HIV does not have a cure, but there are effective ways to manage this illness. Learn more about HIV treatment options that are available for you.
Having HIV is chronic, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t treatments for this condition. In fact, it is important to manage HIV in order to lower your risk of developing potentially life-threatening health complications. Our community health center in Kentucky wants to ensure that you understand your options as a patient with HIV. Please keep the following information in mind when looking into ways to treat your condition.
When to Begin Treatment
If you have been diagnosed with HIV, when is the right time to start treatments? Ideally, you should begin treatment as soon as possible. The earlier you start treatment, the better your chances are of reducing your risk of serious complications. Waiting to begin treatment gives the virus more time to attack your immune system.
Types of HIV Treatments
Although there are no medications available to cure HIV, several are available to slow the progression of this disease. This type of treatment, known as antiretroviral therapy (ART) helps prevent HIV from spreading quickly and causing health problems. Going through this type of treatment lets your immune system grow stronger, so that it is better able to fight the effects of this disease. ART also reduces your risk of developing AIDS from HIV, which helps you enjoy a higher quality of life with fewer health problems. ART involves taking a combination of medications to stop the virus from multiplying.
Six different classes of drugs are available for HIV treatments. These include non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors that disable certain proteins, protease inhibitors that keep HIV from multiplying and entry inhibitors that prevent HIV from getting into certain white blood cells. Other classes include nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors that mimicking a flawed enzyme and prevent certain proteins from being able to function.
Each of these medications works in different ways, and each can affect people differently. ART involves taking a combination in order to ensure that patients with HIV receive effective treatment, even if they have HIV that is resistant to one or more of the medications.
Side Effects of HIV Medications
HIV medications can cause side effects. Some common side effects include nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and other digestive issues. Other side effects that are possible include higher blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels, as well as an increased risk of heart disease. Some individuals experience bone loss and changes in muscle tissue when they take HIV medications. When you look for a wellness center near you for HIV treatment, your doctor will discuss these potential side effects with you in greater detail before you start taking any medications.
If you are searching for an HIV treatment center near you, please contact KentuckyCare. We offer caring and compassionate treatment options for those who have HIV. To learn more about our treatment options, give us a call at (877) 876-8032.