HIV and Diabetes: Two Sicknesses We Know. Or Do We? 

HIV has been stigmatized as one of the most horrible diseases one can have, right? Diabetes, on the other hand, has almost become normal. Chances are high you probably know someone that is a Diabetes patient, yet quite low to know an HIV positive person. According to the National Diabetes Statistics 2017, over 30.3 million worldwide have diabetes. Among them, 23.1 million are diagnosed, and 7.2 million are undiagnosed. So let’s take a deeper look at HIV and diabetes.

When we hear about HIV, we assume it to be one of the most horrible diseases to have, although it is very well treatable. Diabetes, however, is a disease we should be worried about. It has become so normal we don’t think about it too much, although it can be a serious condition, even if treated. The person who is suffering from it knows the pain. Read further to find out the truth about both HIV and diabetes.

HIV and Diabetes: Which One’s Worse?

If you ask anyone, they would say, of course, HIV is the worse one. But little do we know! According to a study, those diagnosed with HIV aids now have the same life expectancy as those who are not affected by the virus. HIV surely is a chronic disease, but it falls in the same category as type 2 Diabetes, it may even be better off than Diabetes itself. A doctor said, medically speaking, he would rather have HIV than diabetes. This may sound absurd, but the facts speak for themselves. People with Diabetes are four times more likely to have cardiovascular disease than people who don’t have it. On top of that, 20-30% of people with diabetes have a risk of kidney failure.

Diabetes also damages the vessels in the eyes, causing nerve damage and other health problems. On the other hand, people with HIV have fewer health problems.

What Makes HIV and Diabetes Similar?

Both HIV and diabetes can destroy your health and eventually kill you, if not managed and treated properly. Before the discovery of insulin, Diabetes was considered to be a highly fatal disease just like HIV before the advent of the ARV treatments. People with HIV take only one pill a day to treat the virus, but those with Diabetes have to self-administer their insulin intake to survive multiple times a day. Patients with Type 1 Diabetes have to monitor their blood sugar level throughout the day while patients with Type 2 Diabetes need insulin and oral medications to regulate their blood sugar level.

Although no one wants to take medication for the rest of their lives, it is way easier than injecting insulin. People who have to take it, know the pain. As HAART is now readily available, HIV no longer reduces the life expectancy of the patient whereas the life expectancy of a person with Type 2 diabetes is reduced by ten years.

A study shows, Type 1 Diabetes takes 11 years from men and 13 years from women. Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes have a decade less lifespan as compared to a healthy person. A study about HIV says that people taking ARVs have a normal life expectancy.

The sad reality is that, as HIV is considered as a stigma, the rate of depression in those who have HIV is ten times higher than healthy people. While the disease it is not as deadly as we consider it to be, the fear and depression that it causes can kill a person before their natural death. If you thought you knew about both these diseases, you might want to study them again!

About Fariah Salahuddin

Fariah is a full-time freelance writer and blogger. Although, she's a business student but still likes to explore new horizons of learning of various educational disciplines. Fariah spends most of her time researching and writing. Outside the web, she loves practicing calligraphy. Music, movies and outdoor activities are what keeps her entertained and her mind refreshed.

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