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CHECK Nord #4

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ENGLISH HIV HOW MODERN HIV THERAPIES can improve quality of life A lot has happened in the development of HIV drugs since the virus was discovered: the first therapies were associated with severe side effects and a large number of different tablets had to be taken to keep the viral load in the body as low as possible. Nowadays, HIV therapy can often be carried out with just a single tablet a day. If therapy is successful, HIV can no longer be detected in the blood. MEDICAL ADVANCES IN HIV THERAPY As an example, consider a young man who is diagnosed with HIV at the age of 21. If he decides to take tablets for therapy and takes them once a day, that would end up being over 20,000 tablets over the course of an average life – quite a lot, right? In HIV therapy, one of these tablets consists of several – up to four different – substances, the so-called active ingredients. These combinations block viral replication at various points in the replication cycle. Thanks to their effectiveness, the number of active ingredients required in HIV therapy has been further reduced in recent years, which can reduce the risk of possible side effects as well as interactions of HIV drugs with other substances and drugs. PERSPECTIVES OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV There are now large-scale studies that shed light on the experiences and thoughts of HIV-positive people with regard to their therapy. The “Positive Perspektiven 2” study showed that the majority (65%) of the people surveyed in Germany, for example, are open to HIV therapy with fewer active ingredients with the same effectiveness. 2 WHY DO PEOPLE WITH HIV WANT FEWER SUBSTANCES IN THEIR THERAPY? In the “Positive Perspektiven 2” study, 82% of all respondents stated that they are already taking at least one drug in addition to HIV therapy. 1 Even if you are not currently thinking about getting older, the number of substances in HIV therapy can already play a role for quality of life. This is because reducing the amount of substances can reduce the risk of interactions with other substances such as food supplements or drugs, and thus also have a positive influence on one’s quality of life. In old age, HIV-positive people can experience the same health problems as anyone else. The older people with HIV get, the greater the likelihood that other drugs for other diseases will be taken in addition to HIV therapy. TALK TO THE DOCTOR PROACTIVELY Ultimately, it is important that HIV therapy is compatible with other substances. It is therefore recommended that as a person with HIV you tell the doctor quite openly what else you are taking in addition to HIV medication. You can find more information and personal stories about living with HIV at Supported by ViiV Healthcare Sources: Please refer to the sources cited on previous page. 54 CHECK NORD #4

„Ich bin Sozialarbeiter , Ju-Jutsu-Athlet, Gin-Fan und Pflanzenflüsterer .“ Denis # HIVersity Weil ich mehr bin als nur HIV-positiv: NP-DE-HVU-ADVT-210002; 07/2021

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