The effects of HIV treatment non-adherence

Antiretroviral drugs lower the viral load in the blood.

Antiretroviral drugs lower the viral load in the blood.

What you need to know:

  • ART treatment can decrease the risk of developing severe conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and tuberculosis.
  • The cost of treatment is relatively lower for patients taking medication and following doctors' advice since ART promotes quality life.
  • People who do not adhere to their HIV medication and monitoring routines are at a higher risk for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

If you live with HIV and do not stick to your treatment, there are many risks associated with this decision, which can affect your health and those around you.

What is HIV/AIDS treatment adherence?

HIV/AIDS adherence is the consistent and correct use of HIV medication prescribed by a healthcare provider. Adherence also includes showing up for medical appointments and follow-up care. It can be challenging to stick to the treatment plan, but it is highly beneficial.

What are the benefits of adhering to HIV/AIDS treatment?

Antiretroviral drugs lower the viral load in the blood. Low viral load means the presence of the virus in the blood is decreased. In addition, ART can reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to others.

If taken correctly, HIV medications can prolong the lifespan of a person living with HIV. In addition, it improves the quality of life by increasing energy levels and decreasing feelings of chronic fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.

ART treatment can decrease the risk of developing severe conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, and tuberculosis. In addition, adhering to treatment boosts the patient's immunity, making them less vulnerable to infections. Since HIV weakens the immune system, it's essential to take ART medication as prescribed to protect your body from other illnesses.

The cost of treatment is relatively lower for patients taking medication and following doctors' advice since ART promotes quality life.

The risks of HIV Treatment non-adherence

  • Untreated HIV can lead to drug resistance. Drug resistance means the virus will no longer respond to the medications prescribed to treat it. This can make future treatments much less effective and could lead to death in some cases.
  • Non-adherence increases the risk of new infections. ART medication can lower the viral load in a person's body. If they stop taking these medications, the viral level will increase and they can transmit HIV to other people. This could be through unprotected sex or mother-to-child through breastfeeding.
  • Non-adherence increases the chances of developing severe or life-threatening conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and tuberculosis. With the immunity compromised, these illnesses can take a tremendous toll on the body. In order to decrease this risk, you should take your ART medication as prescribed by your doctor.
  • People who do not adhere to their HIV medication and monitoring routines are at a higher risk for mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. In addition, living with HIV/AIDS can be challenging both physically and emotionally. Reach out to your doctor, family, and friends to help you through the tough times.

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