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HIV is a virus that attacks the human immune system. There is no cure for HIV. Unlike some other viruses, such as the common cold, HIV cannot be cleared from the body. However, there are treatments available. Talk to your healthcare provider and see below for more information.
The HIV virus attacks and destroys
Being HIV positive is not the same as having AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV is a virus that kills
HIV is transmitted through contact with certain body fluids, such as semen, vaginal or anal fluid, breast milk, and blood. Contact with these body fluids can occur during unprotected sex or when sharing needles or other items with body fluids on them. Mothers can pass the HIV virus to their babies during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. You CANNOT transmit HIV through contact with sweat, tears, saliva, bath or pool water, or by sharing dishes or drinking glasses, hugging or shaking hands.
HIV does not have a cure, but there are steps you can take to live healthy with HIV, including taking HIV medicines. HIV treatment helps lower your viral load and, as a result, helps protect your immune system.
Ask your healthcare provider about other things you can do to help stay healthy, including:
While there is currently no cure for HIV or AIDS, HIV medicines can help control HIV infection, which can help protect your immune system and reduce the risk of serious infections. Even when you are being treated for HIV-1, there is still a risk of passing HIV-1 on to others. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with bodily fluids. To find out which HIV medicines might be right for you, talk to a healthcare provider.
Get the most from your HIV treatment by taking your medicines exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes them. Your viral load can increase if you don’t take your HIV medicines as prescribed, if you miss doses, or if you stop treatment. This can also cause drug resistance, meaning that your HIV virus has become less likely to respond to medicines and more difficult to treat, now and in the future.
Ask your healthcare provider about your options for treating HIV. Different HIV medicines are taken in a variety of ways:
It is important to let your healthcare provider know if you have any other health conditions or if you are currently taking any other medicines, including prescription, over-the-counter vitamins, and herbal supplements. Your healthcare provider will prescribe an option that is right for you.