Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Will they tell me about medication at my HIV/AIDS consultation?"
How many different types are there? What is the most effective? What is the least invasive?
At your first HIV consultation, your doctor (most often an infectious disease specialist) will perform some blood tests and get you started on a series of medications. Today, there many different types of HIV medications in many different classes. The classes of medications include nucleoside and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, and integrase inhibitors.
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It would not be possible to go through the details of each on here. I will say that there is no one medication that will work to keep your HIV infection at bay. Thus, there is no answer to the question which is the most effective. We know that in order to keep the infection down, there needs to be at least 3 different medications active at the same time. We call this combination highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART for short). Finally, today's medications also have less side effects than the older ones. i suggest that you write down a list of questions that you have prior to going to your first HIV/AIDS consultation. The first consultation can be quite overwhelming. This way you can be sure not to forget anything to ask. The good news is that if you take your medications as prescribed, you can expect to keep your infection at bay indefinitely.
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