of individuals during this period. Meanwhile, one of the opportunistic parasites that can cause issues for people living with HIV is Demodex mite, which we will discuss in the following sections.
Third Stage: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Without adequate care, HIV will inevitably proceed to the final stage, AIDS, which is accompanied by severe complications. If left untreated, Individuals with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome can only survive for three years. AIDS is clinically confirmed when the number of CD4s has fallen below 200. People with AIDS experience severe immune issues, including pathogenic microorganisms infection and multiplying microbes that are harmless under normal conditions. The most common cause of death of people suffering from AIDS is opportunistic infections as well as some types of cancers.
Opportunistic Infections In HIV/AIDS
Pneumonia: A variety of germs, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses, can cause pneumonia, a kind of common lung infection in AIDS. However, Pneumococcus is the most common microbe that people with AIDS receive a vaccine to prevent pneumonia.
Coccidioidomycosis: Coccidioidomycosis is a kind of opportunistic fungal infection caused by breathing in Coccidioides fungal spores. It is also known as desert fever because it is more common in hot and dry places.
Cryptosporidiosis (Crypto): Cryptosporidium, a tiny parasite, can cause intense, chronic and watery diarrhea with abdominal cramps. The parasite can infect the sufferers by drinking water that contains unsafe levels of contaminants, swimming in contaminated water, eating raw and unclean food, or having dirty hand contact with the mouth.
Candidiasis: Candida fungus is the leading cause of candidiasis that affects skin, nails and mucous membranes inside the nose, inside the mouth, lip, vagina, the urethral opening and the anus. Candida exists naturally on the skin, but it multiplies in people with HIV due to the immune system’s defect.
Tuberculosis (TB): Tuberculosis is a kind of respiratory infection that Mycobacterium tuberculosis can cause it. When TB patients breathe, talk or cough, they release the bacterium in small droplets that can infect people with AIDS by inhaling. Tuberculosis manifestations include coughing up blood and mucus, chronic cough, weight loss, fatigue, fever, and night sweats.
Toxoplasmosis: Toxoplasmosis can spread to AIDS sufferers upon contact with cat feces, water, unpasteurized milk, vegetables, contaminated soil, or uncooked meat. This infection is common to humans and animals and can manifest itself in the lungs, the retina of the eye, heart, pancreas, liver, colon, testes, and brain.
Demodicosis: This infection is because of a skin parasite called Demodex mites. Although it isn’t studied well in HIV, investigations show Demodicosis is one of the HIV-related opportunistic infections.
Demodicosis in People With Aids / HIV
Demodex mites are a species of tiny skin parasite that, similar to Candida fungi, all adults carry a small population of them on their skin. However, in the case of immune system weakness, these opportunistic mites start to develop and reproduce rapidly on different areas of the skin.
Demodicosis is the manifestation of Demodex mite outbreaks on the skin. Although Demodex infection is not as dangerous as other HIV-related opportunistic infections, it can generate various problems for the skin and hair of people with AIDS, making life hard for them. Demodicosis symptoms typically include:
- Itching at night
- Skin redness
- Seborrheic Dermatitis
- Crawling sensation
- Blepharitis, chalazion, and stye
- Hair loss
- Thinning hair
- Acne and pimples
- Skin inflammation
Many people with Demodex infection experience various skin issues at the same time.
Demodex Infestation Requires Prompt Attention in Aids/HIV
Constant severe itching makes life challenging for those who experience Demodicosis—moreover, scratching the skin can hurt this outermost defence barrier, exposing the sufferers to a variety of pathogens.
Demodex mites maintain toxic germs, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses, each of which potentially can pose a threat to HIV sufferers’ health. Streptococci, staphylococci, and Bacillus oleronius are some of the microbes that live within the Demodex mites’ gut. When these mites die, their rotten bodies take apart, spreading these pathogenic microbes on the skin, leading to various health issues in people living with AIDS and HIV. The greater the number of Demodex mites, the more significant the infection and probable threats.
How to Prevent Opportunistic Infections Including Demodicosis
Individuals can avoid some HIV-related infections by receiving an extra dose of some vaccines and avoiding potential exposure. However, there are microbes that we are repeatedly exposed to in everyday life, and there are others, such as Candida and Demodex, that inherently live in the body.
Still, there are measures to prevent opportunistic infections and treat them quickly, including:
- Safe food preparation.
- Getting vaccinated on time.
- Taking prophylactic medications if required.
- Taking antiretroviral drugs as prescribed
- Having a personal health notebook to write new symptoms.
- Observing safe eating and drinking habits.
- Avoiding any direct contact with animal feces.
To stick to food and water hygiene, The sufferers should not consume raw or undercooked meat. Completely washing vegetables and fruits with clean water and detergents is recommended. Individuals should sanitise tools and surfaces that have contact with animal products by using warm water and detergents. As Raw, semi-cooked, and cracked eggs can harm people with HIV, they should cook the eggs thoroughly. Other measures include:
- Avoiding unpasteurised dairy products.
- Reheating the food that has been in the refrigerator before eating.
- Avoiding water from rivers and lakes.
- Use bottled water and avoid ice cubes.
Demodicosis Prevention in People With AIDS/HIV
The measures that help people prevent demodicosis are enhancing immunity, preventative products, and good personal hygiene. Although the number of CD4s in people with AIDS is quite low, some lifestyle modifications can help enhance the body’s resistance to infections, such as Demodicosis.
The following measures can help sufferers boost their natural defence:
- Healthy eating
- Consuming immune-boosting foods
- Sleeping early at night
- Adequate rest
- Avoiding stressful conditions
- Optimism and seeing the glass half full
- making joy and laughter on a daily routine
- Increasing physical activity
Using Preventive Products
Traditionally, the standard process for dealing with Demodex mites is to eliminate them after they provoke symptoms. In other words, when a physician diagnoses Demodicosis through evaluating clinical symptoms and laboratory tests, they will prescribe specific medicines to eliminate and take these parasites under control once again. This approach seems practical for healthy individuals who are not prone to Demodicosis, but it is too negligent for people suffering from HIV/AIDS and other immunodeficiency issues.
With all this, there are not many products available that can stop these mites from growing. One of them is PDT (Pro Demodex Treatment), the unique product of Ungex, that as its name implies, can prevent individuals from getting infected with Demodex mites. This Australian non-drug anti-Demodex formula is based on natural and herbal components. Besides being prescribed by healthcare professionals, PDT is accessible over the counter around the world to help prevent demodicosis in people who are prone to Demodicosis. SDT (skin Demodex Treatment) is the PDT counterpart and another anti-Demodex product by Ungex suitable for individuals with sensitive or damaged skin. Beyond prevention, PDT and SDT can help treat Demodicosis and soothe the related symptoms.
- High-quality Aussie-made products
- Herbal and natural ingredients based
- Gluten-free, silicon-free, paraben-free, SLS and SLES free
- According to the latest EU standards
- Gentle on the skin, harsh on mites
- No side effects
- Effective in eradicating Demodex mites
Both products eliminate Demodex mites upon contact and are appropriate for use on all parts of the skin and various surfaces. PDT and SDT act similarly to a natural antiparasitic and destroy Demodex pests wherever they are. Both formulas are entirely mild on the skin without any adverse effects on humans and the environment.
To get the most out of these products, it is necessary to spray them at night on the skin parts most tending to develop demodicosis, such as the face, neck, and scalp.
Finally, the unique potential of PDT and SDT in eradicating Demodex from the surroundings makes them a fantastic solution to help people with HIV/AIDS maintain their hygiene.
Good Personal Hygiene
Observing good hygiene has an influential role in preventing Demodex mites development in people with defective immune systems. Although typically, a few of these mites reside on all adults’ skin, they begin to proliferate once a defect in the natural defence gives them the opportunity. Yet, lack of good hygiene transfers environmental mites to the skin. Consequently, it boosts the risk of demodicosis by increasing the pollution load.
Demodex mites can spread by direct contact. They can transfer to a towel when you dry your skin. They can also contaminate combs, beddings, hats, pillowcases, sheets, and clothing. After separating from the body, Demodex can last for hours or days on oily surfaces. Upon next contact, they can move to a new host or increase the infection load in the first carrier. The higher the density of Demodex mites in the first host, the higher the number of them on the environmental surfaces in contact and the more possible it is to move to the next host.
The significant possibility of transferring parasites from surfaces to individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS highlights the necessity for proper personal hygiene.
If you have AIDS / HIV, you need to take the following health measures to prevent Demodex mites from spreading to your skin from the environment or contagious people:
Personal Hygiene Practices to Prevent Demodex Mites
- Do not share your personal items with others, even your family members.
- Avoid using other people’s personal items.
- Wash fabrics like towels, pillowcases, sheets, and bedding that regularly come in contact with your skin. You can also use a little PDT on them.
- If you have to use beauty salon supplies and other equipment in public places, make sure to apply a small amount of PDT on them before any contact.
- The sun can destroy Demodex mites. So, you can leave your personal items and fabrics under the sun for a few hours.
- Always carry a bottle of PDT with yourself to use on contact surfaces whose cleanliness is questionable.
- Do not touch your mouth, face and other parts of your skin with dirty hands.
Beyond Eliminating Demodex Mites
Although Ungex products are specifically made to destroy Demodex mites, they can eliminate other germs like many bacteria, viruses and fungi. Besides microorganisms, our clients around the world have repeatedly noted that PDT and SDT can eliminate tiny, annoying creepy crawlies such as spiders, mosquitoes, mites, flies, ticks, and so on. Regarding the role of these small critters in transferring bacteria, fungi and viruses, PDT and SDT can play an influential role in stopping other opportunistic infections in HIV/AIDS. These two products can help you prevent many environmental health hazards if you suffer from immune deficiency. Individuals -healthy or infected- can use all Ungex products throughout their life. They have no side effects and are entirely safe to use daily.