for Veterans and the Public
HIV is a virus that can multiply quickly in your body and damage your immune system. Even though no cure exists for HIV infection or the later stage of HIV disease known as AIDS, there are many different drugs that can substantially slow down the damage done by the HIV virus and allow the immune system to recover. Treatment allows people to live longer and healthier lives, and helps prevent transmission of HIV to sex partners. Most people who take medicine for their HIV infection can now expect to live healthy lives for many years.
Without treatment, HIV can make your immune system very weak. Your immune system is what allows your body to fight off infections and cancers. When it is weakened, you will have a hard time staying well.
Deciding to start taking anti-HIV drugs is a very personal choice, and one that cannot be made alone. It is important to talk with your VA health care provider, who can help you make a wise, appropriate decision.
This lesson can help you decide: