Antiretroviral therapy (ART) refers to the use of medicines in the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). If you have visited an urgent care center for HIV testing and been diagnosed with this disease, then read on to learn about getting treatment with ART.
What It Does
ART can help protect your health and extend your life if you have HIV by preventing the virus from growing and attacking your immune system. Also, taking HIV medicine can help protect others by reducing the risk of HIV transmission.
When to Start
Because ART can help people who have HIV live longer and healthier lives, it is recommended that people diagnosed with HIV begin their treatment as soon as possible. However, the need to begin ART is more urgent for individuals who have AIDS or certain coinfections or illnesses related to HIV. Also, pregnant women who are diagnosed with HIV should begin antiretroviral therapy to help protect their own health and prevent the transmission of HIV to their child. Finally, if you have had HIV for fewer than 6 months, then the viral load in your body is probably very high. Research suggests that getting treated with ART during early HIV infection can help you live a longer and healthier life.
What to Know
Before you begin your antiretroviral therapy, your healthcare provider will inform you of the risks and benefits of this option. It is important to realize that ART is not a cure for HIV, but a lifelong treatment that helps people live healthier and longer lives despite having the infection. After beginning your ART, strictly adhering to your treatment plan by taking your medicines when and as described is important for keeping the virus from multiplying and damaging your immune system.
If you need urgent care in Orlando, Clermont, Oviedo, or Lady Lake, then look no further than Paramount Urgent Care. For details on our HIV testing and emergency care services, please visit our contact us page for a location near you or call 352-674-9218.