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ARV treatment
in Poland

Where will you get antiretroviral treatment?

If you are HIV positive, get treatment as soon as possible to keep your quality of life at a high level. In Poland, people living with HIV are under the care of specialists working in medical facilities, the so-called reference centers implementing the Health Policy Program of the Minister of Health. While these units operate within hospitals, hospitalization is not required to successfully treat HIV infection. Visits are made on an outpatient basis. Reporting to the clinic providing antiretroviral (ARV) treatment  does not require a referral. You can choose any medical facility throughout Poland. If you live in Poland and have insurance, you will receive ARV drugs free of charge.

How to prepare for the first visit to the doctor?

ARV drugs will allow you to lead a long and quality life. The use of ARV drugs prevents opportunistic infections and certain cancers, as well as HIV-related deaths. When you hear the diagnosis, see your doctor as soon as possible for drug treatment . 

What to do first?

When you get a positive result, register with an HIV clinic in the first step - you do not need a referral for this . Their current list can be found on the website of the National AIDS Center or in the tab above.

During one of your first visits, your doctor will ask you to take blood to:

  • assess the state of your immune system (i.e. check the number of CD4 lymphocytes),

  • determine how much viral load is (how much virus is in your body).

  • determine your overall health.

On this basis, the doctor will select the appropriate antiretroviral drugs . Currently, there are no drugs that can eliminate HIV from the human body, but the available preparations are very effective in inhibiting the multiplication of the virus. Viremia is undetectable in people who take them regularly.

Tell your doctor about all your illnesses and medications.

Remember, the doctor is here to help and support you. You can always contact him if there is any problem related to the therapy.

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Do I have to pay for doctor visits and medications?

ARV drugs will allow you to lead a long and quality life. When you hear diagnosis, see your doctor as soon as possible for drug treatment . 

ARVs in Poland are free for all people living with HIV, regardless of insurance status - Government Health Policy Program. Also for foreigners, including refugees. If you have Polish citizenship and insurance in Poland, then also visits to the doctor, are free for you. You will get medicines on the spot - at the clinic or at the hospital pharmacy. So, you don't have to go to public pharmacies (and you don't have to worry that someone will find out about your infection). Some people without Polish citizenship, residency card, health insurance report difficulty in getting free access to a doctor who prescribes ARV drugs. If you don't have insurance - go to the district labor office or social welfare center. Its employees will help you get insurance, so you can see a doctor without any obstacles.


Are you a refugee from Ukraine? Take a look here.


Are there side effects of HIV medications?

Antiretroviral treatment, like any other medication, has undesirable effects
actions. Currently, new, safer and safer preparations are introduced each year.


The doctor decides about the choice of drugs - but if you do not tolerate the treatment, talk to him about it.

Remember, never stop taking medications on your own! _Cc781905-5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ If you do this or take them irregularly, the therapy will be ineffective. Drug resistance may also develop - the virus will become resistant to what has been administered so far
anxieties. Your doctor will have to change your medications, and as there are not an infinite number of preparations available, at some point you may find that there is no medicine left to help you! Stopping treatment is not a way to relieve, for example, nausea or vomiting, as they will come back when you start taking your medications again. The early side effects often decrease and disappear with the duration of therapy.

Do you want to check the interaction between your ARV drugs and other substances?

Go to the page where you can do it yourself. (ANG) .



A situation where microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi are insensitive to drugs, including antibiotics.


ARVs and Chemsex

Do you happen to take psychoactive substances? Do you often take poppers, GHB / GBL or other chems before having sexual contact? Be careful with her when you live with HIV. Your ARV medications can raise the levels of certain psychoactive substances in your body to unsafe levels.

The two active substances in ARV drugs, ritonavir and cobicistat , are most likely to interact with chems.

Always inform the doctor who is giving you antiretroviral therapy about any additional substances you are taking or will be taking, even if they are drugs. It's good to know what happens in your body when you mix different substances. If you would like to stop taking drugs but do not know how to do so, contact an addiction therapist or support group.


Ritonavir and Kobicistat can:

  • Increase the potency of drugs,

  • Influence the way the liver metabolizes psychoactive substances,

  • Cause the chemicals to stay in the body longer or to be present in higher concentrations, which could lead to overdose.

Ritonavir and cobicistat interactions with certain psychoactive substances:


the so-called Viagra, or the substances sildenafil, vardenafil and tadalafil, may interact with ARV medications. If you have erection problems, you don't need to take medications right away. First go to your GP or urologist to rule out the physiological causes of the disorder. If your health is okay and the problem persists, consider visiting a sexologist or sexologist. Most erectile dysfunction can be solved with effective psychotherapy!

Steroids and ARV drugs

Certain antiretroviral medications can raise the levels of anabolics in the blood, which increases the likelihood of side effects. Additionally, steroids put a strain on the liver when taken with most ARV drugs.

Always consult your physician before using steroids.

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HIV treatment while I'm pregnant.

If you are pregnant and have found out about your infection, you should be under the care of an infectious disease specialist with experience in antiretroviral therapy. Determination of HIV infection in a pregnant woman requires not only the implementation of drugs in the woman, but also the protection of the delivery period and proper drug prophylaxis of the newborn. Don't worry, you can give birth to a healthy, HIV-free baby. The greatest risk of infection occurs during childbirth (approx. 65-75%). While the baby is still in the womb, the risk is low (5-10%) thanks to the physical and immunological protective role of the placenta as a barrier between the circulation of the mother and the fetus. Effective drug therapy can prevent your child from becoming infected . 

Depending on:  

  • the advancement of your infection,

  • previous antiretroviral treatment anti-retroviral therapy

  • the advancement of your pregnancy

The doctor will select the drugs that are right for you and plan your childbirth. ​

Breastfeeding is not recommended regardless of HIV viral load and maternal ART treatment status . 

Effective antiretroviral therapy during pregnancy enables vaginal delivery without additional drugs. ARV. 

Młoda matka i dziecko

Treatment of HIV + children

and prevention of newborns material HIV +

If you are a woman living with HIV, your newborn should receive ARV prophylaxis from the first hours of life and undergo early diagnosis.

  • You will be given mu  ARV drugs within 4-48 hours after giving birth.

  • artificial feeding is recommended;

  • on the 1st day of life - hepatitis B vaccination, contraindicated BCG vaccination

The further scheme of administration and types of drugs is determined individually by the doctor.

In children, as in adults, it is recommended to start ARV therapy as soon as possible after diagnosis.

leczenie dzieci
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