HIV treatment

    • Brief

    • HIV infection is incurable, but you can keep it under control with medications. You can lead a normal life living with HIV with the right medications. You will not get AIDS, and you can even live as long as someone without HIV.

    • Keeping HIV under control

    • There are many different medicines you can take. This is usually a combination of several pills. Your healthcare provider decides with you which are the best medicines for you.

      HIV medicines can have side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider about these. Usually, the side effects can be treated. Do not change the amount, and do not stop taking your medicine.

    • Taking medicines strictly as prescribed

    • The medicines only work if you take them exactly the way your healthcare provider tells you to. For instance:

      • You always take the right amount of medicines.
      • You take the medicines every day.
      • You always take the medicines at the same time of day.
      • You always take the medicines in the right way, depending on the medicines that you are prescribed. For instance: with or without food.
      • Never stop taking your medicines without talking to your healthcare provider. 
    • No longer any risk of infection

    • If you take your medicines correctly every day, the amount of HIV in your blood (viral load) will reduce. After a few months, it can often no longer be traced, although the virus is still in your body. There is then almost no risk that you will infect someone else.

    • HIV in a steady relationship

    • Under certain conditions, you can have sex without a condom with your steady partner (steady relationship) who does not have HIV. These conditions include:

      • If you take your HIV medicines correctly every day.
      • If, for at least 6 months, your viral load can no longer be detected.
      • If your viral load was checked less than 6 months ago.
      • If you and your partner have no other STI and the mucous membrane of your mouth, anus, penis or vagina is not damaged.

      Talk to your healthcare provider and your partner if you want to have sex without a condom.

    • Talking to your healthcare provider

    • You can freely talk to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider cannot give any information about you to anybody else. They are obliged by law to respect your privacy.