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HIV treatment

What is the management?

HIV treatment -

Although the cure for HIV infection is not yet available, the treatment can keep the virus under control and allow the immune system to restore its function.
People on HIV treatment can live a healthy and productive life. If HIV is diagnosed late, there is a higher risk of developing complications, and treatment outcome may be poorer.

The treatment available to an HIV-infected individual serves two main purposes:

  1. The use of antiretroviral therapy (ART) to stop the virus from reproducing. This allows the immune system to strengthen and fight infections effectively.
  2. Prophylaxis and treatment for opportunistic infections as a result of immunodeficiency.

With the introduction of HAART (Highly Active AntiRetroviral Therapy), people infected with HIV may now lead a near-normal lifespan with good quality of life. HAART, also called the cocktail therapy or the combination therapy, is the standard HIV treatment at present. It is a combination of 3 or more antiretroviral drugs selected from 2 or more classes of drugs. With combined pills, taking the daily medications has become a lot more convenient than before.

There are 5 main classes of drugs:

  • Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs)
  • Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs)
  • Protease Inhibitors (PIs)
  • Entry Inhibitors
  • Integrase Inhibitors (INSTIs)
What's good about HIV treatment?+
When to start HIV treatment?+
Why is drug adherence important?+
Monitoring tests - HIV RNA (viral load), CD4 count and more...+