Frequently asked questions aout HIV AIDS

Frequently asked questions aout HIV AIDS


How does antiretroviral therapy stop HIV transmission?
The amount of virus present in bodily fluids (commonly measured with the plasma viral load assay) is the critical determinant of the likelihood of HIV transmission. The more HIV present, the higher the plasma viral load, and the higher the likelihood of HIV transmission per encounter.

Antiretroviral therapy suppresses the amount of virus in the body, and the plasma viral load is therefore driven to undetectable levels — dramatically reducing the probability that the infected individual under treatment will pass on the virus to others.

Are there any side effects associated with ART?
ART may have side effects, but they typically are easy to identify with appropriate monitoring and are readily treatable. Also, there are currently more than 30 different drugs in six drug classes with additional new classes of drugs under development, according to a Food and Drug Administration fact sheet issued January 6, 2010. While all of them have some side effects, people experience the drugs differently. And there are two or three choices of first- and second-line regimens so that we can be confident that most people will find the drugs acceptable.

Will test-and-treat replace current strategies used in HIV management?
No. Traditional prevention methods complement and strengthen test-and-treat. Male circumcision should significantly reduce transmission, and behavior change, couples counseling, condom promotion, partner reduction, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and vaccine and microbicide development should all continue.

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