HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is a sexually transmitted infection that gradually weakens your immune system. While there is no cure, effective HIV treatment is available at Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center in Newark, New Jersey. Virginia Atieh, FNP, and Selande Charles, FNP, provide the medications and monitoring to reduce the amount of HIV in your body. If you’ve been diagnosed with HIV, call today or request an appointment with the online tool. The sooner you get treatment, the better your prognosis.

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What is HIV?

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, leads to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), a life-threatening condition that puts you at high risk of infection and disease. 

HIV is transmitted through sexual intercourse as well as through contact with infected blood. Mothers can pass HIV to your baby during pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.

HIV has no cure, but treatment greatly slows the progression of the disease. 

What is HIV treatment?

HIV cannot be cured, but it can be controlled effectively with proper treatment. HIV treatment uses antiretroviral therapy (ART) that helps get the virus under control within six months.

In most cases, the providers at Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center use a combination of medications to lower the amount of HIV in your blood. Sometimes, you may need to take just one pill that contains a combination of drugs. 

A combination of medications helps prevent new drug-resistant strains of HIV and maximizes your body’s ability to suppress the virus. 

When should I start HIV treatment?

You should start HIV treatment as soon as you know you’re infected with HIV. But, it’s never too late if you were diagnosed a while back or have complications. ART is valuable regardless of the length of time you’ve had the virus or your health status. 

The providers at Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center will review your medical history and take into account other medications you may be taking to make sure you get the most effective HIV treatment options. 

They’ll also want to know if you, or your partner, are pregnant or planning on getting pregnant as this influences the type of ART prescribed. 

What happens if I don’t get HIV treatment?

HIV is a progressive condition and continues to damage your immune system if you don’t get treatment. If you choose not to get HIV treatment, you’re more likely to develop AIDS and to pass HIV on to your sexual partners or those with whom you share needles. 

AIDS puts you at a high risk of infection and likely death. 

If you’ve been exposed to HIV or have a diagnosis, seek treatment at Hope & Esperanza Community Health Center right away. Call for an appointment or use the online tool to schedule.