TREATMENT OF HIV/AIDS
Currently there’s no treatment of HIV/AIDS, but this doesn’t mean being infected with HIV is the death sentence because there are medications which used to control HIV infection and prevent complications. These medications are known as anti-retro therapy (ARVs). Any person diagnosed with HIV/AIDS starts to use these medications as soon as possible.
ARVs usually are combination of three drugs from different classes of drugs used as anti-retrovirus drugs. The main target of these medication is lowering the viral load in the blood. These combination of drugs usually are available as single formulation which a patient takes once every day.
Being a combination of more than one drug, ARVs are very effective in lowering the viral load in the blood and prevents the HIV to develop drug resistance which complicates the treatment of HIV/AIDS
In Tanzania ARVs used as first line of treatment is the combination of three drugs: tenofovir, lamivudine and dolutegravir (TLD). Though there are other combinations of ARVs available and are used as per doctor’s instructions and depending on the individual patient health condition. Thus, patients are advised to follow doctor’s instruction on the use of ARVs.
STARTING AND CONTINUE USAGE OF ARTs
- The guideline on the treatment of HIV/AIDS recommends all patients to start ARVs as soon as possible after being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.
- Before starting using ARVs doctor will order investigations to measure the baseline viral load, then the investigation is repeated after 6months to determine if there’s suppression of viral load.
- This investigation will be measured annually if there’s suppression of viral load. If there’s no suppression of viral load then the doctor will consider changing the combination of ARVs.
For the better treatment response the patient should follow the correct use of medications as instructed by his doctor. The correct use of ARVs helps the body to rebuild its immunity and prevents the acquiring of opportunistic infections and reduce the spread of HIV infections.
Contact your health provider in case of side effects resulting from ARVs use.