How is HIV/AIDS treated?

Prompt early treatment for HIV/AIDS:

  • Slows the spread of the infection
  • Slows the rate at which HIV weakens the immune system
  • Prevents and/or cures many of the opportunistic infections associated with AIDS

Your doctor will prescribe medicine to help you stay healthy. HIV/AIDS patients often take dozens of pills in a single day. It is important to follow directions for these medicines to work properly.

It's also important to live a healthy lifestyle to give your body every chance to fight the virus and opportunistic infections. You will make regular visits to your doctor to make sure you are staying healthy.

To learn more:

HIV and AIDS: Treatment
(American Academy of Family Physicians)
HIV: Medicines for People Who Are HIV Positive gives a general overview of AIDS drugs and how they are used. Scroll down to "HIV Treatment". Also available in Spanish.
Infections Linked to AIDS
(The Body)
Read AIDS Infection: Stay Healthy Longer: Fight Infections to learn more about living with HIV/AIDS.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials allow scientists and doctors to test new ways to treat illnesses. They also offer patients new and potentially less expensive treatment options. The following links may help you to decide if you want to be in a clinical trial.
Learn About Clinical Studies
(National Library of Medicine)
Explains clinical trials in a question and answer format. Presents lots of information that patients and their families will want to know if they are thinking about enrolling in a clinical trial. A list of questions to ask your doctor or the people doing the study is very helpful.
(National Institues of Health)
This site allows individuals to search for clinical studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and other Federal and non-Federal organizations. It contains over 5,000 clinical trials. For a basic understanding of clinical trials, look under Resource Information in the center of the page, then select Understanding Clinical Trials.
(Department of Health and Human Services)
AIDSinfo is a project of the US Department of Health and Human Services offering the latest federally approved information on research, clinical trials, and treatment for patients and healthcare providers. Some of the information, like the treatment guidelines, is technical, but AIDS patients and those who care for them are encouraged to read them and talk with their doctors. Both federally and privately funded clinical trials are included in this site.

next » Questions to ask your doctor about HIV/AIDS

Written by: Janice C. May, M.P.A.
Reviewed by: Jeffrey G. Schultze, M.D.
Links by: Lisa Antley-Hearn. B.A.
Last Modified: Tuesday May 26, 2015 10:11 AM