“I asked my doctor to switch
because DOVATO only has
2 medicines.“

Community Health Educator
Switched to DOVATO

New to HIV

Reaching and staying undetectable has always been a key goal of treatment. Simply put, it means taking your HIV treatment as directed can keep the amount of HIV in the blood below the level that can be measured by a lab test.


Here are a few helpful HIV treatment tips to keep in mind.

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What does U=U mean?

U=U stands for Undetectable equals Untransmittable.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 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.

How long does someone need to be on HIV treatment before the sexual transmission of HIV is prevented?

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.

Should I still practice safe sex if I am undetectable?

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

Why should I start HIV treatment early?

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If you were recently diagnosed, you may be wondering, “When should I start HIV treatment?” The answer is that it’s important to start antiretroviral therapy (ART) soon after an HIV diagnosis rather than delaying therapy. That’s because treatment can help keep HIV under control, so the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll be on the path to suppressing the virus.

HIV treatment can also help increase the number of infection-fighting CD4+ T-cells in a person’s blood. CD4+ T-cells are a type of white blood cell that is part of your immune system and helps fight infections.

Why should I stay on HIV treatment?

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People living with HIV who start and stay on HIV treatment can now live longer lives compared with those who started treatment in earlier decades.*

*Based on data (Lancet HIV, 2017) showing improvement in life expectancy between 1996 and 2013 among individuals starting antiretroviral therapy. Regimens in this study did not include DOVATO.

What else should I know about HIV treatment?

Staying informed about all of your treatment options is an important part of taking charge of your health, now and down the line. A good rule of thumb is to check in with your doctor regularly and bring any questions you may have.