All About ARVs

How ARVs Suppress HIV

The drugs that suppress or control HIV are called antiretrovirals or ARVs for short. ARVs work by stopping HIV from hijacking the body's CD4 cells to make more HIV. ARVs do two things:

They stop HIV from making more copies of itself
They stop HIV from destroying CD4 cells (the immune system)

This is why when ARVs are taken properly, the viral load goes down, which means there is less HIV in the blood and body. And, at the same time, the CD4 count goes up and the immune system recovers and becomes strong again.

There are many different kinds of ARVs. To suppress HIV properly and stop it from multiplying, three different ARVs must be taken together.