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 doesn't 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.
Today, HIV-positive people have many options for AIDS and HIV medication. These options include:
Anti-HIV medications that treat HIV infection
Drugs that treat side effects of the disease or HIV treatment
Drugs that treat opportunistic infections that result from a weakened immune system
Researchers are continuing to develop many new types of AIDS and HIV medications.
Work with your doctors to decide
which medicines to use, based on:
The type of infection that is present or likely
Which other medicines you are already taking and the
possibility that one medicine might make another less effective (negative
The side effects of the medicines.
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
August 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this