HIV Treatment

Reviewed by Ruthann Cunningham, MD., July 10, 2017

HIV can be treated, but there is no cure.

When HIV was first discovered, there were very few drugs available to treat the virus and fend off infection. Since then HIV treatments have come a long way. While there is not yet a cure for HIV, having the virus is not a death sentence like it once was. It’s now considered a chronic disease and infected people can live pretty normal and long lives. A class of drugs called antiretroviral medications slow the growth of HIV and extend quality of life. They also help prevent HIV from advancing into AIDS.

We're here to help

Call (877) 457-3082(866) 660-2593 and speak to one of our Care Advisors for more information.

What is the goal of HIV treatment?

Since HIV suppresses the body's immune system, treatment focuses on reducing the effects of the virus on the body with the fewest number of side effects. Response to treatment is measured by viral load. Viral load is the amount of HIV virus in the blood. Viral load should be tested at the start of treatment and then every three to four months. With the right health care, lifestyle and medication, many people infected with HIV have undetectable viral loads and normal lives.

How is HIV treated?

Treatment guidelines for HIV include antiretroviral regimens that can slow down the virus and it’s damage to the immune system. The drug regimes can be intense and expensive but they will greatly improve a patient’s long-term health and survival. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment regimen with the least medication side effects.

Jump to top