People with HIV who are aware of their status can get HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy, or ART) and remain healthy for many years. Studies show that the sooner people start treatment after diagnosis, the more they benefit from ART. Treatment with ART lowers the level of HIV in the blood (viral load), reduces HIV related illness, and lowers the risk of transmitting HIV to others. People living with HIV who take ART as prescribed – and obtain and keep – an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to an HIV negative partner.
People who get tested and learn they are HIV negative can also make decisions about sex, drug use, and health care that can protect them from HIV. For people at very high risk for HIV, taking daily HIV medicine called pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP can prevent HIV infection by more than 90%.
Capacity Builders Inc. is not affiliated with PREP but we encourage you to visit the PREP website.