Medical: HIV/AIDS

© Kenneth M Tong

Many people live for years without symptoms and may not know they have been infected with HIV. A simple blood test can confirm HIV status. Combinations of drugs known as antiretrovirals help combat the virus and enable people to live longer, healthier lives without rapid degradation of their immune systems. It is simplest and easiest to take these drugs properly when they are combined into single pills (fixed-dose combination). MSF's comprehensive HIV/AIDS programmes generally include education and awareness activities so people understand how to prevent the spread of the virus; condom distribution; HIV testing along with pre- and post-test counselling; treatment and prevention of opportunistic infections; prevention of mother-to-child transmission; and provision of antiretroviral therapy for patients in advanced clinical stages of the disease.