Start Treatment

Start treatment

Today’s treatments mean that most people living with HIV are leading full and active lives. The most important thing is to start treatment as soon as possible.

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New research shows that starting treatment early significantly reduces your risk of HIV related health complications like cancer and liver disease. Also, if you start treatment early,  you can potentially achieve an undetectable viral load in as little as six months. This means you cannot pass HIV on through sex.

Start treatment
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New research shows that starting treatment early significantly reduces your risk of HIV related health complications like cancer and liver disease. Also, if you start treatment early,  you can potentially achieve an undetectable viral load in as little as six months. This means you cannot pass HIV on through sex.

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Worried about HIV treatment?

Most people living with HIV in New Zealand only take one pill a day. Getting medication for HIV in New Zealand is easy. It doesn’t matter if you are a resident or how long you are planning to stay here.

If you test positive for HIV you will be referred immediately to an HIV doctor for expert care. The HIV doctor will work out which medication will be best for you and organise a prescription. There is a small fee to pick up the prescription. Seeing the HIV doctor is free.

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What other support is available?

It takes most people some time to get used to a new diagnosis – no matter what it is. As well as medical care, you might need some other support to help you deal with your feelings about HIV. There is a still a lot of misunderstanding around HIV. For some people the hardest part of their HIV diagnoses might be dealing with the reactions of other people.

There are a number of organisations that are set up to support people living with HIV in New Zealand. These include Body Positive, the New Zealand AIDS Foundation and Positive Women. These organisations provide free counselling, connect you to other people living with HIV and can provide you with all the latest information.

The Pamoja team is always available to support you too. We can help with information, linking to services or just being there to listen.

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Undetectable Viral Load

If you get treatment for HIV and take it consistently, you may be able to attain an undetectable viral load. This means that the amount of HIV in your blood is so low that it can’t be picked up by a standard test.

If you are able to sustain an undetectable level for more than six months you are virtually unable to pass HIV on through sex. For some people it can take a long time to get to undetectable – or they may not be able to obtain it at all. Everyone responds to treatment in their own way.