Is there a cure for HIV/AIDS?

No. There is no cure for HIV or for AIDS

The medications used to treat HIV infections are called Highly Active Anti- Retroviral Therapies (HAART). These therapies are a mixture of medications such as AZT, 3TC, ddI and protease inhibitors; they work by slowing down the body’s production of HIV but these DO NOT get rid of HIV or cure AIDS. The medications help to reduce the level of HIV in the blood, to make the immune system stronger and to keep some people healthy longer.

Is there a vaccine for HIV/AIDS?

No. There is no vaccine for HIV or for AIDS

You may have heard that scientists are trying to find a vaccine to prevent HIV infections but most experts believe that such a vaccine won’t be achieved for many years. Recently, there have been promising breakthroughs in research on vaccines that reduce viral load (the amount of HIV in the body), thereby decreasing chances of spreading the virus. A vaccine to prevent HIV, however, may still be years away.

Is there a ‘morning after’ pill that prevents HIV infection?

No. There is no pill that prevents HIV infection

You may have heard about medications for HIV that are used to prevent infection after exposure. These medications are called Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is not a single pill; it is a 4-week treatment including several anti-HIV medications designed to reduce (but not eliminate) the possibility of infection with the virus after a known exposure. People on PEP must take very high doses of the antiretroviral medications used to treat HIV infections. They must follow a strict medication regime, taking many pills several times a day. The side effects of PEP include nausea, tiredness, swelling of the liver, and kidney stones.

*This content was originally published by CATIE, Canada’s source for HIV and hepatitis C information. http://catie.ca/en/basics