Guides

How soon do I need to start?

UK guidelines say you can begin ART whenever you are ready.

For most people this will be soon after they first test positive.

How long you wait before starting ART also depends on your individual situation.

Even if you don’t start straight away, your HIV doctor should talk about ART in your first appointment.

After 8 months of resisting treatment I eventually started ARVs. I do not say that I gave in, but that I became more clever!

My first reaction was to put off starting therapy for as long as possible. I tried to improve my immune system by stopping smoking and using supplements, until I realised that my best bet was to use ARVs. They are the only way to ensure my long-term survival.

After 8 months of resisting treatment I eventually started ARVs. I do not say that I gave in, but that I became more clever!

— Vladimir, St Petersburg

Last updated: 1 October 2019.