Frequently asked questions about HIV medication

Page last reviewed 16.12.2021

Is there a cure for HIV?

HIV infection is a chronic illness that needs to be monitored and treated. There is no known cure for HIV at the moment. When taking HIV medication you can live a long and healthy life. The medication is individually planned and monitored by a doctor. You will be taking the HIV medication for the rest of your life. If you don’t take the medication regularly, the effect of the medication will be reduced. It’s important to always take your medication as prescribed by the doctor.

HIV can be treated even when it has progressed to the AIDS phase of the infection. This means that getting tested for HIV is very important, so you can get treated if you have the infection.

A person living with HIV who takes their medication regularly and has an undetectable viral load can not transmit HIV.

What is HIV medication like?

The treatment for HIV is always planned by a doctor who is specialized in infectious diseases. The medication is started as soon as possible after the HIV diagnosis. You will have to take the medication for the rest of your life. Taking the medication regularly is essential for your treatment to be successful. When taking your HIV medication, you can live a long and fulfilling life and stay healthy.

Today there are many medicine options available. It’s good to discuss your options with your doctor to find the one that fits you. You should tell your doctor about all the side effects and challenges you face with the medication to find a better match for your needs.

A person living with HIV who takes their medication regularly and has an undetectable viral load can not transmit HIV!

What is long-acting injectable HIV treatment?

A new injectable and long-acting medication for the treatment of HIV has become available. The long-acting treatment utilizes two simultaneous injections every two months instead of daily tablets.

The new treatment is a combination of two antiretroviral (ARV) medicines, cabotegravir and rilpivirine.

There are three stages in the initiation of the treatment, first of which involves taking two tablets a day for approximately a month. The tablets consist of the same drugs as the injections and the purpose of the table phase is to follow the suitability of the treatment method to the individual. If the patient and health care staff are satisfied with the reaction to this first phase, can initial injections be given on the last day of tablet treatment. Another set of initial injections are given after one month. In the last phase of the treatment injections are given every two months. Again, the patient will receive two injections every two months and daily tablets will no longer be required. It is important to maintain regularity of injections and it is recommended that shots will be taken on the same day of the month if possible.  Long-acting injectable medication is suitable for people living with HIV who have already responded well to other HIV medications.

Long-acting injectable HIV treatment is a significant addition to the range of HIV medicines – people living with HIV now have a relevant option for daily dosing. The new HIV treatment can help implementing medication to everyday life.

Possible obstacles: according to current knowledge, injectable long-acting HIV medication is not recommended during pregnancy as the effects on the fetus or on the course of pregnancy are not well known.