There is currently no cure for HIV; however, the development of effective treatments has radically changed the meaning of an HIV diagnosis.

In the 1980s, people with HIV expected to live only a few years at most. These days, due to the availability of highly effective HIV antiretroviral treatment in Australia, most people with HIV who are on treatment have a life expectancy similar to that of their HIV-negative counterparts.

A number of research studies have shown that the earlier people begin taking treatment, the better their health outcomes are likely to be. In Australia, people with HIV can begin treatment when they choose, and are encouraged to start as soon as they are diagnosed.

HIV treatments are increasingly easy to take, with four single-tablet, once-a-day regimens available to Australians living with HIV.

In this section: 

Combination antiretroviral therapy

Side effects and toxicities

Developing a cure for HIV