Guides

Does ART really work?

Yes. Amazingly well. ART has reduced HIV-related deaths and illnesses in every country. It also stops HIV transmission.

More than 24 million people are now on ART.

ART works for adults and children, for women and men. It works for transgender and cis gender people. It works no matter how you were infected, whether this was sexually, through injecting drugs, at birth, or by blood or blood products.

Taking ART at the right time and in the right way will reduce HIV to tiny levels in your body.

When your viral load becomes undetectable on ART, you are no longer infectious. So your partners are also protected.

I was caught just in time, in 1996, when the first effective combinations became available. I did not think that it would make a difference. Now that I understand how the drugs work, I know that they are active, whether I believe in them or not.

Recently, I’ve found out that ART protects my partner. I like feeling less infectious – it helps to normalise HIV.

Ask questions about anything you don’t understand. You can then take responsibility for whatever you decide.

Look at treatment as something you have to be really committed to for the next few years. Take this new aspect of your life more seriously than anything else until you get it right.

— Simon, London

Last updated: 1 October 2019.