The treatment for HIV involves taking medications that provide antiretroviral therapy, thus slowing down the progression of the virus. No matter how long a person has been living with HIV, the proper treatment can reduce the amount of virus found in the body, called the viral load, and reduce the risk of spreading it and experiencing further symptoms.
Starting and maintaining a treatment plan for HIV is important for those living with HIV healthy. If you have HIV and take your meds as prescribed, the risk of transmitting HIV to another person can be reduced to zero. We know that people living with HIV who have an undetectable viral load cannot transmit the virus. This is referred to as treatment prevention. Those who don’t realize they have HIV, or those who are unable to access or maintain treatment, can experience opportunistic infections (like certain cancers) and can be fatal.
Someone living with HIV should start treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis. Though there is currently no cure for HIV, we are confident that people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives when on treatment.