If you are recently diagnosed with HIV, you may have questions about starting HIV treatment. You might have heard that HIV treatment is also called as antiretroviral treatment (ART). Speak to your health care specialist for more information, and this webpage can give the idea about HIV treatment and medications.
Antiretroviral Therapy- A Treatment for HIV
Antiretroviral therapy is the use of HIV drugs to treat patients with HIV infection. Individuals undergoing antiretroviral therapy take a combination of HIV medicine son a regular basis. Every individual with HIV is recommended to follow antiretroviral therapy. The therapy is not capable of curing the infection but may help HIV infected people to live longer and healthier. HIV medicine also works to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Antiretroviral drugs are the cornerstone when it comes to managing HIV and AIDS as there is no cure available for HIV.
People who have HIV should start taking medicine as soon as after they get diagnosed with the life-threatening disease. The treatment should begin right away especially in pregnant women, those who have developed AIDS, an early HIV infection, specific HIV related illness, and coinfections. Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about why it is essential for people with these conditions to start HIV medicine as soon as possible.
Medicines in the HIV Regimen
There are a variety of HIV medicines available that are included in an HIV regimen. These medicines are categorized into seven drug classes according to how they fight against the life-threatening virus. These include NNRTIs, NRTIs, PLs, fusion inhibitors, CCR5 antagonists, INSTIs, and post attachment inhibitors. Initially, An HIV regimen of HIV infected people include three HIV medicines from two or more drug classes.
Selection of which HIV medications should be included in the HIV regimen of an HIV infected person depends on several factors include possible side effects of HIV drugs and drug interactions between medications. The need for HIV patients vary, and the selection is made from a variety of HIV medicines. HIV patients can work with their doctor to choose an HIV regimen.
Important Information about HIV Medicines
An HIV patient should be aware of the following information before undergoing antiretroviral therapy.
Side Effects – Users may experience side effects of HIV medicines. However, most side effects associated with the use of HIV medicines are tolerable, but a few can cause serious trouble. Overall, the benefits of these drugs outweigh the risk of adverse effects. Additionally, newer medications included in the HIV regimens tend to cause fewer side effects than medications used earlier to treat the killer virus. Because of advancement in the field of therapeutics, the treatment options for HIV patients are continuing to improve, and people are less likely to experience side effects from their HIV medicines. The unwanted effects appear due to HIV drugs vary depending on the type of medication and individuals who are taking the drug. Individuals taking the same HIV drugs may experience different side effects. Some of the commonly reported side effects such as headaches or occasional dizziness may not cause trouble, but other side effects such as liver damage, swelling of throat and tongue can be dangerous. To learn more about the unwanted effects of HIV medicines and how to manage them, talk to a doctor or a health care specialist.
Drug Interactions- Medicines used to treat HIV can interact with other HIV medicines included in the same HIV regimen. They can also affect the working of other medicines including nutritional supplements, vitamin tablets, and other herbal products. It is important to know that a drug interaction can reduce or increase the effect of the medicine in the body which can cause unwanted side effects. Therefore, it is wise to discuss all your medications with a doctor before starting an HIV regimen.
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