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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > HIV: Taking Antiretroviral Drugs
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Taking antiretroviral drugs for HIV will not cure your infection. But it may allow you to stay healthy for a long time. And treatment can help prevent spreading the infection to other people.
Your willingness and ability to follow your antiretroviral therapy schedule exactly as prescribed is essential for successful treatment of your HIV infection. Not following your prescribed HIV therapy may cause treatment failures, such as:
In the past a person had to take many pills several times a day, which was hard for some people. But over the past few years, this routine has become much simpler, and people take their medicine only once or twice a day. With the right knowledge and tools, you can successfully take your medicine as prescribed.
If you are at high risk for getting infected with HIV, you also may take antiretroviral medicine to help protect yourself from HIV infection.footnote 1 But to keep your risk low, you still need to practice safer sex even while you are taking the medicine.
In the past, a person had to take many pills several times a day, which was hard for some people. But over the past few years this routine has become much simpler. Now people take their medicine only once or twice a day. With the right knowledge and tools, you can successfully take your medicine as prescribed.
Work with your doctor when starting ART.
Keep the following in mind:
You may be able to reduce the costs of your antiretroviral drugs and other drugs.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Preexposure prophylaxis for the prevention of HIV infection in the United States—2017 update: A clinical practice guideline. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/risk/prep/cdc-hiv-prep-guidelines-2017.pdf. Accessed July 28, 2018.
Current as of:
September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicinePeter Shalit MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
Current as of: September 23, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Peter Shalit MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
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