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HIV/AIDS Resource Center for Women
Michelle Lopez Alora Gale Precious Jackson Nina Martinez Gracia Violeta Ross Quiroga Loreen Willenberg  
Michelle Alora Precious Nina Gracia Loreen  
HIV & Me: A Woman's Guide to Living With HIV
Step 7: Choosing the Right HIV Treatment
Doctors have not yet discovered a single combination of HIV medications that's best for everyone. Each combination has its advantages and disadvantages.

For people who are starting on their first HIV treatment combination, each treatment regimen must include at least one drug from two different types, or "classes," of HIV medications. There are currently five classes of HIV medications. Each class of HIV medication stops HIV from making copies of itself at a different moment in its reproductive cycle. You and your provider will consider many issues before deciding on a treatment combination, including:

  • Your lifestyle
  • Which treatment regimen will allow you to get pregnant, if this is what you want
  • Which treatment regimen preserves your future treatment options
  • How powerful a regimen it is
  • What side effects a regimen can cause
  • Other illnesses you may have (such as hepatitis C or high triglycerides), as these can affect which HIV medications are best for you
  • Other medications you may need to take (so that you can be sure there are no interactions between the drugs)
  • Financial issues, such as what your insurance will pay for
Beatriz Diaz

"Do you love yourself enough to take treatment on a daily basis? If you don't love yourself, you won't do it."

-- Beatriz Diaz, diagnosed in 1992

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See Also
Newly Diagnosed? Words of Encouragement from HIV-Positive Women
What Did You Expect While You Were Expecting?
HIV Tools You Can Use