At first, there was no effective treatment for HIV. Thankfully, that is no longer the case: treatment can prevent HIV reproducing itself in the body, and the life expectancy of people with HIV has risen considerably.

For most people, these drugs ensure that the virus is no longer detectable in the body. This is possible because several drugs are used at once. This kind of treatment is called combination therapy or antiretroviral therapy (ART for short).

You will need to take HIV treatment for the rest of your life as HIV will start to reproduce itself again if you stop. It is not yet possible to eradicate HIV completely from the body, as the drugs cannot reach the virus in every part of the body. We don’t have a cure for HIV yet.

Thanks to modern HIV treatment, most people can live a long time with the virus. The medication can, however, cause side-effects. How serious these are can differ greatly from person to person.