Human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, is a virus that attacks your immune system. This makes it hard for your body to fight infection and disease. HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). But having HIV does not mean that you have AIDS. Treatment of HIV may prevent or delay HIV from developing into AIDS.
Medicines are the main treatment for HIV. You will likely have to take several medicines. By fighting the virus, these medicines can help your immune system stay healthy and delay or prevent AIDS and may help you live longer. Medicines for HIV are called antiretrovirals.