That’s good! Knowing more about HIV and what’s going on
inside your body can help you stay healthy.
HIV causes damage to your body right away. It starts by attacking CD4 cells in your immune system. CD4 cells defend against germs and infections. HIV attacks CD4 cells and uses them to make more copies of the virus.
Pretty soon, the amount of virus in your body, your viral load, goes up. And your CD4 count goes down. This means you have fewer CD4 cells to help keep you from getting sick.
Left untreated, HIV can lead to infections, certain cancers, and even to AIDS.
But it doesn’t have to happen. Watch the videos below to see how HIV treatment can help stop the damage in your body.
Get the basics on what HIV does and how treatment can help.
A doctor who specializes in HIV knows the latest information about the disease and how to treat it. He or she can be your personal expert. Ask questions. Any question is good, no matter how basic or complex. Have your doctor explain anything you don’t understand. That’s what doctors are there for.
Here are some questions to ask if you need help getting started.
Don’t have a doctor yet? This site can help you find HIV care services near you.
When you talk to your doctor, ask about starting treatment. You can also ask for more information about the HIV treatment regimen they recommend for you. It’s important to start taking medicine as soon as possible. Why? Because treatment can help stop the damage that HIV is doing to your body.
It’s also important to understand how your treatment will work. All HIV treatment regimens are made up of at least three medicines. But that doesn’t always mean you have to take three different pills. In fact, your HIV treatment regimen may have all three medicines combined into one pill that you take once a day. Your doctor will do some tests before deciding which treatment is right for you.
You can always ask your doctor to tell you more about what’s in your treatment and how it works inside your body. Plus, resources are available if you want to know more. HIV.gov goes into greater detail about the different types of HIV medicines and how they work.
There is no cure for HIV. But starting treatment, and sticking with it, helps keep you healthy. That’s why it’s important to talk to your doctor about anything that keeps you from taking medicine every day.
See how being undetectable can help you live a longer and healthier life.
See how starting and staying on treatment can help protect your health and the health of others.
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