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Drugs an HIV patient may need to take in one month, Europe, 1999

Drugs an HIV patient may need to take in one month, Europe, 1999

Credits: Science Museum

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In 1999, ‘Tom’, an HIV patient, needed to take these drugs every month to keep him as healthy as possible. He was vulnerable to infections as the HIV virus had destroyed part of his immune system, the special T-lymphocyte white blood cells known as CD 4. The drugs include vitamin supplements such as vitamin C and vitamin E (to boost the immune system), paracetamol, inhalers to prevent and treat asthma and chest infections, Sodium valporate for epilepsy, migraine treatments (Imigran and Sanomigran) and specialised medications for HIV patients, such as Fortovase.

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Glossary: epilepsy

A disorder of brain function characterized by seizures that occur suddenly. The seizures can be triggered by fast flashing lights, especially strobe lighting.

Glossary: asthma

A common condition in which the airways go into spasm and become constricted. It causes wheezing, coughing and difficulty in breathing. It is often a reaction to hypersensitivity, but can also be triggered by exercise or stress.

Glossary: HIV

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a virus that weakens vital cells in the immune system, and leads to AIDS. There are two strands: HIV-1, which leads to immunity suppression; and HIV-2, which is not as potent and is only common in West Africa. HIV is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids.

Glossary: vitamin

A group of substances needed, in small amounts, for healthy growth and development.

Glossary: cortisone

A steroid hormone, often used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, allergies and gout.

Glossary: drug packaging

No description.