When to start

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Opinion has long been divided over when to start treatment for HIV. Now there is no doubt: the START study findings released in 2015 provide clear, unequivocal evidence of the value of starting treatment as soon as possible — ideally, upon diagnosis. 

Starting treament early significantly lowers the risk of illness and death, regardless of age, gender or CD4 count.

Starting treatment immediately is not only beneficial for individual health, but it also greatly reduces the risk of onward transmission to sexual partners. 

The sooner a person is on treatment — normally, a once-a-day single pill — the sooner they’ll reach an undetectable viral load (the viral load essentially is the amount of HIV in the body). With an undetectable viral load the chance of onward transmission is virtually nil. 

 

Preventing sexual transmission

Lots of people living with HIV have sex with people who do not have HIV and manage to do so without passing on HIV. Treating HIV can be one of a number of effective strategies to help prevent the...

HIV-related health issues

As well as effecting your CD4 count, untreated HIV can impact on the healthy function of your body including your heart and blood vessels (your cardiovascular system or CVS), your kidneys and liver...

CD4 count

Your CD4 cells are one of the most important parts of your immune system. They are specialised white blood cells needed for an effective immune response and defence against both minor and serious...