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Available Treatments for HIV Patients

Although there is no cure for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, treatment is still a necessary step to prolong the life of an infected individual. Before a treatment regimen is recommended, however, the individual has to undergo HIV testing at one of the clinics or hospitals in Singapore or perform an anonymous HIV test using a test kit available at pharmacies.

HIV Testing as a Primary Step

HIV screening will determine the progress of the virus so that appropriate medication can relieve some of the symptoms, if there are any. There are various methods for HIV testing in Singapore, but most can be categorized into three types; testing for HIV antibodies, testing for HIV antigens, and a combination of the two tests.

The first and succeeding HIV screenings should be performed within a three-month window period from the time of the infection. Why does an individual need more than one HIV test? That is because the virus or the antibodies for the virus might not show up in the sample during the first HIV testing. If an individual tested negative (not infected) the first time, the test must be repeated to confirm the results. There are also rare cases where the initial result was positive (HIV-infected), but the second test revealed that it was false.

The individual might need additional testing for sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) as well, because a co-infection is also highly probable. Additional tests and confidential human immunodeficiency virus check in Singapore will also be needed to determine if the HIV-positive person also has an opportunistic illness (OI), or an infection other than STDs that has taken advantage of the weakened immune system.

How HIV is Treated

The goals of HIV treatment are to slow down the progress of the virus, prevent the spread of the infection, and to prevent symptoms from reducing the quality of life of the individual. Therefore, HIV treatment involves not just one type of medication, but other types of treatment that make up an HIV regimen.

• Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

All HIV-positive individuals need ART as soon as possible regardless of the CD4 cell count, because it can be highly effective during the early stages of HIV. ART refers to the combination of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs that will act to stop the progression of the disease by suppressing the actions of the virus itself. ART will not kill the virus, but it’s possible to slow the down the destruction of the CD4 cells and the replication of the virus. This will give the immune system a chance to recover and still be able to fight off infections and HIV-related cancers.

• HIV Drug Classes

ARV drugs included in the therapy are divided into six classes based on how they affect the life cycle of HIV. A typical HIV regimen will include 3 HIV medicines and an additional 2 or more drug classes. Therefore, even if you have already confirmed that you are HIV-positive, your doctor will tell you to keep monitoring your condition through scheduled HIV testing.

The six classes of HIV drugs are as follows:

1. Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs) will block the virus’s reverse transcriptase proteins that it needs to make copies of itself.

2. Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs) will bind and disable the reverse transcriptase proteins in the virus.

3. Protease Inhibitors (PIs) will inhibit an enzyme from the virus that is needed for replication.

4. Fusion and Entry Inhibitors will stop the virus from entering the CD4 cells.

5. Pharmacokinetic Enhancers will act as booster of another HIV medication.

6. Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors (NSTIs) will block the enzyme from the virus needed to infect the CD4 cells with its genetic material.

• Common Side Effects

HIV medication have side effects, but the effects vary among patients, that is why you will need to collaborate with your doctor to come up with the best HIV regimen. You should also take note of possible drug interactions among HIV medicines and HIV drugs with other vitamins, supplements, and herbal products. It is possible for any one of the non-HIV medication to reduce the effect of HIV drugs, so always consult the doctor before trying other products.

• Possible Drug Resistance

HIV can mutate as it slowly takes over your immune system, that is why drug resistance is a huge threat. As a result, some strains of HIV may not be affected by your current medication. Such a risk, however, can be avoided if you strictly follow your HIV regimen and you undergo drug-resistance testing to identify which medicines will not work anymore.

Treating Infants and Children with HIV

Newborns of HIV-positive mothers will need postpartum ARV drugs; specifically, infant ARV prophylaxis should be administered within 6 to 12 hours after birth, while the four-week neonatal zidovudine prophylaxis regimen is given for full-term babies if the mother has received ART during pregnancy. For babies whose mothers did not receive the same ARV drugs, a combination infant prophylaxis regimen is advisable. Premature babies on the other hand, will need either nevirapine (or prophylaxis) or zidovudine (or treatment and prophylaxis).

For babies and children older than 14 days, the dosage of HIV drugs (such as zidovudine, maraviroc, and raltegravir) will depend on the weight. That means the dosage and type of HIV drugs will change as the child grows.

Why You Should Talk to a Psychologist

We don’t often think about mental health, and it has only been recently that we are beginning to understand its importance in our everyday lives. While there is still some stigma against seeking therapy and counselling, we now know that mental health is just as important as physical health. We are beginning to acknowledge the fact that physical health also affects mental health and vice versa; taking care of our bodies also means taking care of our minds.

We often think that going to a psychology center or talking to a psychologist means that we have a disorder. However, this is not the case. Everyone can benefit from talking to a psychologist, even those who think that they don’t need it. Therapy is simply providing a space and time where you can talk to a psychologist about the things that bother you. These trained professionals can give you insights that would help you deal with the stresses of life.

If you’re a parent and you think you have a good hold on your life and overall well-being, but find certain worrying psychological symptoms on your child, these can also be reasons why you should take them to a child psychologist.

Here are ten reasons why you should talk to a psychologist.

1. Reduce stress
We live in a hectic world, and with our schedules, it is often hard to live a life with self-awareness and a good handle on our emotions. This can lead to us feeling turbulent and confused, unable to understand or process our feelings and emotions.

Talking with a psychologist in Singapore can help you reduce the stress that you face in your everyday life. Even if we do not immediately reach a solution to the problems that stress us, knowing that we dedicated time and effort to solving them can help us ease our worries.

2. Share the burden
While it is a good idea to talk about our problems with friends and family, talking about your problems at Singapore’s center 4 psychology with a trained psychologist can be more beneficial. They can help you process your emotions about certain problems you may be having, or help you go through instances of intense emotions to help you have a better handle on them. In some situations, if one’s biggest problem is rooted in one’s marriage, it’s most advisable to undergo marriage counselling instead.

3. Solve problems
The best psychologist for you is one who can not only facilitate how you process your emotions, but also direct you to the roots of your problems. Your psychologist has the skills to guide you through your problems and can help you decide how to solve them. They can also provide input regarding habits you should avoid, and help you handle the emotions that often come along with making hard decisions.

4. Understand yourself better and raise self-awareness
Therapy can also help you understand yourself better. Talking to a recommended psychologist can help you uncover habits and tendencies that you possess. This knowledge can be invaluable for those who want to change aspects of their life for the better.

It also happens that in some marriages, both parties can take the other for granted, causing them to drift apart without realizing it. If you find that it’s becoming harder for you to relate with your partner, or even just enjoy his or her company, it would probably be best for your relationship to undergo marriage counselling.

5. Identify goals
Being able to understand yourself better is simply the beginning. Using the knowledge that you have about yourself, your psychologist can aid you in living the kind of life that you want to live. You may want to choose psychologists with specializations, like those who specialize in careers or marriages, should you need relationship counselling. However, all psychologists are equipped with the skills that can help you with making and reaching your chosen goals.

Additionally, meeting with a psychologist or going to a psychology center in Singapore can help you learn methods that would help you achieve your goals. Your therapist can introduce you to theories in psychology that would help you in goals and goal-setting, such as the psychology of habits and motivation.

6. Relate better to people
Knowing your strengths and weaknesses can make you more comfortable with others, be it strangers or loved ones. Relationship counselling is a good way to deal with problems with your significant others. Your therapist can suggest to you ways on how to empathize with people better, to understand how they may react to certain situations. Those who lack in certain social skills can also benefit from learning about skills and techniques that can lessen your anxiety towards socializing with others.

7. Feel better about the world
Therapy can also help you feel better about the world. Your psychologist can help you relate to the world, providing you with coping techniques, and insights that can help you feel better equipped to deal with the issues of the world at large.

8. Benefit from a neutral party
Your therapist can come to your aid as a neutral party, which means that you could rest assured that they do not have any other motivations other than helping you live a better life. Neither is their judgment is not clouded by their previous perceptions of you so they can approach your problems without bias.

A neutral party is also beneficial if you have problems concerning a significant other. Relationship counselling can be very beneficial for two parties who have problems between them, whether this relationship is of a romantic or platonic nature. Be it with your friend or your partner, couples who undergo relationship counselling can benefit from the insights of a psychologist.

In marriage counselling, the counsellor also serves as marriage and relationship counsel in Singapore who is a neutral party that could facilitate the reconciliation of a couple by giving sound advice to both sides with no bias or partiality.

9. Live a life of self-fulfilment
Everyone can benefit from talking to a psychologist, even those who feel like they don’t need it. Talking to a psychologist can help you forge new goals that would help you become the best version of yourself, to live a life of self-fulfilment that does not only benefit you but also those around you.

10. Improve physical health
Having good mental health and emotional hygiene also helps with physical health. Feeling better equipped to deal with life’s problems affects not just the mind but the body as well. Understanding yourself allows you to be more conscientious, and allows you to better other aspects of your life, including your physical health and wellbeing.

Again, there reasons don’t just apply to adults, but to children as well. Children who have notably unusual behaviour are highly advised to get a consultation from a professional child psychologist.

Locksmith Marketing Ideas

According to Entrepreneur magazine there are about 30,000 locksmiths in the United States alone, and half of these locksmiths are self-employed and earns over $50,000 annually. Locksmiths offer a rather wide variety of services like cutting keys, repairing broken locks, installing and selling new lock systems and helping people get into their cars or homes when they’re locked out.

Given this wide variety of services that locksmiths offer, it’s no surprise it has become one of the booming businesses today. But staying in the locksmith industry takes more than just great skills and good customer service, it also takes one good marketing ploy for you to get potential clients to sustain your business. So if you’re wondering as to how you can efficiently advertise your locksmith business to your prospective clients, then here’s a good list of some of the effective ways to get your locksmith services onto the Singapore locksmith industry.

1. Online Directory
Marketing your business through online directories allows your customers to locate your company online when they’re searching for locksmiths. Join known locksmith Singapore online directories such as Locksmith Direct or Locksmith Index. These sites allows you to create business listings for your company for free. Apart from that, they also offer free business leads and inquiries as a part of their service, and allows you to upgrade your lists to a paid one to further expose your locksmith company to more potential clients.

2. Paid Search
Similar to online directories, paid search is another advertising strategy that allows your customers to find your business online. For instance, when a potential client searches the web using terms like “new lock” and “locksmith,” the online ad that you created will appear on top of “natural” search results. The best part of this marketing plan is that you’ll only pay for your ad when a customer clicks the link to your website, making it a highly targeted and effective advertising idea for any locksmith business in Singapore. The effectiveness of this marketing strategy will also increase if you register on one of the largest search engine providers like Bing, Google and Yahoo!

3. Referral Marketing
One of the most effective ways to spread the word about the Singapore lockmaster service that you’re offering is to get referrals from your family members, friends, and more importantly, your current and previous customers. Ask your contacts to help you spread the word about your locksmith business. Draft a letter or an email that best and clearly describes your service offerings, as well as the benefits that your customers will get, and ask your friends and satisfied clients to help you through passing the message to their own network of contacts. If you make it easy and simple for them, a good number of people definitely won’t mind helping out a small business owner in their local area in Singapore.

4. Direct Mail
Marketing through direct mail can be an effective strategy if you’re planning to sell your services to a specific group of customers. For example, if a common customer segment are elderly men who got usually locks out their keys in their cars, then you should create a customized list of people who perfectly fits this demographic segment with the aid of an experience direct mail vendor. Afterwards, send a brochure or a postcard detailing your locksmith Singapore services to this people. If you want, you could send a direct mail by simply creating a coupon or any other form of advertising and use direct mail providers to distribute your ad materials to the customers within your area.

Having the right level of skills, expertise, and knowledge in the field of locksmiths, paired with a perfect marketing strategy is what will make your locksmith business last long in the industry. So go ahead and choose the right advertising scheme that will bring your business plenty of customers.