If you have tested positive for HIV, then you know exactly how devastating this news can be. However, treatments do exist today that can extend and preserve the quality of your life. And, the research being conducted around the world brings us closer to a final cure each day.

A host of drug therapies are currently available to HIV/AIDS patients. These anti-HIV drugs are classified into five classes. It is common practice to prescribe a combination of at least three drugs from two different classes, with the aim of keeping the HIV virus from creating strains immune to a single drug.

When To Take Anti-HIV Drugs

But when do you begin to take these drugs? Here are some guidelines:

  • When your symptoms become severe.
  • If your CD4 count drops under 500.
  • If you become pregnant.
  • If you have contracted and are being treated for hepatitis B.
  • If you have contracted a kidney disease related to HIV.


There are also some recommendations for taking care of yourself at home. These are common sense approaches that can extend your overall healthy life:

  • Eat well. By adopting a healthy eating regimen, you can remain strong and boost your immune system. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and eat as many lean proteins and whole grains as you can. There are many helpful online sites to guide your diet choices.
  • Stay away from some foods. Because unpasteurized dairy products and raw eggs and seafood can carry food-borne illness, avoid them. Your meats should be well done.
  • Be careful if you have pets. Cats and reptiles, in particular, can carry parasites that may increase your chance of infection.
  • Be sure you are up-to-date on your immunizations. But be careful. You should check with your doctor to be sure your flu and pneumonia vaccines do not contain live viruses.

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John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer
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