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People living with HIV who start and stay on HIV treatment can now live longer lives compared to those who started treatment in earlier decades.*
Research shows that people who start HIV treatment early can live healthier lives than those who wait to start.1
According to the CDC, people who take HIV treatment as prescribed, and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load,† effectively have no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.2
Achieving an undetectable viral load can take time. Viral load testing should be performed on a regular basis to confirm HIV remains at an undetectable level.
Having an undetectable HIV viral load does not prevent the transmission of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
It is unknown whether keeping HIV under control prevents transmission through sharing needles.
*Based on data (Lancet HIV, 2017) showing improvement in life expectancy between 1996 and 2013 among individuals starting antiretroviral therapy.
†When the amount of HIV in your blood is too low to be detected by a lab test.
1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Website. HIV.gov.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website. CDC.gov.
WHICH HIV TREATMENT IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
People diagnosed with HIV have many different treatment options. Discuss them with your doctor to decide what may be the right fit for you. It’s worth noting that in the past, people with HIV had to take many pills, multiple times a day.
Now, one pill a day is a treatment option that works for many people. What’s right for you? Again, that’s a discussion you’ll want to have with your doctor. The sooner you talk, the sooner you can start on a treatment that can help you manage HIV.
THE FIRST GOAL OF HIV TREATMENT
The first goal of HIV treatment is to reach undetectable. Undetectable means the amount of HIV in your blood is too low to be detected by a lab test.
HIV medicines work in your body to lower your viral load (the measure of HIV in your blood). When you take your medicines as prescribed, they can help you maintain an undetectable viral load.
Research has shown that people who take their HIV treatment as prescribed, and achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load, effectively have no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.
HIV TREATMENT TERMS
When it comes to treating HIV, knowing some basic terms—like the ones below—can be helpful.
TapClick to learn.
Find HIV resources in your area.