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Quick facts about antiretroviral treatment

What is antiretroviral therapy?
Antiretroviral therapy is a course of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) that can slow down the progress of HIV and thus slow down the damage to a person’s immune system. ARVs slow down the reproduction rate of HIV.

What are the goals of Antiretroviral Therapy?

  • To ensure maximum and lasting control of the amount of HIV in a person’s body.
  • To restore and protect the immune functioning of the body by allowing the CD4 cells to replenish their numbers.
  • To reduce HIV related illnesses and deaths.
  • To improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS in the long run.

How do ARVs work?

  • Each type of ARV works at a different step of the HIV life cycle. A medical doctor will explain in detail how it works.
  • There is a need to take more than one ARV at a time in order for the treatment to be effective (a combination of different ARVs work more effectively against HIV).
  • For ARVs to be effective, they need to be taken strictly according to a medical doctor’s instructions (this is referred to as ARV treatment adherence).

How can one obtain ARVs?

  • ARVs are obtainable from all major pharmacies with a script from a medical doctor.
  • Individuals without medical aid can obtain ARV treatment from their local government clinic or hospital.
  • For further information regarding antiretroviral treatment do not hesitate to contact the OUT clinic in Hatfield, Pretoria at 012 430 3272 (international dialling code +27).