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Will anti-retroviral therapy (ART) help me?

Q: I am a 38 years old female suffering from HIV. I got infected from my husband who died 12 years back. My CD4 count is 150, viral load is 2,70,078 and I have just started anti-retroviral therapy. I want to know how long I can survive? Can anti-retroviral therapy prevent all illnesses?

A:I am glad to learn that you are keeping in good health and have now started anti-retroviral therapy. If you follow some very basic rules, ART can help to keep you well for a very long time.

  • The first rule you must follow is that having stated ART you are100% regular in taking the prescribed medicines. Please do not miss any doses and always remember that irregular ART can lead to developing resistance to the concerned drugs.
  • You must also continue to seek medical help for all illnesses. Do not ignore any illness
  • Stick to a regular life-style with nutritious food, plenty of rest and regular exercise
If you find that the ART is no longer keeping you well then you may need to change the ART regimen and go on to ‘second line’ treatment. See your HIV doctor on a regular basis.

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