The decision to start HIV treatment is a big one for most guys who live with HIV.Some may be reluctant to talk about treatment and delay starting treatment, usually because there is a lot of incorrect and out-dated information. Use this tool to help you bust some misconceptions:
WHAT IF I NEED TO TRAVEL OVERSEAS
IT'S TOO EXPENSIVE
I'M CONCERNED I WOULD HAVE TO TAKE TOO MANY PILLS EVERY DAY
I'M CONCERNED ABOUT THE SIDE EFFECTS
I'M NOT SURE WHEN IS BEST TO START TREATMENT
It’s wise to be cautious about travelling to destinations which may not have the same level of health care we enjoy in Australia – or countries which have restrictions on HIV positive travellers. There’s no problem with EU countries or the US (the long-standing US HIV travel ban ended in January 2010). You can check other destinations which have restrictions in place at HIVTravel or namlife.
Some people with HIV are concerned about the cost of treatments. Medication in Australia is subsidised by Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. People with HIV who are health care card holders are charged only a small ‘co-payment’. There are also a number of schemes and organisations that can help with the cost of HIV treatments.
People can be worried about taking complex treatment combinations that require many pills to be taken at very specific times. Modern treatments aren’t so complicated. Many HIV positive people take a few tablets once or twice a day, and many take only one pill once a day.
Today’s treatments have minimal side effects and are much more effective against HIV. Side effects, if they occur, are usually only experienced at the beginning of treatment and in most cases are relatively mild, don’t last for very long and are easily managed. These and other improvements in treatment and care have resulted in more people with HIV taking treatment, and more people taking treatment report living healthy and happy lives.
In the early days of HIV care when only a few old-style treatments were available, people with HIV and their doctors would often delay treatment until CD4 count ‘fell’ to around 200 because those treatments were known to cause side effects. These days, HIV treatments are more effective and far better tolerated by the body. Until March 2014, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) didn’t allow doctors to prescribe HIV treatment to people with CD4 counts above 500 and no clinical symptoms. However, since 1 April 2014, anyone in Australia with HIV who has a Medicare card can now get subsidised treatment through the PBS.

Acon's Commitment

One of the main ways ACON is committing to ending HIV by 2020 is through sustained advocacy efforts on behalf of our community as well as feeding information about the effectiveness of the ENDING HIV initiative back to the community… Read more.

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