How can HIV be treated?
HIV treatment drugs are called HIV antiretrovirals. These drugs are usually taken as one tablet a day.
HIV antiretroviral treatment is very effective but it is not a cure for HIV. People with HIV must keep taking the treatment drugs every day to stay well.
It is very important for people with HIV to stay on their HIV antiretroviral treatment drugs, and to check with their doctor that taking natural medicine at the same time is safe.
HIV antiretroviral treatment is the only treatment for HIV. Alternative therapy and natural or traditional medicine will not treat HIV. These other remedies can help people with other conditions, like skin rashes, but they cannot treat HIV. HIV antiretroviral medication, taken daily, is the only treatment for HIV.
Are HIV treatment drugs safe?
Only doctors who have done a special training course can prescribe HIV treatment drugs. If a GP has a patient with HIV and they haven’t done the course, they will send the patient to a doctor who has done the training.
When HIV treatment tablets are taken daily and the medication is working well, people with HIV have only have a very small amount of HIV in their system. This means that they can stay healthy and have no HIV-related health problems.
HIV treatment is most effective for people who found out they had HIV soon after getting it.
Treatment as Prevention
People with HIV have blood tests to check the amount of HIV in their blood. This is to check to see how well the treatment medication is working. This is call testing the viral load.
Many people taking HIV tablets end up with a very low viral load – or even what’s call ‘undetectable viral load’. This means that there’s so little virus in their system it barely shows up in tests.
This is not a cure. If a person with HIV stops taking the treatment tablets their viral load will go up again – and they’ll get sick.
One of the good things about having an undetectable viral load is that the person is unlikely to infect their sex partners with HIV. This makes for much less worry about broken condoms.