Antiretroviral treatment (also referred to as antiretroviral therapy
or ART) are the drugs
that treat HIV. Taking ART means that people living with HIV can live long and healthy lives. ART is not a cure for HIV, but it keeps HIV under control, so it doesn’t affect your health
and you can carry on with life as usual. Without treatment HIV attacks the immune system
- the part of your body that protects you from other infections. If people living with HIV don’t take treatment they become more susceptible to other illnesses. ART stops HIV from making copies of itself. This keeps the amount of virus in your body low, protecting your immune system
so you’re less likely to get sick. With good healthcare and treatment, people with HIV can expect to measure as long as people that don’t have HIV. You can still have relationships, to figure or study, to form plans, to possess a family – whatever you'd have done before your HIV diagnosis. By keeping the quantity of HIV in your body low, ART also reduces the danger of HIV being passed on. People living with HIV who take their treatment properly (at the proper times and as advised by a doctor) are able to do something called an ‘undetectable viral load’.
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