BronxCare Health System

HIV Treatment

While there is no cure for HIV, there are effective treatments to stop the virus from multiplying.

We offer one-on-one HIV Counseling at our Center for Comprehensive Care. Call 718-992-7669 (718-99-BRONX) for an appointment.

HIV Treatment can

• Improve your health
• Prevent transmission to others

If you have been diagnosed with HIV, antiretroviral therapy can reduce the amount of HIV in your blood (”viral load”) to undetectable levels (so low a test cannot detect it). This keeps you healthy as well as prevents transmitting HIV to your sexual partner.

Most people can get an undetectable viral load within six months of regular treatment. The only way to know if you have an undetectable viral load is through testing, so it is important to continue to test regularly.

The two types of antiretroviral therapy are pills and injections:

• Pills are recommended for those just beginning treatment. There are a number of FDA-approved single pill and combination medicines available. Usually, people take 1 to 4 pills per day.

• If you have had an undetectable viral load for at least three months, you may consider injections, which are given either once a month or once every other month by your health care provider.

Staying in Treatment

It is important to start treatment right away and to stick to your treatment plan. If you delay treatment or skip doses, you are giving the virus chances to multiply and weaken your immune system. Taking your HIV medicine as prescribed also helps prevent drug resistance.

Left untreated, HIV can lead to life-threatening health complications and AIDS.

Pregnant woman speaking with physician about medication.

HIV Treatment & Pregnancy

If you are pregnant and HIV-positive, having an undetectable viral load can prevent transmission to your baby. If a person with HIV takes HIV medicine as prescribed throughout pregnancy and childbirth and the baby receives HIV treatment for 4 to 6 weeks after birth, the risk of transmission to the baby can be as low as 1% or less.