HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics - Step 7

HIV & Me: A Guide to Living With HIV for Hispanics
Step 7: Choosing the Right HIV Treatment

HIV researchers 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 six 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 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, kidney problems or diabetes), 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)
  • Which treatment regimen will allow you to get pregnant, if this is what you want
  • Financial issues, such as what your insurance will pay for or what medications a clinic can provide

Ed Viera Jr.

"How do I always remember to take my medications? Every morning I put the pillbox right next to the coffee machine. I can't miss it. I don't leave the house without having my cup of coffee. Actually, I'm looking at it right now. It's on top of a jar, next to the coffee maker. No matter where I am in the apartment, I always see it."

-- Ed Viera Jr., diagnosed in 1987