There are 19.5 million people around the world on treatment for HIV, 11 million of them through programs supported by the Global Fund as of 2016. Today, with access to lifesaving treatment, an HIV-positive person can expect to have the same lifespan as someone who is HIV-negative.
One of the cornerstones of this lifesaving treatment is the use of antiretrovirals (ARVs). ARVs are given as a combination of drugs that can reduce the amount of HIV in the body or prevent HIV in people at substantial risk of acquiring the virus. However, ARVs are not a cure for HIV; a person living with HIV who is on treatment will need to take ARVs the rest of their life. ARVs also have another benefit: treatment reduces the chance that an HIV-positive person will pass the virus on to someone else by 97 percent.