When you start treatment, your routine may start to look a little different. But you are taking an important step. And HIV doesn’t
have to affect your whole life.
Today’s medical guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend starting treatment right away.
Because starting and staying on treatment can help you live a longer and healthier
Here's another reason to start treatment ASAP: science. A study found health benefits to starting treatment right away.
Aalia’s HIV diagnosis changed her from trying to be a people pleaser to someone focused on her own life and her health. Hear what she has to say about her experience, what she’s learned, and how she’s moving forward with her life now.
It actually means two things. First, by starting and sticking to treatment, the amount of HIV in your body can get so low it can't be measured by a test. So low, it's undetectable. You still have HIV, but there's a lot less of it causing damage in your body.
Second, according to current research, sticking to treatment every day and staying undetectable basically eliminates the chance of passing HIV on through sex. Really.
Which means that sex can still be a part of your life. More on that below. But remember, there is no cure for HIV and being undetectable doesn’t prevent other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). So condoms and other safer sex practices still matter. A doctor can tell you more.
Again, people living with HIV can have sexual relationships. But it is important to take steps to protect your health and the health of your partner(s). Here is some helpful information for when you're ready to take that step:
See how starting, and staying on, treatment can help protect you and the people you care about.
Transgender people taking hormone therapy should know that many HIV medicines can be taken safely with other medicines, including hormone therapy. Talk to your doctor about your overall health. And about all the medicines you take. That way, they can find the HIV treatment that's right for you.
If possible, find a doctor in your area who can provide specialized HIV care and services. It can make taking care of your health more convenient. And help make sure you adhere to all your treatment regimens.
Above all, keep seeing your healthcare provider. And always take all of your medicines exactly as prescribed.
Women living with HIV have specific health needs. Pregnancy and childbirth may be concerns. And you may want to see if there's a doctor in your area with experience treating women living with
But know that you can take steps to protect your health. Some things to keep in mind:
Have other questions about women’s health and HIV? Here's where you can find even more information.
Men and women living with HIV have options when it comes to family planning. But know that starting and sticking to HIV treatment helps make it possible to have a healthy, HIV-negative baby.
Ask a doctor about all the ways you can protect the health of your baby. Before, during, and after pregnancy. Adoption can be an option, too. Here’s where you can find out more about HIV and family planning.
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