22.2  The benefits of ART

The benefits of ART can be divided into three — benefits to PLHIV, benefits to the health service, and benefits to the community at large, as described below.

Benefits of ART to the patient:

  • Prolongs life and improves quality of life.
  • Decreased stigma surrounding HIV infection, since treatment is now available.
  • Households can stay intact, because patients survive for so much longer.
  • Businesses and jobs can stay intact for the same reason.
  • Reduces mother-to-child transmission of HIV.
  • Less money is spent on treating opportunistic infections and providing palliative care (end-of-life care).

Benefits of ART to the health service:

  • Increased number of people who accept HIV testing and counselling, because treatment is available.
  • Increased motivation of health workers, since they feel they can do more for PLHIV.

Benefits of ART to the community:

  • Decreased number of orphans.
  • Increased awareness of HIV in the community, since more people accept HIV counselling and testing.

22.1  The difference between treatment and cure in HIV/AIDS

22.3  Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) and antiretroviral therapy (ART)