Does Antiretroviral Treatment Have Side
As with all medication, starting to take ARVs can cause some side-effects, particularly in the first few days of treatment. This is another topic you could discuss with your doctor, as it might also affect your choice of drugs. Your treatment will be monitored and you may be recommended to switch drugs if they aren’t working for you or if you’re finding the side effects difficult to manage.
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking Biktarvy
- All your health problems. Be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis virus infection.
- All the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements. BIKTARVY and other medicines may affect each other. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all of your other medicines.
- If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY.
- If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1800FDA1088.
Medications For Hiv Infection
Other names: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Acute HIV Infection Acute Retroviral Syndrome AIDS AIDS-Related Complex ARC Chronic Symptomatic HIV Infection HIV HIV Infection, Acute HIV Seroconversion Syndrome HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection Primary HIV Infection
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is a virus that attacks the immune system, specifically CD4 cells , which eventually reduces a persons ability to fight infection. HIV can progress to AIDS if left untreated.
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What To Expect During Treatment
People using antiretroviral therapy take these medications for the rest of their lives. It is estimated that the lifespan of a person with HIV today is similar to that of a person who is not infected with HIV, as long as they consistently take their antiretroviral medications.
HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy may increase cardiovascular risk as a result of increased inflammation which may affect the amount of cholesterol in the blood. People on antiretroviral therapy can sometimes experience side effects, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or skin rashes. Doctors monitor you for these side effects, and can offer a different medication regimen if needed.
You doctor conducts blood testing every three months to measure your CD4 levels and viral load, which are used to determine the amount of HIV in the blood. The goal of treatment is to return CD4 levels to normal, improving the immune systems ability to fight infection, and to suppress the amount of virus in the blood to the point where it cant be detected by a lab test.
NYU Langone doctors also treat any problems related to HIV infection, such as anemia, which is caused by low levels of red blood cells, and dangerously low white blood cell levels, which may lead to infection or cancer.
Hiv Testing After Diagnosis
Additional tests are performed both after a person receives an HIV-1 diagnosis and throughout their treatment. These include:
- Viral load. The amount of virus in a persons blood is called viral load. When HIV-1 isnt treated, viral load will increase. In contrast, treatment with antiretroviral drugs can reduce viral load to undetectable levels.
- CD4 count. A CD4 count looks at the number of CD4 cells in a blood sample. Decreasing levels of CD4 cells signal damage to the immune system.
- Drug resistance testing. HIV-1 can become resistant to certain types of antiretroviral drugs. Because of this, drug resistance testing is performed to help inform which antiretroviral drugs can be used for treatment.
HIV is a viral infection. A person can contract HIV-1 when bodily fluids that contain the virus come into contact with their blood or with mucous membranes like those found in the genitals, anus, or mouth.
There are several bodily fluids that can transmit HIV-1. These include:
- workplace exposures, such as accidental needlesticks or sharps injuries
- receiving a blood transfusion or organ transplant
- getting a tattoo or piercing with equipment that hasnt been properly sterilized
- human bites that break the skin
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When Is Treatment With Antiretroviral Medicines Started
The British HIV Association recommends that anyone with HIV who is ready to commit to treatment should start taking it as soon as possible regardless of CD4 count. Evidence shows that starting treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis offers significant benefits over delaying treatment until CD4 T cell count drops.
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.
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Lamivudine And Hepatitis B
A 100 mg formulation of lamivudine is also approved as a treatment for chronic hepatitis B infection. This formulation is sold under the brand name Heptovir in Canada, and Epivir HBV in the US. Neither of these is interchangeable with 3TC. People with both HIV and hepatitis B virus should use 3TC as prescribed for HIV.
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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How Should I Take Triumeq
Take Triumeq exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets.
You may take Triumeq with or without food.
Triumeq comes with a Medication Guide and a Warning Card listing symptoms of an allergic reaction. Read this information and learn what symptoms to watch for. Keep the Wallet Card with you at all times.
You may need to take an extra daily dose of dolutegravir if you take Triumeq with certain other medicines.
Use all HIV medications as directed and read all medication guides you receive. Do not change your dose or stop using a medicine without your doctor’s advice. Every person with HIV should remain under the care of a doctor.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat. Keep the tablets in their original container, along with the packet or canister of moisture-absorbing preservative.
If you’ve ever had hepatitis B, this virus may become active or get worse in the months after you stop using Triumeq. You may need frequent liver function tests while using this medicine and for several months after your last dose.
Changing Attitudes About Hiv
When someone is diagnosed with HIV, other people may have negative attitudes and beliefs about that person’s behaviour, lifestyle or circumstances in life. These negative associations form what’s called stigma, an experience that can decrease quality of life because it includes:
Efforts to end stigma will help to:
- prevent new infections
- ensure that people living with HIV receive the care, treatment and support they need
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How Hiv Medications Work
HIV medications primarily work by stopping the virus from replicating.
The virus targets the immune system by invading and destroying white blood cells called CD4 cells. These play an important role in fighting infections and keeping the body healthy.
After invading a white blood cell, the virus uses the cell to replicate itself. This allows HIV to multiply within the body. Over time, the immune system loses strength and is less able to fight off infections and disease.
Antiretroviral drugs stop the virus from replicating. This helps protect the immune system and prevent disease. When a person takes antiretroviral therapy effectively, the virus usually reaches undetectable levels in 36 months.
Due to modern advances in antiretroviral therapy, HIV-related complications, such as opportunistic infections , are less common. Increasing numbers of people never develop stage 3 HIV infection, also known as AIDS.
Modern antiretroviral therapy has made it possible for people with HIV to have life spans similar to those of people without the infection.
recommend that all people with HIV take antiretroviral therapy, regardless of how long they have had the virus and their current health.
Healthcare providers work with people to find an HIV regimen that best meets their needs.
As part of this process, a doctor may recommend drug-resistance testing. This identifies medications that may not be effective in treating a persons HIV.
Managing The Side Effects
A healthcare provider can give advice and other forms of support to people experiencing side effects from HIV treatment. If the symptoms are severe or ongoing, they may recommend alternative medications.
It helps for people to discuss their lifestyle, needs, preferences, and current health status with their healthcare provider, who can take these into account when prescribing a treatment plan.
Antiretroviral drugs can interact with other substances, including:
- other medications
- herbal products
To avoid interactions, people should discuss all current medications and supplements with their healthcare provider, as these can influence how HIV medications work. In some cases, they can cause adverse reactions.
Some HIV drugs may also make hormonal birth control less effective. Therefore, people who use hormonal birth control may need to use a different method to prevent pregnancy.
recommend that all people with HIV take antiretroviral therapy, regardless of how long they have had the virus or their current health status.
This includes the following groups:
- people in the early stages of HIV
- people who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- people with stage 3 HIV
- people with HIV-related infections or cancers
Ideally, a person should begin antiretroviral therapy on the day they receive a diagnosis of HIV, or as soon as possible after this. This gives people the best chance of reducing their viral load and risk of complications.
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How Can Infection With Hiv Be Prevented
There is no vaccine to prevent HIV. Development of one is proving to be very difficult, as the HIV virus is constantly mutating and changing. Therefore, the main way to prevent infection by HIV is to avoid activities that put you at risk, such as sharing needles and having sex without a condom. See the separate leaflet called Safer Sex for more information.
Some cases of HIV can be prevented in other ways – for example:
Types Of Antiretroviral Medications
- There are more than 30 antiretroviral medications in six drug classes these are listed below.
- Each class of drug attacks HIV in a different way.
There are six main types of antiretroviral drugs.
Each class of drug attacks HIV in a different way. Generally, drugs from two classes are combined to ensure a powerful attack on HIV.
Most people start HIV treatment on two drugs from the nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors class combined with either one integrase inhibitor, one non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor, or one protease inhibitor hence, triple therapy.
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Types Of Hiv Treatment
Over 25 anti-HIV drugs are now available, divided into six classes of drugs. Each class works against HIV in a particular way. The vast majority of people with HIV are put on a fixed dose combination pill.
Guidelines recommend several combinations, each best suited to specific health needs and lifestyle. The most important part of treatment is to take all your drugs in the right way at the right time, which is known as adherence.
The classes of anti-HIV drugs are:
- Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors .
- Nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors .
- Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors .
- Protease inhibitors .
Does Art Cause Side Effects
Like most medicines, antiretroviral therapy can cause side effects. However, not everyone experiences side effects from ART. The HIV medications used today have fewer side effects, fewer people experience them, and they are less severe than in the past. Side effects can differ for each type of ART 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.
If you experience side effects that are severe or make you want to stop taking your HIV medication, talk to your health care provider or pharmacist before you miss any doses or stop taking the medication. Skipping doses or starting and stopping medication can lead to drug resistance, which can harm your health and limit your future treatment options.
Some side effects of ART that are most commonly reported include:
- Nausea and vomiting,
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Infection Rates Among Black People
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , fewer Black people with HIV have sustained viral suppression compared with people of Latin American culture or White people. This accounts in part for why 43% of all new infections are among Black people, despite the fact that Black people only account for 12% of the U.S. population.
Verywell / Julie Bang
Interactions With Other Medicines
Antiretroviral medicines can interact with each other, and they can also interact with other medicines prescribed by your doctor or medicines bought over-the-counter. These include herbal remedies such as St John’s Wort, as well as recreational drugs.
An interaction can reduce or increase a medicine’s effect on the body. Interactions can also cause side effects. Always check with your HIV clinic staff or your GP before taking any other medicines.
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Complementary And Alternative Medicine
There are no complementary or alternative therapies that can take the place of antiretroviral therapy. With that said, sometimes people with HIV will turn to alternative medicine to better manage symptoms or relieve side effects.
To avoid interactions and other possible harms, speak with your healthcare provider before adding any complementary or alternative therapy to your treatment plan.
What Are The Other Possible Side Effects Of Truvada
Serious side effects of TRUVADA may also include:
- Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys before and during treatment with TRUVADA. If you develop kidney problems, your healthcare provider may tell you to stop taking TRUVADA.
- Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking TRUVADA.
- Bone problems, including bone pain, softening, or thinning, which may lead to fractures. Your healthcare provider may do tests to check your bones.
- Too much lactic acid in your blood , which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat.
- Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain.
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Getting Support With Starting Treatment
Its important that you feel ready to start ART and understand how to take it properly. Current HIV treatment has to be taken every day for the rest of your life. You might feel good about starting HIV treatment, because it is something you can do to stay healthy and strong. But it is also normal to feel worried about it, or to have questions.
In addition to talking to your doctor, you may find it helpful to talk to someone who has experience of taking HIV treatment. Many clinics have peer mentors, who can offer support and information, or can put you in touch with community organisations and peer support groups.