H1N1 And HIV Convergence: 6 Alarming Facts On Two Pandemics Joining Forces In 2014

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By Ryan Inoyori | January 6, 2014 2:39 PM EST

H1N1 and HIV have joined forces in 2014 pandemic convergence infecting lives without any guaranteed cure. The outbreak has been declared in Canada as H1N1 is continuously spreading, making HIV patients vulnerable. Here are six facts you should be aware of why both are related to each other.

Flu-like Symptoms

H1N1 and HIV can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, headache and body pains. However, H1N1 definitely presents symptoms unlike HIV that can be asymptomatic for years. Both are caused by viruses which also likely to mutate faster than bacteria between hosts and environmental factors.

Infection Rates Are Up

According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 million people aging from 13 and older are living with HIV in the U.S. alone at the end of 2009. While H1N1 infected more than 200 in Venezuela in May 2013 and have killed five people in Canada in January this year. Since there is no cure, infection and fatality will grow if prevention and vaccine implementation fails to contain H1N1.

No Cure

Unfortunately, there is no known cure against H1N1 and HIV. In October 2009, a vaccine in the form of a nasal spray was approved for use and in two weeks' time an injectable version was released in the same month. HIV patients can sustain normal living by taking antiretroviral drug therapy and prevent it from reaching AIDS.

Fatality Is Possible

Both H1N1 and HIV can cause fatal outcomes to infected people. Lifestyle, diet and environment can affect recovery from H1N1 and if left untreated, death is the result. Lack of maintenance on HIV can also lead to several complications such as AIDS and Kaposi's sarcoma. It is best to get help if you suspect you have it.

Immunocompromised

Unfortunate events can turn into hell if a person is infected with both viruses, affecting the ability of the body to fight it off. H1N1 patients with compromised immune system caused by HIV as an example have worse outcomes than uncompromised people while HIV infected patients can easily get H1N1 if ARTs are not in use. Individuals with any immunocompromised case are likely to have worse prognosis.

Resistances

According to World Health Organization, there are 314 reported samples of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 flu showing resistance against oseltamivir, in addition to the seasonal H1N1 flu strains resistance against amantadine and rimantadine. HIV can also develop resistance against antiretroviral drugs if another strain infects the same host. Multiple antiretroviral drugs are usually applied but patients may suffer multiple adverse effects and may die quickly than getting better from the infection.

Canadian cities have declared an H1N1 outbreak with five people dead, including a five-year old boy in Oregon and continuous to spread as the season promotes influenza virus. 

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