After receiving an HIV diagnosis, it’s important to learn more about HIV and begin treatment as soon as possible.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, is a virus that weakens the immune system by destroying cells that fight disease and infection. While there’s currently no cure, today’s treatments can help lower the amount of HIV in your system to a point where it is undetectable,* allowing you to lead a long, healthy life.
*Undetectable is defined as the amount of HIV in the blood being below 50 copies/mL, meaning it cannot be measured by a lab test.
HIV can turn into AIDS if your CD4+ cell count falls below 200 cells/mm3 or if you develop certain infections. However, starting treatment right away and staying on treatment as prescribed can prevent HIV from turning into AIDS.
The goal of treatment is to lower the level of HIV in your blood to the point where it can’t be detected in a blood test. This is known as being undetectable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), people who reach and stay undetectable after 6 months of HIV treatment have effectively no risk of transmitting the virus through sex.*
*Maintaining a viral load of <200 copies/mL does not prevent acquisition or transmission of other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Talk with your healthcare provider about ways to reduce the risk of STIs.
Your overall health can benefit from starting treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis. National treatment guidelines recommend healthcare providers prescribe treatment immediately after diagnosis instead of waiting for lab results. This rapid start may help patients reach an undetectable level of HIV in their blood sooner. It may also decrease the likelihood of transmitting HIV, along with other health benefits.Treatment Questions to Ask Your Doctor
The following 3 tests help determine what medication may be best for you.
–Danny, SYMTUZA® patient