Chronic Conditions

HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV)

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) weakens a person’s immune system by destroying the body’s cells that fight disease and infection (often called T-cells or CD4 cells). Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. Unlike most other viruses, the human body cannot rid itself of HIV. Once you have HIV, you have it for life. While no effective cure for HIV exists, it can be controlled with proper medical care.

Frequently Ask Questions

PULMONARY DISEASE SUBSTANCE ABUSE PULMONARY ARTERIAL HYPERTENSION (PAH) PSORIASIS AND PSORIATIC ARTHRITIS PAIN MANAGEMENT OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA) MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (MS) CANCER HYPERLIPIDEMIA HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (HIV) HEPATITIS C GROWTH HORMONE DEFICIENCY Type I and Type II Diabetes CYSTIC FIBROSIS (CF) CROHN’S DISEASE (CD) AND ULCERATIVE COLITIS (UC) Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Frequently Ask Questions

How is HIV spread?

HIV is primarily a sexually transmitted infection. It can also be spread by contact with infected blood (for example, sharing needles or syringes) or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

How is HIV treated?

A wide variety of medications are available to treat HIV. Treatment for HIV is often referred to as antiretroviral therapy (ART). If taken correctly, every day, ART can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of infecting others. Antiretroviral therapy has dramatically changed the course of HIV, making it a manageable chronic condition.

Antiretroviral drugs are typically used in combinations of three or more drugs from more than one medication class. This is called combination therapy and helps prevent drug resistance.

Many older HIV drugs are now rarely used. Most of the more commonly used drugs today combine multiple HIV medications into one pill to simplify dosing, reduce pill burden, and improve adherence.