Q and A


What happens if I miss a week of ARVs?

I have been on treatment for the last 8 months. I stopped my medication for a week and just did a viral load test, it says I have a viral load of 700000. I don’t understand.


Hi, how are you doing?

Do you mind if I asked why you missed a week? Adherence to a daily medication can be difficult and you might find a better way of managing it if you speak with a doctor.

For ARVs to be effective they need to be taken daily at the same time. This is because a constant level of the medication is required to be in your body to keep HIV suppressed. Missing a week of ARVs would allow the level of medication in your body to drop below a required amount. If it drops this low it will stop working and HIV will be able to replicate and increase its viral load. Here you can find out why taking ARV daily is important.

Missing a week means there is a chance HIV has gained resistance to your current medication. Taking ARVs until you are undetectable does not mean you can stop with taking them. ARV therapy will be required long-term to prevent the virus replicating. You may need to speak to your doctor about better ways to adhere to medication or if there is a more suitable combination.

If you have another question please get in touch,



  1. Josh Peasegood

    Hi Mookho, have you been able to restart your ARVs now? While it is not ideal, missing 6 days of medication is not likely to cause any long-term problems. Though as it has been this long will you be able to get a test for your viral load? This will be able to check that your medication is working and help you know if you are undetectable or not.

  2. Mookho

    I’m worried because doctor receptionist didn’t submit my blood results on time that caused my ARVs delivered 6 days behind and caused me not to take my Arvs for 6 days, what will happen with me I’m worried


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