Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the
combination of several antiretroviral medicines used to slow the rate at which
HIV makes copies of itself (multiplies) in the body. A
combination of three or more antiretroviral medicines is more effective than
using just one medicine (monotherapy) to treat HIV.
The use of
three or more antiretroviral medicines—sometimes referred to as an anti-HIV
"cocktail"—is currently the standard treatment for HIV infection. So far, this
treatment offers the best chance of preventing HIV from multiplying, which
immune system to stay healthy. The goal of
antiretroviral therapy is to reduce the amount of virus in your body (viral
load) to a level that can no longer be detected with current blood
If you've just found out you're HIV-positive, you may feel overwhelmed, fearful, and alone. Know that you are far from alone. Countless people and resources are available to help you and the more than 1 million HIV-positive people living in the U.S. today.
It may help to remember that being HIV-positive is not the virtual death sentence it once was. HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). But being HIV-positive does not necessarily mean that you already...
Other drug combinations are approved and may be used in some cases.
Also, studies have shown that if you are not infected with HIV, taking antiretroviral medicines can protect you against HIV.2, 3 But to keep your risk low, you still need to use safer sex practices.
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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