A very effective therapy for HIV now exists. This therapy is known as Highly Active Anti-Retro Viral Therapy (HAART) and is a combination of different drugs. These therapies have been in use since 1996 and they have proven to be very effective in preventing the progression to full-blown AIDS. Since the initiation of HAART therapy, the clinical outlook for many persons with haemophilia who were infected with HIV through blood and blood products has greatly improved. The mortality rate among people with haemophilia with HIV from 1983 to 1996 was very high but the introduction of HAART therapy has meant that their HIV can now be, in the majority of cases, adequately controlled and it has, therefore, become a chronic condition.
Before deciding on treatment, you should be very clear about what the treatment involves, the possible impact on your life and any side effects. You may need to speak with your HIV consultant a number of times before you make your decision. It can also be helpful to bring someone along with you to take everything in.
It is really important to adhere to your treatment schedule as HIV can become resistant to the medication if it is not taken properly. As with all medication, HAART has side effects, some which can be severe. If you are HIV positive you need to make sure you attend the hospital for regular check-ups. During this appointment, you will have a blood test to monitor your CD4 count (the number of CD4 cells in your blood) and your viral load (the amount of HIV in your blood).
If you or your partner would like to speak to someone in confidence about your concerns or worries, we are here to help. Please call 01 657 9900.
Click here to view the WFH publication HIV and HCV Co-infection in Haemophilia.