Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
The following information will help answer some of your questions about HIV. It will also provide information about the different ways to treat HIV.
What is HIV?
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) weakens a person's immune system by destroying the body's cells that fight disease and infection (often called T-cells or CD4 cells). Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS, is the most advanced stage of HIV infection. Unlike most other viruses, the human body cannot rid itself of HIV. Once you have HIV, you have it for life. While no effective cure for HIV exists, it can be controlled with proper medical care.
How is HIV spread?
HIV is primarily a sexually transmitted infection. It can also be spread by contact with infected blood (for example, sharing needles or syringes) or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding.
How is HIV treated?
A wide variety of medications are available to treat HIV. Treatment for HIV is often referred to as antiretroviral therapy (ART). If taken correctly, every day, ART can dramatically prolong the lives of many people infected with HIV, keep them healthy, and greatly lower their chance of infecting others. Antiretroviral therapy has dramatically changed the course of HIV, making it a manageable chronic condition.
Antiretroviral drugs are typically used in combinations of three or more drugs from more than one medication class. This is called combination therapy and helps prevent drug resistance.
Many older HIV drugs are now rarely used. Most of the more commonly used drugs today combine multiple HIV medications into one pill to simplify dosing, reduce pill burden, and improve adherence.
View a video with more information on HIV treatment and care.
For more information about HIV, call your BriovaRx pharmacist or one of the resources listed below:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- AIDSinfo — U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- The Body — The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
HIV Exemption Program
Patients who are receiving treatment for HIV infection may be able to fill their specialty medications at an in-network pharmacy of their choice.
Am I eligible for an exemption?
Complete and return this form if you do not want to have your HIV treatment related specialty medications shipped to you by BriovaRx for one or more of the following reasons: privacy concerns, delivery concerns, or you are unable to effectively discuss your condition over the phone due to an HIV-related neurocognitive disorder or the significant HIV-related impairment that is being monitored or treated.
Please complete, sign and date this form, and provide your name, address, telephone number, and member identification number where indicated and submit to OptumRx through one of the below options. Or, you may call us at 1-866-803-8570.
Mail:OptumRx, P.O. Box 2508, Mission, KS 66201
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