Is there a cure for HIV?
No. Many researchers continue to work to find a vaccine that will prevent HIV infection, as well as treatments that may one day cure HIV. There are, however, medications that can help many people infected with HIV live with the disease and dramatically prolong their lives. It is important that individuals get tested for HIV, and start medical care and treatment as soon as possible to have the greatest effect.
What treatment options are available for someone living with HIV infection?
HIV treatment options can vary greatly from person-to-person, so always talk with your health care provider about what is best for you. If you are newly diagnosed, timely treatment is key to managing your HIV infection well. Recent advances in HIV treatments can help people living with HIV infection experience long and productive lives. CDC and other government agencies continue to work on a variety of treatment-related activities such as HIV/AIDS clinical drug trials, vaccine research, development of treatment guidelines and best practices, and treatment-related prevention strategies that can help stop new infections.
For specific information on HIV treatment, please visit CDC's HIV Treatment web page.
Can I get HIV treatment if I have no health insurance coverage?
CDC believes linking newly diagnosed patients to prevention and care is essential. To that end, CDC is working with the Department of Health and Human Services and with health insurance providers to address the issue of HIV treatment coverage. Currently, an estimated 45% of HIV-infected persons have no health insurance, 30% receive coverage through Medicaid, 11% have private insurance, 12% have other insurance, and 2% have Medicare. Funding from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program provides much-needed care and services for those without insurance or not covered by Medicaid or Medicare and is therefore critical to ensuring that persons with HIV infection receive care and treatment. If you have HIV infection and do not have health care insurance, contact your local social services office or health care provider to discuss programs available to assist you.
To locate health care providers in your area, visit the Find HIV/AIDS Care section of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program website.
Will existing HIV treatments allow me to live a long, productive life?
CDC recently released data showing that the number of Americans living with HIV infection continued to increase by more than 71,000 people between 2006 and 2008, mainly due to effective treatments that allow those infected with HIV to live longer, healthier lives. Currently, more than 1.1 million people in the United States live with HIV infection. Early linkage to treatment and care enables persons with HIV infection to live longer, healthier lives and reduce their risk of transmitting HIV. For HIV treatment regimens to work effectively, it is imperative that persons with HIV infection know their HIV status and are quickly linked to ongoing care and prevention services. Always know your HIV status, and talk with your health care provider to determine the best HIV treatment option for you.
To learn more about HIV and treatment options, visit CDC's Living with HIV/AIDS web page.
How can I be certain that my HIV treatment is working?
During your clinical visits, your health care provider will routinely check your viral load, or the amount of HIV in your blood. These regular viral load checks will begin soon after you start your medication.
Should I follow a specific diet while taking treatment for HIV infection?
People with HIV infection have a greater need for good nutrition. Seeking early HIV treatment and maintaining a balanced diet can help to keep your immune system healthy and can play a large part in preventing opportunistic infections common to persons with HIV infection. Maintaining a healthy diet can also help you avoid HIV wasting syndrome, or rapid weight loss resulting in decreased muscle mass. Some people infected with HIV can find it difficult to eat because of nausea caused by HIV treatments. If this happens, be sure to talk with your health care provider about medications to prevent nausea so you can be sure to maintain a balanced and healthy diet.
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Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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