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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the cells of your immune system, destroying your body’s ability to fight off infections. Early diagnosis and treatment of the condition may keep it from progressing, allowing many people with HIV to have normal life spans.

HIV attacks the cells of your immune system, substantially decreasing your ability of fight off illness or infection. HIV actually changes the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) in your immune cells by mixing its own DNA with yours. Treatments focus on stopping the virus from spreading its DNA by removing the proteins it needs to integrate its DNA into yours, or by keeping the virus from entering your immune cells.

After HIV becomes too advanced, your body may be unable to fight off any infection. When this happens the number of immune cells in your blood is extremely low, and you may catch conditions like pneumonia or tuberculosis. Once HIV has progressed to this point, you are considered to have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). 

Indiana University Health specialists provide patient-centered care for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) that focuses on meeting your individual needs. Our physicians are experts in the treatment of HIV, working with you to find medications that fit your needs, answering all your questions, managing your side effects and symptoms and preventing infections. With access to the latest clinical trials and treatments, you can be assured you are receiving high quality care.

Treatments for HIV can have many side effects such as bone weakness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia or rashes. Your physician will work with you to find the treatment that is most effective and has the fewest side effects.

Our physicians will also provide you with education on lowering your risk for infections and illnesses. Because your immune system is weakened, you should follow these tips to prevent infection:

  • Get immunizations that only have dead cells
  • Eat foods that do not commonly carry diseases
  • Ensure your pets remain as healthy as possible
  • Practice good hand washing techniques

We can also refer you to support groups or counselors to help you take care of your emotional health. These groups can help you find financial resources.

How We Can Help

How We Can Help

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Treatment Information

IU Health Infectious Diseases physicians offer comprehensive treatment options for all stages of HIV and AIDS, including:

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Locations & Physicians

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Support Services

Keep up on the latest news about HIV and find the support you need at the reputable websites below.