HIV medicines

People living with HIV can take medicine called anti-retrovirals to treat HIV.
* HIV medicines are effective only in keeping the amount of virus in a persons body under control; they do not cure a person from HIV.
* It is recommended that people living with HIV start taking HIV medicine as soon as possible after diagnosis and take the medicine as prescribed by their doctors.
* Only doctors who have done a special training course can prescribe HIV treatment drugs

U=U or Undetectable = Untransmissible

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.

* HIV medicine can limit the amount of HIV in your blood, by stopping it from making new copies of the virus.
* If medicines are taken as prescribed the amount of virus in a persons blood can be very low- to a level known as undetectable.
* Only your Doctor will be able to tell you if the amount of virus in your blood by a blood test.
* Undetectable does not mean the HIV is gone.
* If a person with HIV stops taking the treatment tablets their viral load will go up again – and they’ll get sick

If a person reaches an undetectable level of virus in their blood, it means the virus is not fighting against your immune system and also means you cannot  pass on HIV to another person.  This is commonly known as U= U meaning;  undetectable = untransmissible

In bed with U=U

The Institute of Many (TIM) have come up with some great videos, this clip features Davey talking about why U=U is important to him.  Davey is a Bidjara, Wakka Wakka, Gubbi Gubbi man who grew up in Western Queensland.

Are there side effects from HIV medication?

* All medicines have possible side effects, but not everybody will experience them.
* Most side effects from HIV medicines are manageable.
* Overall, the benefits of HIV medicines far outweigh the risk of side effects.
* As HIV medicines improve there are fewer side effects..