Treatment for HIV/AIDS: Anti Retroviral Therapy

life1_240x240_24nov14HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus is a virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The treatment for this dreaded disease is Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART).

ART is a life long treatment and must be taken with a HIV Physician’s advice regularly with 100% adherence to it. Abruptly discontinuing ART, irregular treatment or missing doses lead to secondary drug resistance to Anti Retro Viral (ARVs) drugs.

Now patients on ART can live near normal life with improved quality of life.

ART is also used as a Treatment for Prevention (T4P) for HIV negative person to reduce the transmission of HIV infection.

When a patient receives Anti Retroviral Therapy and the viral load is under complete suppression, the transmission risk is reduced by 96% in HIV negative partner. Further, giving ART as prevention in HIV negative person reduces the risk of acquisition of HIV infection.

Adding sperm wash procedure as Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI) gives extra protection.

Hence ART treatment for HIV positive patient with sperm wash and ART preventive treatment for a HIV negative person brings ray of hope for the people who are living with HIV/AIDS to have a HIV negative baby without infecting the HIV negative spouse.

There is also a dark side of this recommendation which is, during this recommended protocol HIV negative spouse can get HIV infection. Though the risk is small it still exists.  For example, a woman may not only get HIV but also may not conceive.

This is purely a harm reduction method. Hence intense counseling is done before advising the couple for the above recommendation before they make a decision.

Dr. Raj Harjani’s message to people living with HIV/AIDS ON WORLD AIDS DAY

“With ART, AIDS is now a chronic manageable disease. One can live a near normal life in quantity and quality. ART is a life long and treatment and should be monitored regularly by a HIV treating physician.

People on ART can think of parenting the child. ARVs can be used as a preventive treatment in HIV negative mothers and still have HIV Negative baby without mother being infected with HIV.

Give Sex education to your children, friends and seniors. Avoid premarital or extra marital sex, if you can’t resist, then use a condom properly.”


Dr. Raj Harjani
HIV/AIDS Consultant

Dr Raj Harjani is a Practicing Dermatologist since last 35 yrs and HIV/AIDS Specialist for the last 20 years at his multi-specialty Ashirwad Hospital in Thane (East) for people living with HIV/AIDS.

He is the recipient of “Thane Gaurav Award” for his untiring work in the field of HIV/AIDS by Thane Municipal Corporation in 2011. He is a Honorary Skin Specialist and Founder Director of AIDS Research & Control Centre at Rajiv Gandhi Medical College and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital, Kalwa.