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Even though there’s no cure for HIV, doctors are now hopeful that you can live a normal length of time if you take a combination of anti-HIV drugs.
HIV doctors at specialist clinics will regularly check your health to:
If you are entitled to free NHS care, your HIV treatment and care, including your HIV medicines, will be free.
This means that your immune system can stay strong and fight infections and HIV can’t become resistant to your drugs.
This helps reduce the risk of HIV becoming resistant to the drugs you are taking.
However, you should have treatment if:
There are special guidelines for treating certain groups of people, for example, pregnant women and people who have taken a lot of HIV drugs before.
If you don’t take your medicine properly, there’s a risk that the drugs you are taking won’t work and similar drugs you take in future might not work.
Using HIV treatment during pregnancy can help to dramatically reduce the risk of a pregnant women passing HIV on to her unborn child.
However, anti-HIV drugs can cause side effects. If you have side effects, make sure that you tell your doctor as there’s a good chance you’ll be able to do something about them.
Condoms effectively prevent you from passing on HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. And you can get clean needles if you inject drugs – never share needles or other injecting equipment.
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