Okay, you're on treatment, and it looks like you're going to live a long life after all. But, like most people living with HIV, there may still be other health challenges to face. First, there's the possibility of short- and/or long-term treatment side effects. Second, while far fewer HIV-positive people with access to state-of-the-art treatment are being diagnosed with opportunistic infections (OIs), they are being forced to deal with non-AIDS-related health issues, such as those caused by other infections and diseases typically associated with aging. In fact, HIV-positive people may be at an even higher risk for some of these health problems because of the medications they're taking, the virus itself and other possible infections or risk factors.
While the short-term effects of HIV—and the medications used to treat it—are generally well known, the long-term effects of the infection and antiretroviral therapy are still being studied. And just as we are learning about the long-term dangers that HIV-positive people face, we are also learning about the ways to limit these risks and manage complications and side effects, should they occur.
For more information on some of the common short- and long-term complications of HIV and its treatment, click on the following lesson links: