You are here: Home General Living With HIV Decide whether to start ...
Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

Content Overview

Living With HIV

Decide whether to start treatment. If so, choose a treatment that fits your life.

Next » « Previous


The decision whether to start treatment

Just because you are HIV positive, does not automatically mean you should start treatment. Discuss whether to start treatment with your HIV specialist.

If you don't start treatment now, follow the suggestions of your HIV specialist about how often to get tests to determine if it is time to start treatment.

The Department of Health and Human Services recommends treatment (antiretroviral therapy) should be started for the following patients:

  • Treatment (antiretroviral therapy) should be started for patients with a history of an AIDS-defining illness or who have a count of less than 350 CD4 T cells. (There are circumstances where it recommends treatment for people with more than 350 CD4 T cells).
  • Pregnant women.
  • People with HIV-associated nephropathy.
  • Patients co-infected with HBV when treatment is indicated.

To learn more about the DHHS recommendations, see: offsite link.

What treatment to take

A variety of drugs are used to treat HIV disease.

These days, there is generally more than one drug that can fit a particular situation. Look for a drug that not only works to contain or kill HIV, but also fits your lifestyle. For instance, consider the number of times the drug has to be taken a day and in what circumstances.

If you have a question about which drug(s) to take after consulting with your HIV specialist, get a second opinion from another HIV specialist who is not related to the first doctor.

Keep in mind that decisions about what drugs to use vary from time to time based on your reaction to current treatment and medical advances.

To help decide which is the best drug for you and your lifestyle, we have a tool: Choosing A Treatment

Think about so called "alternative" therapies such as massage and aromatherapy as complementary to Western style medicine instead of "either/or."

NOTE: Be sure to tell your doctor about every other prescription and over-the-counter drugs you take. Some may have a negative interaction with certain HIV drugs. To help keep track of your drugs, we provide a List Of Medications you can complete, print and carry with you.

To learn more, see:

Please share how this information is useful to you. 0 Comments


Post a Comment Have something to add to this topic? Contact Us.

Characters remaining:

  • Allowed markup: <a> <i> <b> <em> <u> <s> <strong> <code> <pre> <p>
    All other tags will be stripped.