Adventure Travel Abroad

HIV: Journey to Undetectable

HIV: Journey to Undetectable


If you have HIV, you should take medicine to treat HIV
as soon as possible to improve your overall health, and prevent transmitting
HIV to other people. HIV medicine can reduce the amount of HIV
in your blood…called viral load…to a level so low that a
test can’t detect it. This is known as an “undetectable
viral load,” or “undetectable.” Being undetectable is one of the best
things you can do to stay healthy. If you get an undetectable
viral load and keep it, you have effectively no
risk of transmitting HIV
to an HIV-negative partner through sex. Once you start taking HIV medicine, you are on your journey
to being undetectable. Along the way, it is important to have the support of
your health care provider and friends or family. By taking medicine daily as prescribed, most people can get an undetectable
viral load within six months. The longer you are undetectable, the more likely you
will stay undetectable. Not everyone taking HIV
medicine is undetectable. The only way to know if you are
undetectable is by visiting your provider regularly. To help you stay on your journey, it’s important that you find a provider
who makes you feel comfortable and supported. This extends to the other health care
professionals involved in your treatment. Once you become undetectable, the next step is to stay undetectable. Take your medicine daily, as prescribed, and visit your provider regularly. These are the best ways to keep an
undetectable viral load and stay healthy. If you are having a hard time
following your treatment plan, your provider can help you. Talk to your provider if you are missing
doses or have other questions about your treatment. Getting and keeping an undetectable viral
load prevents HIV transmission during sex but there are reasons why you and your partner may consider adding other prevention options like condoms and PrEP. For example…you have difficulty
keeping an undetectable viral load. You missed doses of medicine
since your last viral load test. You and your partner want protection
from other STDs like syphilis and gonorrhea. You or your partner want
added peace of mind. Getting and keeping an undetectable
viral load does not protect against other sexually transmitted diseases
(STDs) like syphilis and gonorrhea. Wherever you are on the
journey to undetectable, staying in treatment will improve your
health no matter what challenges you may face along the way. Reach out to family and friends
who support you on your journey. You can do this. Check out www.cdc.gov/ActAgainstAIDS
for resources.


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