What Is The Best Treatment Method
There are several effective HIV treatment regimens available to patients. These are just a few examples of effective, single pill, once-daily treatment options.
For the majority of patients, these HIV medicines are very tolerable and have very little side-effects. If patients do experience side-effects, they must work with their doctor to find a solution. Fortunately, there are now many excellent medicines for HIV so you can find the one most suited to you.
Randomized Controlled Trials Of Early Vs Deferred Antiretroviral Therapy
Two large randomized controlled trials, START and TEMPRANO, provide the evidence for the Panels recommendation to initiate ART in all patients regardless of CD4 count . The results of these two studies are summarized below.
START was a large, multi-national, randomized controlled clinical trial designed to evaluate the role of early ART initiation in asymptomatic patients with HIV in reducing a composite clinical endpoint of AIDS-defining illnesses, serious non-AIDS events, or death. The study began at a time when initiating ART was not recommended until an individuals CD4 count fell below 350 cells/mm3. In this study, ART-naive adults with CD4 counts > 500 cells/mm3 were randomized to initiate ART at randomization or to wait to initiate ART until their CD4 counts declined to < 350 cells/mm3 or until they developed a clinical indication for therapy .
More than 2,000 participants enrolled in the trial, with a median follow-up of 30 months. Among the 849 participants who had baseline CD4 counts > 500 cells/mm3, 68 primary outcome events were reported in 61 patients. The risk of primary events was lower among those who were randomized to start ART early than among those in the deferred arm, with an HR of 0.56 in favor of early ART . On the basis of these results, the study team concluded that early ART initiation is beneficial in reducing the rate of these clinical events.13
When Is It Time To Start Taking Hiv Medicines
People with HIV should start taking HIV medicines as soon as possible after an HIV diagnosis. It is especially important for people with AIDS-defining conditions or early HIV infection to start HIV medicines right away.
Women with HIV who become pregnant and are not already taking HIV medicines should also start taking HIV medicines as soon as possible.
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What Is Hiv Treatment
HIV treatment involves taking highly effective medicines called antiretroviral therapy that work to control the virus. ART is recommended for everyone with HIV, and people with HIV should start ART as soon as possible after diagnosis, even on that same day.
People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines called an HIV treatment regimen. A person’s initial HIV treatment regimen generally includes three HIV medicines from at least two different HIV drug classes that must be taken exactly as prescribed. There are several options that have two or three different HIV medicines combined into a once-daily pill. Long-acting injections of HIV medicine, given every two months, are also available if your health care provider determines that you meet certain requirements.
Optimizing Adherence Antiretroviral Therapy Access And Care Engagement
The key to successfully maintaining viral suppression is continuous access to ART and adherence to the prescribed regimen. Lack of adherence or intermittent access to ART can result in treatment failure and the emergence of drug resistance mutations that may compromise future treatment options. While optimizing adherence and linkage to care and ensuring continuous access are critical regardless of the timing of ART initiation, the evidence thus far indicates that drug resistance occurs more frequently in individuals who initiate therapy later in the course of infection than in those who initiate ART earlier.48 It is important to discuss strategies to optimize adherence, care engagement, and ART access with all patients.
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How Do Hiv Medicines Work
HIV attacks and destroys the infection-fighting CD4 cells of the immune system. Loss of CD4 cells makes it hard for the body to fight off infections and certain HIV-related cancers.
HIV medicines prevent HIV from multiplying , which reduces the amount of HIV in the body . Having less HIV in the body gives the immune system a chance to recover and produce more CD4 cells. Even though there is still some HIV in the body, the immune system is strong enough to fight off infections and certain HIV-related cancers.
By reducing the amount of HIV in the body, HIV medicines also reduce the risk of HIV transmission. A main goal of HIV treatment is to reduce a persons viral load to an undetectable level. An undetectable viral load means that the level of HIV in the blood is too low to be detected by a viral load test. People with HIV who maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex.
When Should You Start Hiv Treatment
If you have HIV, its important to start treatment with HIV medicine as soon as possible after diagnosis,regardless of how long youve had the virus or how healthy you are. HIV medicine slows the progression of HIV and can keep you healthy for many years.
It is especially important for people with HIV who have early HIV infection or an AIDS-defining condition to start HIV medicines right away.
People with HIV who become pregnant and are not already taking HIV medicines should also start taking HIV medicines as soon as possible to protect their health and to prevent transmitting HIV to their babies.
If you have been diagnosed with HIV and are not currently taking HIV medicines, talk to a health care provider about the benefits of getting on treatment.
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The Iud And Ius Are Effective
An intrauterine device is a small, flexible device that is often in the shape of a T andis fitted in the womb by a doctor or nurse. The Mirena intrauterine system is the hormonal version. Both canbe left in place for several years.
Both the IUD and IUS remain effective whenwomen use antiretrovirals, and both are very reliable.
They can affect a womans periods. IUD usersoften find that they are heavier, longer or more painful, whereas the oppositeis the case with the hormonal IUS. Some women using the IUS find that theirperiods are irregular or stop altogether. Personal preferences differ some womenare pleased to have a method that reduces heavy, painful periods, whereas otherwomen are disturbed by the absence of bleeding.
A check-up for bacterial sexuallytransmitted infections is needed before fitting an IUD or IUS. Any infectionshould be treated before the coil is inserted otherwise there could be a riskof pelvic inflammatory disease.
What Are The Most Effective Hiv Treatments
If youre newly diagnosed with HIV or about to start HIV treatment, you may still be haunted by the old specter of gaunt AIDS patients and few treatment options.
HIV/AIDS is still here and it is still a serious disease. But the picture for patients in the U.S. today is very different than it was 30, 15, or even five years ago.
Life expectancy has improved dramatically, says Babafemi O. Taiwo, MBBS, an internist and assistant professor in the division of infectious diseases at Northwestern Universitys Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. For many patients, it can be close to that of uninfected persons.
The treatment that is making this era so much more hopeful is called highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART. HAART is a potent combination of at least three active antiretroviral medications . HAART is popularly called the AIDS cocktail because of its mix of drugs.AIDS Cocktails: The Benefits of HAART
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The goal of AIDS cocktails today is to reduce the virus in the blood so it is no longer detected. Though AIDS cocktails arent a cure, they are a very effective treatment. They can delay progression to AIDS, help rebuild and maintain the immune system, and reduce complications.
Today HIV medications are available with fewer short- and long-term side effects.
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HIV Medications: How HAART Works
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Antiretroviral Therapy For Persons With Acute Opportunistic Infections And Malignancies
Initiation of ART in the setting of an acute, AIDS-associated opportunistic infection or malignancy can improve immune function and potentially enhance treatment success for the OI. Clinicians should refer to the Adult and Adolescent Opportunistic Infection Guidelines for a more in-depth discussion on specific OIs. Below is a list of important factors to consider when initiating ART in these situations.
Immediate Antiretroviral Therapy Initiation On The Day Of Hiv Diagnosis
Since individuals may fail to engage in care between the initial HIV diagnosis and the time ART is prescribed, some groups have proposed rapid ART initiation on the same day of HIV diagnosis as a strategy to increase ART uptake and engagement in care and to accelerate the time to ART-mediated viral suppression. Rapid ART initiation also has the potential to reduce the time during which people with newly diagnosed HIV can transmit HIV. The rapid ART initiation strategy is supported by randomized controlled trials that were performed in resource-limited settings outside of the United States27-29 and observational trials in the United States that included both immediate initiation of ART 30-32 and rapid ART initiation .32,33 The results from some of these studies are discussed below.
There are many differences between health care in southern Africa and Haiti and in the United Statesincluding differences in the health care systems, structural barriers to engagement in care, underlying HIV and tuberculosis epidemics, and ART regimens usedthat limit the generalizability of the findings of the results from the studies described above. These studies, however, suggest that same-day initiation of ART is feasible and could potentially improve clinical outcomes.
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Can Lifestyle Habits Support Treatment
Once a patient is well established on treatment and the virus is kept under control, they can expect to live a normal life span. It is therefore important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent other common illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney failure shortening their life span.
Examples of a healthy lifestyle involve the following:
- stopping smoking
- keeping weight within a healthy range
- ensuring you have a varied and nutritious diet
- not exceeding the safe limits of alcohol consumption
- regularly exercising
How Are Hiv And Aids Treated
The most effective treatment for HIV is antiretroviral therapy . This is a combination of several medicines that aims to control the amount of virus in your body. Antiretroviral medicines slow the rate at which the virus grows. Taking these medicines can reduce the amount of virus in your body and help you stay healthy.
After you start treatment, it’s important to take your medicines exactly as your doctor tells you. When treatment doesn’t work, it is often because HIV has become resistant to the medicine. This can happen if you don’t take your medicines correctly.
Other steps you can take include the following:
- Keep your immune system strong by eating right, quitting smoking, and learning how to avoid infection.
- Monitor your CD4+ counts to check the effect of the virus on your immune system.
- See a counselor to help you handle the strong emotions and stress that can follow an HIV diagnosis.
- Reduce stress so that you can better manage the HIV illness.
Medical experts recommend that people begin treatment for HIV as soon as they know that they are infected. Treatment is especially important for pregnant women, people who have other infections , and people who have symptoms of AIDS.
Research suggests that treatment of early HIV with antiretroviral medicines has long-term benefits, such as a stronger immune system.
Treatment to prevent HIV infection
Other treatments for HIV
Treatment for AIDS
Living with HIV
If your partner has HIV:
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Prevention Of Sexual Transmission
A randomized clinical trial3 and several large observational cohort studies4-6 have provided strong evidence that achieving sustained viral suppression prevents sexual transmission of HIV. Thus, a key goal of ART is to prevent transmission of HIV to seronegative sexual partners . All persons with HIV should be informed that maintaining a plasma HIV RNA of < 200 copies/mL, including any measurable value below this threshold value, with ART prevents sexual transmission of HIV to their partners . Patients may recognize this concept as Undetectable = Untransmittable, or U=U. The results of these studies are summarized in Antiretroviral Therapy to Prevent Sexual Transmission of HIV.
Why Is Hiv Treatment Important
If taken as prescribed, HIV medicine reduces the amount of HIV in your blood to a very low level, which keeps your immune system working and prevents illness. This is called viral suppression, defined as having less than 200 copies of HIV per milliliter of blood.
HIV medicine can also make your viral load so low that a standard lab test cant detect it. This is called having an undetectable level viral load. Almost everyone who takes HIV medicine as prescribed can achieve an undetectable viral load, usually within 6 months after starting treatment. Many will bring their viral load to an undetectable level quickly, but it could take more time for a small portion of people just starting HIV medicine.
There are important health benefits to getting the viral load as low as possible. People with HIV who know their status, take HIV medicine as prescribed, and get and keep an undetectable viral load can live long and healthy lives.
There is also a major prevention benefit. People with HIV who take HIV medicine as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load will not transmit HIV to their HIV-negative partners through sex. Learn more about the prevention benefits of having an undetectable viral load.
HIV treatment is most likely to be successful when you know what to expect and are committed to taking your medicines exactly as prescribed. Working with your health care provider to develop a treatment plan will help you learn more about HIV and manage it effectively.
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What Hiv Medicines Are Included In An Hiv Treatment Regimen
There are many HIV medicines available for HIV treatment regimens. The HIV medicines are grouped into seven drug classes according to how they fight HIV.
The choice of an HIV treatment regimen depends on a person’s individual needs. When choosing an HIV treatment regimen, people with HIV and their health care providers consider many factors, including possible side effects of HIV medicines and potential drug interactions.
How Is Hiv Currently Treated
HIV is treated with antiretroviral medication . These work by preventing the virus from replicating in the body.
Historically, HIV treatment consisted of three different drugs, known as combination therapy or the cocktail as many called it. However, some of the modern drugs are now so effective that even two-drug regimens can be used to effectively to treat HIV-positive patients.
Often two or three drugs are available as combined single tablets, which is easier to take than three. Most drugs are taken as a single tablet which are taken once a day and have minimal side-effects.
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Prevention Of Perinatal Transmission
The first well-established example of ART reducing the risk of HIV transmission is the use of ART during pregnancy to prevent perinatal transmission of HIV. Effective suppression of HIV replication is a key determinant in reducing the risk of perinatal transmission. In the setting of maternal viral load suppressed to < 50 copies/mL near delivery, the use of combination ART during pregnancy has reduced the rate of perinatal HIV transmission from approximately 20% to 30% to 0.1% to 0.5%.7,8 ART is thus recommended for all pregnant individuals with HIV, for both maternal health and for the prevention of HIV transmission to the newborn. In ART-naive pregnant individuals, ART should be initiated as soon as possible, with the goal of suppressing plasma viremia throughout pregnancy. All pregnant individuals should be tested for HIV upon confirmation of pregnancy, with testing repeated throughout pregnancy as needed for those at risk of HIV acquisition .
What Is The Treatment For Hiv
The treatment for HIV is called antiretroviral therapy . ART involves taking a combination of HIV medicines every day.
ART is recommended for everyone who has HIV. ART cannot cure HIV, but HIV medicines help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives. ART also reduces the risk of HIV transmission.
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Considerations When Initiating Antiretroviral Therapy
The ART regimens that are currently recommended as initial therapy in these guidelines can suppress and maintain viral loads below the level of quantification in most patients who adhere to their regimens. Most of the recommended regimens have a low pill burden and are well tolerated. Once started on treatment, patients must continue ART indefinitely.
Does Hiv Treatment Cause Side Effects
Like most medicines, HIV medicines can cause side effects in some people. However, not everyone experiences them. The HIV medicines used today have fewer side effects and are less severe than in the past. Side effects can differ for each type of HIV medicine and from person to person. Some side effects can occur once you start a medicine and may only last a few days or weeks. Other side effects can start later and last longer.
Side effects of HIV medicine most commonly reported include:
- Nausea and vomiting
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