HIV medicines can help you control the HIV virus

While there is currently no cure for HIV or AIDS, HIV medicines can help control HIV infection, which can help protect your immune system and reduce the risk of serious infections. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. To find out which HIV medicines might be right for you, talk to a healthcare provider.

HIV medicines can help in two ways

  • Lower the viral load (the amount of virus in the blood). HIV medicines can help people living with HIV achieve an undetectable viral load, meaning the amount of virus in the blood is so low that it can’t be measured by a test. Being undetectable does not mean that the virus is gone.
  • Raise the CD4 T-cell count (the number of cells that fight infections in the body). Reducing the HIV-1 viral load can help raise your CD4 T-cell number, which can help make your immune system stronger.

Take your HIV medicines exactly as directed

Get the most from your HIV treatment by taking your medicines exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes them. Your viral load can increase if you don’t take your HIV medicines as prescribed, if you miss doses, or if you stop treatment. This can also cause drug resistance, meaning that the virus changes in a way that makes some HIV treatments no longer effective.

Find out which HIV medicines might be right for you

Ask your healthcare provider about your options for treating HIV. Different HIV medicines are taken in a variety of ways:

  • In one or more daily pills
  • With or without meals
  • Once daily or more frequently

It is important to let your healthcare provider know if you have any other health conditions or if you are currently taking any other medicines, including prescription, over-the-counter, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Your healthcare provider will prescribe an option that is right for you.

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