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Understanding HIV Treatment
Understanding HIV Treatment

If you start HIV treatment when you need to and lead a healthy lifestyle, you can live a long time with HIV.

Medicines to treat HIV are called antiretrovirals (ARVs). They can save your life. But they are not a cure. You have to take them every day for the rest of your life. They work by reducing the amount of HIV in the blood, which helps the immune system fight infections.

If you test HIV positive and you are pregnant you will start ARVs immediately, regardless of your CD4 count. You will be given the new fixed dose combination (FDC) tablets – and take a single tablet once a day. The FDC combines all three ARVs into a single pill. This is also called full HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment, or Triple-Therapy). You will be given your full CD4 results within a week, but will stay on the FDC regardless of your CD4 levels.

If you are currently on AZT and you fall pregnant, you will be moved to the FDC protocol.

Women who are unable to take FDC should start AZT daily until delivery. They should receive AZT three-hourly during labour and receive truvada and sdNVP.

Your clinic will advise you of your correct dosage.

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