What Are Viral Load Blips
Even if a person is durably undetectable and taking antiretroviral therapy daily as prescribed, they may experience small, transient increases in viral load called blips followed by a decrease back to undetectable levels. Having a blip is relatively common and does not indicate that antiretroviral therapy has failed to control the virus. Scientists are working to better understand what causes blips.
What Else Do I Need To Know About Taking Hiv/aids Medicines
It’s important to take your medicines every day, according to the instructions from your health care provider. If you miss doses or don’t follow a regular schedule, your treatment may not work, and the HIV virus may become resistant to the medicines.
HIV medicines can cause side effects. Most of these side effects are manageable, but a few can be serious. Tell your health care provider about any side effects that you are having. Don’t stop taking your medicine without first talking to your provider. He or she may give you tips on how to deal with the side effects. In some cases, your provider may decide to change your medicines.
Takeaways For Avoiding Drug Resistance
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Hiv Testing And Your Rights
Testing for HIV is voluntary and can only be done with your informed consent, except in exceptional circumstances.
Before you are tested, you will be provided with information about what is involved. what the results might mean for you, and how to prevent HIV transmission in the future. All people who request an HIV test must receive this information from the test provider.
Under Australian and Victorian law, it is unlawful to discriminate against anyone who has HIV. Test results, and details on whether someone has been tested are strictly confidential. It is illegal for any information about a person being tested or a person with HIV to be disclosed without their permission.;
What Happens When Im On Pep
PEP isnt just a one-time pill ;its a regimen where you take many pills over many weeks. If your nurse or doctor gives you PEP, youll need to take medicine 1-2 times a day for at least 28 days . Its important that you take every pill as directed and dont skip doses, otherwise PEP may not work as well.
PEP isnt 100% effective, and it won’t prevent future HIV infections like PrEP can. So its important to keep protecting yourself and others from HIV while youre on PEP. Use condoms every time you have sex. If you inject drugs, dont share needles or works. This helps protect you from being exposed to HIV again. And it lowers the chances of giving HIV to others if you do have it
If you develop symptoms like a fever or rash while using PEP, talk with your doctor. These may be signs of the beginning stages of HIV.
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How Should I Take Truvada
Take Truvada exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.
You may take Truvada with or without food.
Use all HIV medications as directed and read all medication guides you receive. Do not change your dose or dosing schedule without your doctor’s advice. Every person with HIV should remain under the care of a doctor.
You will need frequent medical tests to check your kidney and liver function, or your bone mineral density.
Truvada PrEP alone will not protect you from infection with HIV. You must also use safer sex practices and get tested for HIV at least every 3 months.
Store in the original container at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Keep the bottle tightly closed when not in use.
If you’ve ever had hepatitis B, this virus may become active or get worse in the months after you stop using Truvada. You may need frequent liver function tests while using this medicine and for several months after your last dose.
Can My Medicines Cause Side Effects
Like most other medicines, HAART can cause side effects. Your doctor will talk to you about what side effects your particular medicine might cause.
If a serious reaction occurs, it usually occurs in the first few weeks of therapy. You should call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Constant thirst.
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How To Reduce Risk Of Hiv Transmission
HIV is no longer the death sentence it was prior to the early 1990s when ART was not yet FDA-approved. In fact, current treatment plans can make the viral load undetectable, meaning someone who’s HIV positive but undergoing treatment can pose effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, as with any infection, prevention is truly the best medicine. So, how do you prevent HIV transmission?
The best thing people can do to reduce the risk of HIV transmission is first to understand what HIV is and how it spreads . Second, is to “talk to any potential partner about their STI status,” says Dr. Pena, as well as know and disclose your own STI status. Next, is to use that STI status information to make informed decisions about what safer sex barriers to use, and how to protect against infection. For example, during vaginal or anal intercourse, you might use an external or internal condom.
Where To Get Tested For Hiv
Getting an HIV test is easy. Tests for HIV and other STIs are confidential and available from your local doctor , or a sexual and reproductive health clinic.
It is a good idea to have some pre-test counselling. Before the test, talk with your doctor, nurse, or peer tester about any concerns, your level of risk, whether you are likely to be HIV-positive and what a positive result may mean.
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I Prefer Sex Without A Condom So I Don’t Always Use Them Would Prep Still Work To Prevent Hiv If I Don’t Use Condoms
If a person takes the PrEP medication consistently as directed, it provides a high level of protection against HIV. Condoms provide protection against sexually transmitted infections . People who are on the PrEP medication but are not using condoms may be exposed to an STI. It is important to be aware that having an STI can increase a persons chance of getting HIV if exposed to the virus. Some STIs dont have symptoms or symptoms may disappear on their own for periods of time. If you are not using condoms regularly, it would be especially important to have regular testing for STIs and to get treated as soon as possible if you have an STI. Screening for chlamydia and gonorrhea should include swabs of a persons genitals, rectum and mouth. Learning about the signs and symptoms of STIs is helpful in identifying whether you or one of your partners has an STI.; Condom use is recommended but choosing to not use condoms routinely should not prevent you from being prescribed PrEP.
What Should I Do If I Miss A Dose Of My Hiv Treatment
While you should try to take every dose of your medication as prescribed, most people taking HIV treatment occasionally forget to take a dose or take it late.
What you should do about a missed dose will depend on the circumstances. In most cases, the safest option is to take the missed dose as soon as you realise and then to return to your normal schedule. If you only realise you have missed a dose when you come to the next dose, take the normal dose. Do not take a double dose to compensate for the one you have missed.
If you miss a dose and are not sure what to do, its a good idea to ring your clinic for advice.
If you vomit after taking your HIV treatment, you generally do not need to take another dose, as the drugs will already have been absorbed into your body. Exceptions to this are if it is less than two hours since you took your anti-HIV medications , or if you see the pills, or bits of them, in the vomit.
If you are regularly missing doses of your medication, or taking them late, talk about this with your doctor or other staff at your clinic. Your clinic will be able to offer advice and support. In some cases, it may make sense for you to change your treatment to a drug combination with a lower risk of resistance.
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How Often Will I Need To Take It
The main idea behind the development of the injectable was to have people take them once a month. This will reduce the number of days treatments are taken from the present standard of 365 days to just 12 days a year. A potential concern is that for each treatment day, there has to be a visit to a healthcare professional, making this unattractive for some people.
Another study, the ATLAS-2M study showed the potential of administering the drug every two months. It was still effective at reducing viral load. The European license is likely to allow injections either every month or every two months.
How Well Does The Use Of Hiv Treatment To Maintain An Undetectable Viral Load Prevent Hiv Transmission To A Baby During Breastfeeding
Without HIV treatment, the risk for HIV transmission through breastfeeding is estimated to be roughly 15%. The rates of HIV transmission through breastfeeding for people who are taking HIV treatment are much lower. A systematic review of HIV transmission in breastfed infants of cisgender women on treatment found that the risk of transmission after birth was 1% after six months of breastfeeding, rising to almost 3% after one year. However, in these studies, the women were on treatment for varying amounts of time and did not continue treatment beyond six months after giving birth. The systematic review did not account for adherence or for viral load, which means that even though the women were taking HIV treatment we do not know how many of them had a detectable viral load at the time of transmission.
There is very limited research on the impact of treatment and an undetectable viral load on HIV transmission during breastfeeding. A study in Tanzania between 2013 and 2016 found two HIV transmissions among 177 infants who were breastfed by cisgender women who started treatment before the infant was born. However, in both cases the women had a detectable viral load. No transmissions occurred in the context of treatment and an undetectable viral load.
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What Are The Side Effects Of Pep
There can be side effects of PEP, like stomach aches and being tired. But PEP side effects arent dangerous, and they can be treated. Talk with your nurse or doctor if you have side effects that are really bothering you.
If PEP doesnt work, you may have symptoms of the first stage of an HIV infection, like a fever or rash. If you have these symptoms while youre on PEP, or within a month after finishing PEP, call your nurse or doctor.
Pharmacologic Enhancers Or Drug Boosters
Ritonavir , taken in a low dose, increases blood levels of lopinavir and the drug LPV/r .
- Zidovudine + Lamivudine or ZDV/3TC
Descovy and Truvada have also been approved as ways to prevent HIV infection for people who are at high risk. But if you take either of them, you have to practice safe sex, too.
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Truvada As Hiv Treatment
Whether combined with various other medications or as part of a single-tablet regimen , Truvada has been a solid part of many an ART treatment that has kept people healthy and thriving for decades. For years it was the backbone of any ART regimen, particularly when initiating treatment for someone with a new HIV diagnosis.
Times change, however, and currently we know that nearly half of the population living with HIV in the United States is over 50 years of age. With that evolution comes some new considerations for both patients and health care providers when considering Truvada as a component of ART.
As people are living longer with HIV in todays landscape, a shift has occurred for many from wondering, Will I live to see tomorrow? to How can I thrive and live my best life for decades to come? You can be faithful with your HIV medications and have an undetectable viral load, but now you also must think about other chronic health conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, poor bone health, and chronic kidney disease.
If ART is doing its job and keeping HIV undetectable, the goal is now maintaining other aspects of health as well as possible moving forward. This requires being vigilant about your own and your familys other health conditions so you can increase your chances of not having any potential medication side effects.
How Does Being Durably Undetectable Affect My Risk Of Transmitting Hiv To A Sexual Partner
People living with HIV who take antiretroviral medications daily as prescribed and who achieve and then maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting the virus to an HIV-negative partner.;
Three large multinational research studies involving couples in which one partner was living with HIV and the other was notHPTN 052, PARTNER and Opposites Attractobserved no HIV transmission to the HIV-negative partner while the partner with HIV had a durably undetectable viral load. These studies followed approximately 3,000 male-female and male-male couples over many years while they did not use condoms. Over the course of the PARTNER and Opposites Attract studies, couples reported engaging in more than 74,000 condomless episodes of vaginal or anal intercourse.
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Before Taking This Medicine
You should not take Truvada if you are allergic to emtricitabine or tenofovir disoproxil fumarate. Do not take if you also use other medicines that contain emtricitabine, tenofovir, lamivudine, or adefovir .
If you take Truvada PrEP to reduce your risk of HIV infection: You must have a negative HIV test immediately before you start taking the medicine.
Do not take Truvada PrEP to reduce infection risk if you are HIV-positive, if have been exposed to HIV within the past month, or if you had any symptoms .
To make sure Truvada is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have ever had:
You may develop lactic acidosis, a dangerous build-up of lactic acid in your blood. This may be more likely if you have other medical conditions, if you’ve taken HIV medication for a long time, or if you are a woman. Ask your doctor about your risk.
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, and use your medications properly to control your infection. HIV can be passed to your baby if the virus is not controlled during pregnancy. Your name may be listed on a registry to track any effects of antiviral medicine on the baby.
Women with HIV or AIDS should not breastfeed a baby. Even if your baby is born without HIV, the virus may be passed to the baby in your breast milk.
A child receiving this medicine must weigh at least 37 pounds.
It is not known if Truvada is safe and effective in children with HIV-1 infection who weigh less than 37 pounds .
What Happens After I Take Pep
You need to visit your nurse or doctor for follow-up testing after you finish PEP. Youll get another HIV test 4-6 weeks after you were first exposed to HIV, and then youll be tested again 3 months later. Depending on your situation, your doctor may recommend another HIV test 6 months later.
Its really important to get these follow-up tests to make sure PEP worked. In the meantime, keep protecting yourself and others from HIV by using condoms when you have sex, and not sharing needles or works.
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