ince its discovery, medical researchers and scientists have searched for an effective method of treating AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) and HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). Being diagnosed as HIV positive does not mean that an individual has AIDS. A person diagnosed with AIDS is considered in the final stages of HIV infection, which severely damages the body's immune system, placing them at extreme risk of all types of infections.
There are multiple stages of HIV, which range from acute infection to clinical latency, also known as the asymptomatic HIV infection period. At this stage, individuals may not experience signs or symptoms. This stage may last up to eight years or more, depending on the individual. At this stage, it is important for individuals to maintain healthy CD4 cell counts. Near the latter part of the clinical latency stage, the CD4 cell count declines, leaving the individual open to more symptoms and infections as the HIV virus levels in the body increase.
AIDS is diagnosed when the CD4 cell count falls below 200 cells per cubic milliliters of blood, according to the AIDS Organization. At this stage, the body's immune system is severely compromised and without treatment, individuals typically receive a three year life expectancy prognosis. However, individuals exposed to what are known as opportunistic infections may be diagnosed with a one year life expectancy.
The focus of most HIV treatments is to get the virus under control, improve patients' immune system function and overall health and wellness. Today, advancements in stem cell technologies are improving control of viral and opportunistic infections, as well as treating the decreased immune system function through fetal or embryonic stem cell treatments.
Many countries around the world are offering their own patent-protected technologies and treatments for stem cell technologies addressing immunodeficiency syndrome, including the United States. A stem cell research facility in Ukraine has nearly two decades of experience in treating AIDS and HIV with positive results. According to studies performed by the facility, fetal stem cell transplants help restore and support the immune system function and slow the progression of infections and side effects of the disease process. Such treatments help prevent patients from slipping into the last stage of HIV known as AIDS.
In some cases, treatments can last 1 to 2 years, though patients may be required to repeat treatment courses for longer periods of time, depending on stage, overall physical condition, age, and prognosis. According to studies following nearly 40 patients at the research facility in Ukraine, results show a positive elevation of CD4, CD3, and CD8 cells and lymphocytes through fetal stem cell transplantation.
In other areas around the globe, HIV patients have also experienced positive results from stem cell transplants, including a man who underwent a stem cell transplant at the Charity University of Medicine in Berlin, Germany. Two years following the transplant, the individual is not showing any signs of HIV.
In addition, scientists and researchers at the University of California Los Angeles are working on and antiviral treatment utilizing stem cells that may hold the possibility of immunizing people against the virus.
Over 8,000 people die of AIDS, and 14,000 new infections occur on a daily basis, states the University of California San Francisco AIDS Research Institute. Finding ways to prevent the viral infection, reducing symptoms, and preventing people from slipping into the AIDS stage of the disease are at the top of the list of many stem cell research facilities around the globe, offering hope for improved quality of life and life expectancy in the future.
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