Top 10 HIV Related Questions

  1. Why doesn’t i-Base answer questions on HIV testing and transmission?
    Short answer: i-Base does care but we have limited resources. Instead we have published lots of online that already answer questions on testing and risk. This answer explains this and includes links – see full answer.
  2. Can I increase my CD4 count without ARVs? Short answer: only ARVs can increase your CD4 count and keep them high. Not vitamins, not supplements, not so-called “immune-boosters” which are scams, not diet. Read the full answer for details.
  3. What can make efavirenz (Atripla/Tribuss etc) easier – or should I change?
    Short answer: Take at night on an empty stomach, change drugs if it doesn’t improve. Side effects with efavirenz can be difficult. This question includes tips for how to make it easier and for when to change. Efavirenz is one of the drugs in Atripla and the many generic versions including Atenef, Atreslawin, Atroiza, Citenvir, Heftenam, Odimune, Tribuss, Trivenz, Truno, Trustiva and Viraday. See the full answer for details.
  4. What happens if I am late or miss a dose of meds?
    Short answer: Aiming for the same time is a good habit but everyone is late or misses a dose sometimes, without any harm. There is more flexibility once you have been undetectable for some time. See the full answer for details.
  5. How can one partner test positive and the other negative?
    Short answer: This is just good luck up to now – HIV is difficult to catch. Sometimes this questions comes from the positive partner and sometimes from the negative partner. Often both partners can be confused they not been using condoms, sometimes for several years. The explanation in this answer explains this experience is common. The full answer explains.
  6. Can HIV positive people have a baby?
    Short answer: absolutely yes, but you need to use HIV treatment. Sometimes this comes from a positive man and sometimes from a positive women. HIV treatment covers all situations. It lets couples conceive naturally if the man is positive and the woman is negative. It also protect the health of the mother and baby during pregnancy if the mother is positive. See detailed answer
  7. What happens if I stop taking treatment?
    Short answer: your viral load will rebound quickly and your CD4 will then start to fall. This will usually be to the level before you started treatment. Please see the full answer for details.
  8. What does the number mean on an HIV test result? 
    Short answer: less than 1.0 means you are HIV negative. i-Base does not answer test questions but we still get asked this a lot from outside the UK. See the full linked answer for details.
  9. Can we stop using condoms is viral load is undetectable on treatment?
    Quick answer: the PARTNER study reported zero transmissions after couples had sex more than 58,000 times without condoms. Using a condom or not is a personal decision, but there is now good evidence to help you decide on this risk.Read the easy Q&A for full results in the link.