HIV treatment involves taking medicines that slow the progression of the virus. HIV is called a retrovirus, and the drugs used to treat it are called antiretrovirals (ARV); they are typically given in conjunction with other ARVs, a therapy known as antiretroviral therapy (ART). Many ART drugs have been employed in the past twenty-five years and are the primary reason why AIDS-related deaths have dipped significantly.
If taken correctly, antiretroviral therapy can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and lower their chances of infecting others considerably. Today, someone diagnosed with HIV and treated before the disease is far advanced can live almost as long as someone who does not have HIV.
Working with your health care provider to develop a treatment plan will help you learn more about HIV, manage it effectively, and make decisions that help you live a longer, healthier life. HIV treatment will also significantly reduce your chance of transmitting HIV to your partner(s).