Kungu Al-mahadi Adam
HIV is fully preventable. Effective antiretroviral treatment (ART) prevents HIV transmission from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery and breastfeeding. Someone who is on antiretroviral therapy and virally suppressed will not pass HIV to their sexual partners.
Condoms prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, and prophylaxis use antiretroviral medicines to prevent HIV. Male circumcision is recommended in high-burden countries in eastern and southern Africa. Harm reduction (needle syringe programmes and opioid substitution therapy) prevents HIV and other blood-borne infections for people who inject drugs.
HIV is treated with antiretroviral therapy consisting of one or more medicines. ART does not cure HIV but reduces its replication in the blood, thereby reducing the viral load to an undetectable level.
ART enables people living with HIV to lead healthy, productive lives. It also works as an effective prevention, reducing the risk of onward transmission by 96%.
ART should be taken every day throughout the person’s life. People can continue with safe and effective ART if they adhere to their treatment. In cases when ART becomes ineffective due to reasons such as lost contact with health care providers and drug stockouts, people will need to switch to other medicines to protect their health.