Although there is no cure for HIV, there are many effective drugs available which are used to control and manage the condition.
Due to new developments in treatments there are now a variety of drugs available to treat HIV. The drugs used to treat HIV are more refined and more effective than they have ever been, they’re much safer and have fewer side effects associated with them. These improvements have dramatically changed the life expectancy of people living with HIV. Medically, HIV is classed as a long term manageable condition. If you attend regular check-ups at your sexual health clinic, your HIV team will be able to tell from your blood results when the time is right for you to start taking HIV medication.
In order for HIV treatments to be most effective, they require a high adherence rate. Adherence means taking the medication regularly every day.
HIV tablets require at least a 95% adherence rate in order to work correctly, although ideally no doses should be missed.
George House Trust can offer you information, support and advice about adherence.
Poor adherence may lead to a situation where your tablets are no longer managing your HIV effectively. This is known as resistance. Resistance is more likely to happen if you miss doses of your medication regularly. If resistance happens, you may have to change the treatment that you’re taking. Although there is a variety of treatments available, resistance ultimately reduces the treatment options that are available to you.
George House Trust can offer you information, support and advice about resistance.
Many people living with HIV are concerned about starting treatment because of the potential side effects. Everybody responds differently to treatments, and you may experience more, or fewer side effects than other people. Some people do not get any side effects at all. If you end up feeling unwell, your consultant can prescribe other medications to counter the side effects from your treatments. For most people the side effects will reduce over time. The most important thing is to stay with your medication and get yourself through the first couple of weeks. If your side effects persist for longer and you feel that you can’t cope with them, then you should talk with your consultant or specialist nurse.
George House Trust can help with advice support and information about treatments and side effects.