In this video, specialist nurse Susanna Keiderling talks through some HIV Medication FAQ's.
Anyone who has HIV usually takes medicine (meds) every day- unless they haven't yet started taking medication. No medication is nice to take, but it is important for staying well and keeping healthy. Some people will have to take a single pill once a day whereas others may need to take more than one pill, more than once a day. This is to do with how the medications are working in the body, and any side effects or other health issues that the person may be experiencing.
HIV lives within the fluids in the body. Everyone’s body has an immune system (this is what fights off illnesses and protects you from infections). The HIV virus attacks the immune system cells, and makes copies of itself which kill off the helpful immune system cells, and so, after a while, your immune system cannot fight off colds and other illnesses as easily anymore.
The medicines, which are called anti-retroviral therapies, (ART's) stop the HIV from attacking the immune system. The medicines can’t get rid of the HIV virus completely, but when taken correctly, they do prevent it from having any impact on the body and its functions.
For tips on how to manage taking your medicine from other young people click here.
How It Works
The medication works by keeping the HIV locked up so it can't make copies of itself. It also helps the body's immune system to fight off infections. There are different types of medication that work together to control HIV in the body. This is why people in your family who have HIV may take more than one type of medicine.
There currently isn’t any medication that can cure HIV. Scientists are working on a cure, but they haven't found one yet.
In the video below, one of the young people we work with talks about their experiences with HIV medication.