Community health centre

A Checkpoint is a health centre for gay and other men who have sex with men (MSM). The Checkpoints Vaud and Zürich also counsel transgender people and their partners.

HIV therapy

With the treatment of the HIV infection; the virus is hindered in attacking further CD4 cells. Currently, more than two dozen medicines are available, which are mostly administered combining 3 different substances. To date, there is no other treatment possibility other than the antiretroviral therapy (ART), also known as the «threesome» or Tritherapy, which, to date must be taken, daily, for a lifetime.

In the vast majority of cases the therapy suppresses the HI viruses insofar that these are no longer detectable in the blood and that the amount of CD4 cells increase again. The immune system of the infected person recovers itself; though the virus cannot be removed from already infected cells. ART prevents the further development of the infection, which means that nowadays the AIDS stadium is rarely reached any more. Studies show, that the life expectancy, of people with HIV when undergoing a functioning therapy, is the same of that of a person without HIV.

Development of the illness

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What are the most important side effects?

The most common side effects, such as diarrohea, nausea, neuropathy (nerve disorders), mental impairments (dizziness, depression, mood disorders) are usually reduced due to regular ingestion of the medication. If these symptoms occur, they should immediately be discussed with a doctor. The doctor can then possibly recommend a combination of medicines which are more agreeable to the individual person. The therapy must by no means be broken off without permission.

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Sleep

Taking HIV medication can cause tiredness and can have an effect on sleep. It is possible that one sleeps really deeply or is restless because of dreams. If this causes problems then one should inform the doctor.

Sticking to the therapy

An HIV therapy is only then effective, if the medication is taken without interruption. Missing out on one daily dosage, however, is not a catastrophe.