Achieving undetectable viral load is the primary goal of treatment.1 Antiretroviral therapy (ART) should be continued after initiation with the following key treatment goals1:

  • Maximal and durable viral suppression
  • Restored and preserved immunologic function
  • Reduction in HIV-associated morbidity and prolonged duration of survival
  • Prevention of transmission
    • According to a modelling study, ART has the potential to positively affect HIV incidence at the population level, and to lower overall prevalence1,2

My main goal is to get started as soon as possible and maintain whatever immune system function we have, maintain that, perhaps build it, and get our viral loads as low as possible as fast as possible with the goal to get completely virologically suppressed.

—Cynthia Rivera, MD

Watch a panel of HIV

discuss setting and achieving treatment goals.

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents. Guidelines for the use of antiretroviral agents in adults and adolescents living with HIV. Available at Accessed November 16, 2017.
  2. Granich RM, Gilks CF, Dye C, De Cock KM, Williams BG. Universal voluntary HIV testing with immediate antiretroviral therapy as a strategy for elimination of HIV transmission: a mathematical model. Lancet. 2009;373(9657):48-57.