HIV and Bacteria
HIV and Bacteria: Good and Bad Bacteria in the Body
The fact that our bodies are carriers of bacteria is not something we like to think about, but it is a fact of life. Some of these bacteria, however, are healthy, and actually work to our advantage. In the case of HIV and bacteria, some can actually fight transmission of HIV between partners. There are other good bacteria colonies in the body that prevent the transmission of STDs. Of course, with the spread of STDs on the rise, it’s questionable why these bacteria aren’t as effective anymore. There are several reasons for this.
For one thing, we alter the good bacteria by sometimes inadvertently destroying it; at other times, by simply inhibiting its ability to do its job. Some of the things that researchers are looking into are the effects that various medications, contraceptives and douche solutions have on good bacteria found around and in our sexual organs. Antibiotics, for example, attack both good and bad bacteria, which is why they may cause digestive issues.
In the case of HIV, good bacteria can actually fight the transmission of the virus between partners. If someone has HIV, good bacteria can help antiretroviral treatment take effect. Conversely, in the case where good bacteria are not present—or worse, taken over by “bad” bacteria—the disease then may worsen. Or, it can make a person may be more prone to sexually transmitted diseases and other infections. When the bacteria in the body are out of balance, antiretroviral drugs may not be as effective as well. It’s a delicate balance that our bodies maintain.
So what can you do to ensure that your body’s defenses are at their best? This has to do with improving one’s health and making smart, healthy lifestyle choices. Eating a healthy diet, exercising, and getting proper sleep are all vital to maintain the body’s delicate balance. Eliminating bad habits like smoking are also vital to maintaining proper immune system health.
To a great degree, a body’s ability to fight disease is the result of how well it’s been taken care of. This makes it vital to educate young people about good health practices. In the case of HIV and bacteria, and its role in reducing transmission, it’s important to treat your body right. When you do, your body will return the favor by doing its best to fight off disease.