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ARV.

  • Antiretroviral Treatment for HIV

  • What is antiretroviral treatment?

  • How does antiretroviral treatment work?

Antiretroviral Treatment for HIV

If you’re living with HIV then taking treatment is really important for your health as it reduces the amount of HIV in your body and helps boost your immune system.

To ensure that your treatment works properly you need to stay engaged with a healthcare professional so that they can monitor your progress, manage any side effects and change your treatment if necessary.

Treatment options are constantly improving. You no longer have to take lots of pills and the side effects are much easier to cope with or even non-existent.

What is antiretroviral treatment?

Antiretroviral treatment (also known as antiretroviral therapy or ART) are the drugs that treat HIV. Many people living with HIV are taking treatment and staying healthy as a result. Current treatment for HIV is not a cure for HIV, but it can keep HIV under control very effectively.

 

How does antiretroviral treatment work?

ART works by keeping the level of HIV in your body low (your viral load). This lets your immune system recover and stay strong.

Keeping your viral load low also helps to prevent HIV being passed on.

With good healthcare and treatment, many people with HIV are living just as long as people who don’t have HIV.

You can continue to have relationships, to work or study, to make plans, to have a family – whatever you would have done before your HIV diagnosis.

Effective treatment also means that some people living with HIV are achieving an undetectable viral load. This means that the virus exists in such small quantities in their blood that it does not affect their health and there is zero risk of transmitting the virus on to others. But remember that if you stop taking your medication then your viral load will go back up again.

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