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I’m HIV positive. Now what?

There’s no one-size-fits-all regimen for HIV – know your options

Recently diagnosed with HIV? Living with a positive status and interested in changing your treatment regimens? Looking to support a loved one? It’s important to know your HIV treatment options.

As research advances, more HIV medications have become available to suppress viral load levels, alleviate symptoms and prevent transmission to others.

HIV treatment options

Treatment for HIV is known as antiretroviral therapy (ART) – which involves taking a combination of HIV medications. Most of the medication is taken daily.

If you are just starting HIV treatment, your doctor will most likely recommend taking the daily pill.

More than 30 HIV pills have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Some medications are combined with others to form one pill. Your doctor will discuss the best pill to treat your diagnosis.

A medical provider will help you find the best regimen for your treatment. If you do not have a medical provider, Take Control HIV can connect you to confidential care, support and resources. 

Is taking a daily pill my only option?

Not anymore. In addition to oral antiretroviral therapy, HIV treatment shots are available to those who have an undetectable viral load for at least three months.

Typically, providers recommend “oral lead-in” or taking the pill form of the medication before beginning injections.

The shot may be an option for you if:

  • You are 18 years old or older
  • Have an undetectable viral load (or have achieved viral suppression)
  • Have no history of treatment failure
  • Have no known allergy to medicines in the shot

Do I administer the shot myself?

In 2021, the FDA approved Cabenuva, the first long-lasting injectable HIV regimen.

With this regimen, the shot is administered by your healthcare provider and requires routine office visits. Depending on your treatment plan, it can be given once a month or once every other month

HIV treatment shots offer a convenient and private treatment option for those living with HIV. It is also beneficial for those who have trouble taking medication orally.

What medications are available to protect my partner(s)?

To prevent spreading HIV to your partner(s), you should talk to them about PrEP, short for pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP is a medication prescribed by a healthcare provider to reduce the risk of HIV infection.

PrEP must be taken daily for it to be effective.

If your partner is not interested in taking a daily pill, Apretude is the first long-acting injectable PrEP option. It is initially administered as two injections one month apart and then additional injections every two months after.

Your partner should talk to their healthcare provider to find the right preventative medication for them.

Choosing the right treatment for you

If you are HIV positive, getting and staying in care means living a long, healthy, thriving life.

When choosing your HIV medicinal regimen, you and your doctor will consider several factors, such as your drug-resistance test results, T-cell count and viral load.

Knowing your HIV treatment options is important. Let Take Control HIV connect you with a medical provider today to discuss your options and start the best regimen for you.

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