Lorraine shares if HIV treatments are available and what she is doing for herself.
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Yes, there is a treatment for HIV. At this time, we have 32 drugs that are FDA approved and they are working on, I believe four more for this year possibly six. I think what makes HIV drugs quite different than most drugs is things that you have to remember. One of the things that’s really important for someone who takes HIV medication is that to really read the prescription. If it says take with food, you need to take with food. If it says it’s okay whether to take with food or not, then it’s okay but you need to also be on time. You have some drugs that you take twice a day. And it’s very important that if you take it in morning and evening that you take it around the same time morning and evening everyday with maybe two hours in between, you know, but generally you want to take it as close as the same time every day because of the way the meds work. Basically, how they work is they really are trying to block the HIV from really attacking white cells. HIV, once it has attacked the white cell you’ve lost that white cell but if it’s not able to attack any white cells then you continue to have those white cells to be able to fight off infections. So, it’s very important that you are—about the way you take your meds so that you don’t get resistance to your meds. If you miss dosage, what happens is the HIV can recognize the treatment you are on and actually cause more complications where then it is called failed therapy, meaning that that therapy cocktail that you are on has failed your virus because it has recognized the type of medications you are on, and it no longer works. Also what’s important to know is that if you are with someone who is HIV, they possibly could be on medication, and that medication that they are on will not work for you if you’ve had unprotected sex with them. So, the more you understand about HIV, the better you are going to be able to know the type of care that you are going to be able to receive.