Living with HIV/AIDS

Basic Information

There is no cure for HIV or AIDS yet despite the large efforts underway to develop a preventative and therapeutic vaccine. However, research has advanced HIV/AIDS treatments greatly since the early days of the epidemic, and HIV drugs can slow down the virus’s attack on the human immune system. People with HIV/AIDS can now live healthier, longer lives.

Living with HIV/AIDS requires consultation with an HIV doctor who can help individuals with treatment and drug decisions. The decision to start drug treatment is a very personal decision and one that should only be made in consultation with a health care provider based on clinical status (symptoms), immune system health (CD4 count and viral load), whether a diagnosis of AIDS has been made, and whether a treatment plan can be maintained (treatment adherence). While treatment has its benefits, it also has its risks, such as multiple side effects from HIV drugs and therapies, potential toxicity from drug treatments, as well as possible resistance of HIV to drugs over time.

For more information, please visit the Living with HIV/AIDS brochure from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Basic Resources

Drug Dosing Toolkit (Veterans Administration)
Provides information about therapeutic drug dosing schedules, side effects and tips on taking medications. This resource is organized by drug name and includes both the brand name and generic name for most drugs.

HIV and Its Treatment: What You Should Know – Fact Sheets (PDF – 988 KB) (AIDSinfo)
This series of fact sheets provides comprehensive treatment information for those who are newly diagnosed with HIV. The fact sheets cover information about starting to see an HIV doctor, starting and adhering to a treatment regimen, and information about anti-HIV medications. En español (PDF – 460 KB)

Living with HIV/AIDS (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Although HIV is serious, people living with HIV and AIDS are living longer, healthier lives today, thanks to new and effective treatments. This booklet is for people living with HIV/AIDS and provides information to help people live longer and healthier.

Living with AIDS (Medline – National Library of Medicine, NIH)
The outlook for people living with HIV and AIDS is improving due to advances in treatment. This resource provides links to information that can help people living with HIV/AIDS live longer, healthier lives. This resource is organized by topics, including basics, nutrition, coping, disease management, research information, and reference materials.

Related Topics

The topics below from provide additional resources about living with HIV/AIDS.

Last revised: 05/28/2008