Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > HIV: Taking Antiretroviral Drugs
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
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 (2014). Preexposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention in the United States—2014: A clinical practice guideline. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pdf/prepguidelines2014.pdf. Accessed July 27, 2014.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerPeter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
Current as ofMay 22, 2015
Current as of:
May 22, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.