What is rapid antiretroviral therapy (art) initiation?

Rapid Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) Initiation
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Rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV: Overview

Rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) means starting treatment for HIV right away. You may start on the same day as a positive test. Or you might start very soon after.


Starting treatment right away helps control the virus quickly. This is an important first step in taking care of your health.


The sooner you start treatment, the faster you lower your risk of spreading HIV to other people.

How is rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV done?

You and your doctor will talk about options.

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    Your doctor will ask about your health and the medicines you take.

    Together you'll decide if starting ART quickly is right for you.

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    Your doctor will order more tests.

    The tests help your doctor see how your body is responding to the virus. And they help make sure your treatment is right for you.

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    You will take your first dose as soon as you get it.

    You might get your medicine from your doctor, clinic, or pharmacy.

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    Try not to miss any doses of your medicine.

    If you miss doses, your medicine can stop working.

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    Stay connected with your care team.

    They will work with you to make sure that your treatment is working and that you get the care you need.

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    Talk to your care team about how to stay healthy and how to protect others.

    This includes practicing safer sex and avoiding sharing injection supplies.

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    Ask about getting help to pay for your care.

    Talk to your doctor or care team about programs that can help if needed.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.