This resource is primarily concerned with HIV antiviralA medication or substance which is active against one or more viruses. May include anti-HIV drugs, but these are more accurately termed antiretrovirals. treatments, viral loadA measurement of the quantity of HIV RNA in the blood. Viral load blood test results are expressed as the number of copies (of HIV) per milliliter of blood plasma. tests and CD4 (T-cell; also called CD4 lymphocyte) tests. It is designed to update the previous edition of this popular resource with the current state of knowledge in 2008. The resource is deliberately limited in its scope, and you are likely to find it does not answer all your questions about treating and managing HIV.
Because information about HIV is becoming much more complex and comprehensive, it is virtually impossible for any single resource to cover all the issues about living with HIV for all positive people.
This resource will not cover the following issues:
- prophylactic drugs or treatments for HIV related opportunistic illnesses;
- the treatment, prevention and management of specific side effects;
- depression and other mental health and psychosocial issues for people living with HIV;
- complementary or alternative therapiesA broad range of healing philosophies, approaches, and therapies that Western (conventional) medicine does not commonly use to promote well-being or treat health conditions. Examples include acupuncture, herbs, Traditional Chinese Medicine, etc.;
- co-infection with hepatitis B or C;
- women, pregnancy, breast-feeding or treatments for HIV positive children;
- injecting drug use and HIV, and
- detailed strategies for choosing a GP.
These issues are well-covered by a range of existing publications which are available through AIDS councils and other organisations or online at www.afao.org.au.
The information contained in this resource is very general. It is not intended to direct you towards or promote any particular drugs, drug combinations, tests or treatments. You won’t find an answer to the question: ‘Which particular combination of drugs should I be taking?’. No two people experience living with HIV in the same way. People respond differently to HIV treatments and combinations, and this is often difficult to predict. All decisions about how you treat and manage HIV infection should be discussed with your doctor. Ultimately, treating or managing HIV is a very personal decision.
This resource aims to take you through some of the choices, but in the end they are your choices to make.