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Living with HIV

This page is specifically for people who have been prescribed Dovato. If you have not been prescribed Dovato, please return to the public website.

What is Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)?

HIV is a virus that attacks the human immune system and weakens its ability to fight disease and infection. Early treatment in HIV helps to keep the immune system strong and prevent illness. Untreated HIV can lead to a number of serious conditions in which the immune system is severely damaged. There is currently no cure for HIV but with effective treatment, people living with HIV can achieve a life expectancy similar to that of people not affected by HIV.

Living with HIV


Healthcare Professional Engagement

Being actively involved in your care will help you manage your HIV as effectively as possible so make sure you attend all of your appointments.

It is important that you talk openly to, and work together with, your healthcare professional because this will help you and your healthcare team build a treatment plan suited to your needs.

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Ageing with HIV

There are many factors that effect how a person living with HIV ages, Some of these include;

  • Getting treatment as soon as possible,
  • Lifestyle (example: nutrition, exercise, tobacco and alcohol use),
  • HIV related illnesses before or after your diagnosis.

Studies show that people who have effective treatment and lead healthy lifestyles can have the same life expectancy of someone who is HIV negative.

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The amount of HIV in your body is called your viral load. The first few weeks when HIV enters your system the viral load is very high. Once treatment is introduced this falls rapidly.

Viral suppression is when your viral load is undetectable which can occur several months after HIV medication is introduced. 


U=U means Undetectable equals Untransmittable, this is when the HIV is undetectable in your system and therefore means you cannot pass on HIV to others.


  1. HSE: Sexual Wellbeing: Sexually Transmitted Infections. Available at: Last Accessed: February 2023.
  2. HIV Ireland: Living with HIV. Available at: Last Accessed: February 2023.
  3. Dovato Summary of Product Characteristics. Available at: Last Accessed: February 2023.
  4. AIDSMap: Life expectancy for people living with HIV. Available at: Last Accessed: February 2023.
  5. AIDSMap: Undetectable viral load and transmission – information for people with HIV. Available at: Last Accessed: February 2023.