Medicines and vaccines are used to prevent infections and certain
diseases (opportunistic infections) that are more common in
Primary prevention means
preventing illness before it occurs. Immunizations (vaccines) are one kind of
primary prevention. Medicines that kill or control the organisms that cause
infections are another type of primary prevention.
Secondary prevention means preventing a disease that a person
has already had from coming back. This is usually done with medicines that slow
or prevent the growth of the organisms that cause infections.
Generally, infection with HIV does not make people sick, except for
the flu-like illness that may develop shortly after they become infected. Most
people who are infected with HIV get sick because their
immune systems become weak and cannot fight off other
infections. So, preventing opportunistic infections is an important part of
treatment for HIV.
When you have HIV, it’s important to know what can happen in your body.
It doesn’t just affect your immune system. The virus and the drugs taken to treat it can affect your eyes, heart, kidneys, liver, and brain.