Home -> FAQ -> Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) -> When does an HIV patient need to start ART?

When does an HIV patient need to start ART?

Answer

All HIV patients do not need to be on ART. In the natural course of HIV infection, it takes up to eight years before an individual infected with HIV develops AIDS symptoms. It then takes another 1 � 3 years before death. HIV infected patients are started on ART when they manifest signs and symptoms of WHO Stage III or their CD4 count falls below 200 (the laboratory definition of AIDS). With or without ART, HIV infected individual can live a long and productive life by following healthy living, which includes balanced nutrition, exercise, safe sexual practices, and avoidance of harmful practices such as smoking, alcohol and drug abuse. In addition, close monitoring of the disease status and ensuring timely access to health care, can minimize damage to the immune system. As the disease progresses, prevention and treatment of OI become an essential component of HIV treatment.

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