Is there a cure?

At this time, there is no cure for HIV. But there are things you can do.

Since this is the current reality, it is important that those people who are not infected with HIV stay negative and those living with HIV/AIDS stay healthy.

For people infected with HIV, drug development has helped to change the face of the disease. Whereas HIV infection once implied certain death, drug therapy has helped to prolong and improve the quality of life for many individuals.

HIV is a retrovirus, so drugs that target the virus are called antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. There are many different types of ARVs, but they all work by slowing the growth or inhibiting the replication of the virus. Although these drugs do not kill the virus, they effectively reduce the levels of HIV in the blood.

In choosing to begin drug therapy to treat HIV, it is important to discuss your options with a doctor. The doctor will perform blood tests to determine your viral load (how much HIV is in your blood) and your T cell (CD4+) levels (how strong your immune system is). Knowing these test results and the symptoms you have experienced will allow the two of you to decide when to begin treatment and which therapies to use.