Keeping HIV under control
HIV is incurable but you can keep it under control with medicines. If you have HIV and quickly take the right medicines, you can lead a normal life. You will not get AIDS and you can even live as long as someone without HIV.
There are many different medicines you can take. The HIV counsellor decides with you which are the best medicines for you.
HIV medicines can have side-effects. Talk to a HIV counsellor about these. Usually, the side-effects can be treated. Do not change the amount and do not stop taking your medicine.
Taking medicines strictly as prescribed
The medicines only work if you take them exactly the way the doctor tells you to.
- You always take the right amount of the medicines;
- You take the medicines every day;
- You always take the medicines at the same time of day;
- You always take the medicines in the right way, depending on the medicines that you are prescribed. For instance: with or without food.
- Never stop taking your medicines without talking to the doctor responsible for your treatment, or the HIV counsellor. The treatment may stop temporarily and have a reduced effect.
No longer any risk of infection
If you take your medicines correctly every day, the amount of HIV in your blood (viral load) will reduce. After a few months, it can often no longer be detected, though the virus is still in your body. There is then almost no risk that you will infect someone else.
HIV in a steady relationship
- If you take your HIV medicines correctly every day, and
- If, for at least 6 months, your viral load can no longer be detected, and
- If your viral load was checked less than 6 months ago;
- If you have no other STI and the mucous membrane of your mouth, anus, penis or vagina is not damaged.