HIV treatment: What you should know

HIV medicines can help you control the HIV virus

While there is currently no cure for HIV or AIDS, HIV medicines can help control HIV infection, which can help protect your immune system and reduce the risk of serious infections. Even when you are being treated for HIV-1, there is still a risk of passing HIV-1 on to others. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. To find out which HIV medicines might be right for you, talk to a healthcare provider.

HIV medicines help in two ways

HIV treatments can help to:

  • lower the viral load (the amount of virus in the blood). HIV medicines can help people living with HIV achieve an undetectable viral load, meaning that the amount of virus in the blood is so small that it can’t be measured by a test. Being undetectable does not mean that the virus is gone.
  • raise the CD4 T-cell count (the number of cells that fight infections in the body). Reducing the HIV-1 viral load can help raise your CD4 T-cell number, which can help make your immune system stronger.

Take your HIV medicines exactly as directed

Get the most from your HIV treatment by taking your medicines exactly as your healthcare provider prescribes them. Your viral load can increase if you don’t take your HIV medicines as prescribed, if you miss doses, or if you stop treatment. This can also cause drug resistance, meaning that your HIV virus has become less likely to respond to medicines and more difficult to treat, now and in the future.

Find out which HIV medicines might be right for you

Ask your healthcare provider about your options for treating HIV. Different HIV medicines are taken in a variety of ways:

  • In one or more daily pills
  • With or without meals
  • Once daily or more frequently

It is important to let your healthcare provider know if you have any other health conditions or if you are currently taking any other medicines, including prescription, over-the-counter vitamins, and herbal supplements. Your healthcare provider will prescribe an option that is right for you.

Talk to your healthcare provider about
questions you may have about HIV-1 and AIDS.



IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

What is the most important information I should know about STRIBILD®?

STRIBILD can cause serious side effects:

  • Build-up of an acid in your blood (lactic acidosis), which is a serious medical emergency. Symptoms of lactic acidosis include feeling very weak or tired, unusual (not normal) muscle pain, trouble breathing, stomach pain with nausea or vomiting, feeling cold (especially in your arms and legs), feeling dizzy or lightheaded, and/or a fast or irregular heartbeat.
  • Serious liver problems. The liver may become large (hepatomegaly) and fatty (steatosis). Symptoms of liver problems include your skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow (jaundice), dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored bowel movements (stools), loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, and/or stomach pain.
  • You may be more likely to get lactic acidosis or serious liver problems if you are female, very overweight (obese), or have been taking STRIBILD for a long time. In some cases, these serious conditions have led to death. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any symptoms of these conditions.
  • Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. If you also have HBV and stop taking STRIBILD, your hepatitis may suddenly get worse. Do not stop taking STRIBILD without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to monitor your health. STRIBILD is not approved for the treatment of HBV.

What is STRIBILD?

STRIBILD® is a prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in people 12 years and older and weigh at least 77 pounds. It can either be used in people who are starting HIV-1 treatment and have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines that they meet certain requirements. These include having an undetectable viral load (less than 50 copies/mL of virus in their blood) for 6 months or more on their current HIV-1 treatment. STRIBILD combines 4 medicines into 1 pill to be taken once a day with food. STRIBILD is a complete single tablet regimen and should not be used with other HIV-1 medicines.

STRIBILD does not cure HIV-1 infection or AIDS. To control HIV-1 infection and decrease HIV-related illnesses, you must keep taking STRIBILD. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about how to reduce the risk of passing HIV-1 to others. Always practice safer sex and use condoms to lower the chance of sexual contact with body fluids. Never reuse or share needles or other items that have body fluids on them.

The information in this section is intended for residents of the United States who are 18 years of age or older.

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