This guide includes information about the most important aspects of HIV treatment. It is written and reviewed by HIV positive people and it uses everyday language to explain medical terms.

Current edition July 2014.

4-page ARV drug chart – PDF (July 2014 update)


First questions: what, when, why?

Age, heart disease, gender and pregnancy

Deciding when to start treatment

Why are treatment guidelines different?

Treatment as Prevention (TasP)

Side effects

You and your doctor


Drug resistance

Which drugs, which combination?

HIV in the UK: NHS changes and generics

Your personal treatment history


Further information

Tables and diagrams


PDF downloads



Written and compiled by Simon Collins for HIV i-Base with thanks to an extended advisory group of HIV positive people and community advocates for text comments.

Additional thanks to Miguel Vázquez at gTt and to Neal Marshall at the HIV Pharmacist Group for further proofing and comments – and to Hosanna, Lenny, Matt, Memory, Nathan, Paul, Polly, Simon, Vladimir, Winnie and Xavi for permission to include quotes from their experience.

Design by No Days Off. Funding thanks to The Monument Trust.

Not-for-profit copying is encouraged or call for additional free copies.

About our guides

Information about how we produced this guide and the importance of using language that is direct and easy to understand.

This includes information on how to write non technical medical information that may be useful as a resource for other organisations.

1 June 2014