HIV – is always lethally dangerous?

How therapy works and why it is needed

HIV is not a death sentence — it’s an easily controlled chronic illness

The World Health Organization has categorized HIV as a chronic illness. Even if infected, you can live a long, fulfilling life by getting therapy regularly.

It can be lethal if you allow your organism to fully weaken and the infection develops to the AIDS stage. Even in such cases you can get your health back if you start therapy as soon as possible.

72 years
That’s the average lifespan of people with HIV if it’s identified in good time and treated. It’s also the average life expectancy of Russians who aren’t infected.

As with the majority of illnesses, there is a therapeutic treatment for HIV

For the time being, HIV can’t be entirely cured, but it can be managed with antiretroviral therapy (ART).

This comprises a combination of medicines that block the virus and prevent it from further development.

Swipe the slides to see how viral load and CD4 cell count changes.
Without therapy
HIV infection progresses slowly and almost entirely without symptoms. HIV develops over a period of 8-10 years, killing off cells in the immunity system. In 10-15 years, the immunity cells reach a critical minimum, and the last HIV stage begins — AIDS. But that only happens if the patient, having contracted the virus, doesn’t begin a course of treatment.

With therapy you can live a normal life

If a person regularly undergoes antiretroviral therapy and has an undetectable viral load (HIV isn’t identified by blood tests) then good health is guaranteed and the person can’t transmit HIV to his sexual partners. Yes — even if he or she has sex without a condom.

When taking antiretroviral medicines you can conceive and give birth to a healthy baby — the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby is minimal.

If everyone who is HIV positive starts getting therapy, no one else will fall ill

Knowing your HIV status is crucial for therapy in the early stages

Antiretroviral therapy achieves the best results if it’s begun as early as possible after infection.

You can only find out if a person has HIV by taking a test.