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Living with HIV? Delay the Onset of AIDS

HIV testing is so important because if you are infected, you can seek medical care. The earlier you get care, the better. Individuals infected with HIV can take steps to avoid the onset of AIDS. There are effective treatments available today that can help people living with HIV stay healthy longer than ever before. After someone learns they have HIV, the most important thing they can do for their health is to get regular medical care from a health care provider who is experienced with treating HIV. If your health care provider has prescribed HIV medications, you need to make sure to always take them as directed and not stop taking your medications without first talking to your health care provider.

People living with HIV need to do everything they can to make sure that they do not transmit the virus to others. They also need to protect themselves by avoiding other sexually transmitted infections that can negatively affect their health.

Federal Programs for the Treatment of HIV/AIDS

AIDSinfo is a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) project that offers the latest federally approved information on HIV/AIDS clinical research, treatment and prevention, and medical practice guidelines for people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and friends, health care providers, scientists, and researchers.

Some people, especially those with low incomes, may not have health insurance or funds to pay for care. In addition, some people with HIV have private health insurance but still need help because their insurance does not pay for the care they need and they cannot afford it on their own.  A number of public health programs can help pay for HIV/AIDS care and other health care needs. The largest programs are Medicaid, Medicare, and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. These programs pay for care that is delivered by local and State agencies around the nation.  Each program has rules and eligibility standards that are there to help manage costs and ensure that services get delivered correctly. Eligibility standards are mostly tied to the person's income and health status. Services covered under programs may vary. For example, some programs cover medications only. Others cover inpatient hospital care but others do not.

Other state and local programs provide HIV/AIDS services for those who lack resources. Contact the Ryan White Part B program for your state for more information regarding available services.


U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) logo. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) logo.
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention