Treatments for HIV are called ‘antiretroviral therapy’.
It cannot get rid of HIV, but it reduces the amount of HIV in your body and keeps your immune system strong. Treatments are easier to take than before. They keep people with HIV healthier, so they live as long as everyone else.
If you have Medicare, you can get HIV treatments from a local chemist at a set cost and is cheaper if you have a concession card. In some states in Australia, these costs are waived, and treatment is free.
If you do not have a Medicare card, there are other options for you to access treatments, so speak to your doctor.
If you are worried about cost, talk to your doctor, Aboriginal Health Worker or the organisations listed in the support directory.
Some people need to take a few different treatments, but many people take just one pill each day. Your doctor will talk to you about which treatment might be best for you.
The earlier someone starts treatment after they are diagnosed, the better this will be for their health. It stops HIV from doing more damage. It is often recommended to start treatment straight after being diagnosed.
Once you start treatment, you will need to take them for the rest of your life. Talk to your doctor about when you are ready to start.
There are a few things to think about.
This will help keep the baby safe from HIV. If you have HIV and are planning to get pregnant, see your doctor. There are a number of things you can do to protect your baby from HIV, including taking treatments. Pregnant women who take HIV treatment regularly almost always have babies that do not have HIV. Your actions will make a big difference to whether or not your baby has HIV.
If you find out you are pregnant, see your doctor as soon as you can!