When Should I Start Treatment?

When Should I Start Treatment for HIV?

Starting treatment is always an individual decision. It is important to discuss all the benefits and risks to starting treatment, and your personal readiness to start treatment with your doctor. It is recommended that people living with HIV begin treatment as soon as possible.

HIV treatment can also be used successfully for the prevention of HIV. Read more through the links below.

What treatments should I start with?

The Australian Treatment Guidelines follow US Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) which currently recommend several drug combinations as the recommended treatment to start with. They are mostly either 1 or 2 pills, taken once a day. Your doctor will discuss the recommended choices with you, but if you are unsure about making a decision, or which combination to choose, please seek more information.

The selection of a treatment regimen should be individualised on the basis of efficacy, toxicity (side effects), number of pills, dosing frequency, drug interactions (with any other treatments), resistance test results, and other health conditions you might have. These can all affect the decisions about which treatments to take.

Your complete individual clinical and personal circumstances are important considerations in order to make a joint decision with your doctor about what treatment will be best for you.

How Much Does Treatment Cost?

Treatment for HIV is available throughout Australia at highly subsidised costs for Medicare Card holders, through the PBS.

Where Can I Get Treatment?

People living with HIV can get their HIV medication from their local pharmacy, an online pharmacy or a hospital-based pharmacy, whatever suits them better.

Accessing Treatment Without Medicare

It is possible for anyone in Australia to access HIV treatment without medicare, in many cases for free.

Drug Resistance & Adherence

HIV drug resistance is caused by changes in the genetic structure of HIV that affect the ability of medicines to work effectively.  Ensuring you are as consistent with your regime as possible reduces this possibility.

Side Effects & Changing Treatment

Modern HIV drugs tend to have minimal side-effects but some side effects can still occur. This is why all changes to your treatment should always be in consultation with your HIV doctor.

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