An HIV treatment for adults and children who weigh at least 88 lbs. Not for use by itself in people who have or have had resistance to abacavir, dolutegravir, or lamivudine. See Full Indication.

HIV 101

Know the facts about HIV

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Living with HIV

What are HIV and AIDS?

HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

AIDS means Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection.

Discover another HIV treatment option.

Learn more about a treatment with 2 medicines in 1 pill.

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Discover another HIV treatment option.

Learn more about a treatment with 2 medicines in 1 pill.

Read more »

About 1.2 million adults and adolescents were living with HIV in the US by the end of 2019.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

How can you get HIV?

HIV is transmitted through contact with the blood, semen, genital fluids, or breast milk of a person infected with HIV.

Having unprotected sex and sharing needles or syringes with a person infected with HIV are the most common ways HIV is spread.

By the end of 2019, about 1 in 8 people with HIV didn't know they had it.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


What is an HIV test?

One of the most common HIV tests is called an antibody screening test. It tests for the presence of antibodies that the body makes to fight HIV.

Follow-up diagnostic testing is performed on people who test positive for HIV. This includes a test that looks for the virus directly, and one that distinguishes between different types of HIV.

What happens in 
your body when you 
have HIV?

HIV destroys CD4  T-cells.

T-cells are a part of your immune system and help fight infections.

HIV makes more HIV.

When the HIV virus enters a CD4  T-cell, HIV uses the CD4  cells to make copies of itself, and then destroys the CD4 cells. Left untreated, CD4  T-cells are depleted and the body is less able to fight infection.

The viral load increases.

If left untreated, the amount of HIV in an infected person’s blood, also called the “viral load,” will go up. As the viral load increases, a patient becomes more infectious to others and his/her immune system further weakens.

Nearly 37,000 people were diagnosed with HIV in the US in 2019.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


What are the signs or symptoms of HIV infection?

Some people get flu-like symptoms within 2 to 4 weeks of HIV infection, but many don’t report feeling ill.

The symptoms may vary depending on the stage of HIV infection. An HIV test is the only way to know for sure if a person has HIV.

Among women in the US, African Americans accounted for the highest percentage of new HIV diagnoses from 2015 through 2019.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

What is HIV treatment?

HIV medicines help stop HIV from making copies of itself by interfering with different steps of the HIV life cycle.

Antiretroviral therapy, or ART, is the use of multiple HIV-1 medicines, which can sometimes be found as a combination in one pill.

ART can reduce the viral load and increase the number of CD4  T-cells in the blood.

What is the goal of HIV treatment?

To reduce the viral load to undetectable. Keep in mind that an undetectable viral load does not mean the person is cured.

To increase the number of CD4  T-cells in the blood, to help allow the body to fight off infections.


U=U stands for Undetectable equals Untransmittable.


According to the DHHS, people living with HIV who reach and stay undetectable by taking their HIV medication as prescribed prevent transmitting HIV through sex. First, talk to your doctor about further risks of sexual HIV transmission.


Achieving an undetectable viral load can take time. Taking HIV treatment as prescribed and getting to and staying undetectable for at least 6 months prevents transmitting HIV through sex. Viral load testing should be performed on a regular basis to confirm HIV remains at an undetectable level.

Regardless of status, condoms can help lead a healthy sexual life. Unlike HIV treatment, condoms can prevent other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and pregnancy.


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