What To Consider after an HIV Diagnosis
There are many emotions and questions that arise for those who receive a new HIV Diagnosis. Many people go through an often overwhelming cycle of depression, guilt, blaming, shaming, denial and a whole other range of emotions. One thing is certain, where there is life, there is HOPE.
This month’s article focuses on supporting those who are newly diagnosed and offering some helpful information and next steps in coming to grips with an HIV Diagnosis.
The first steps to take can often be confusing and many don’t have any idea where to begin. One of the most important things that any newly diagnosed person can do is to surround themselves with a strong support network. That network should be able to provide you with emotional support, comfort and encouragement. It should include healthcare providers and trusted advisers, friends and family. This circle of support is not just helpful, it is essential to getting and remaining healthy.
Here are some key points to consider:
- Testing positive for HIV often leaves a person overwhelmed with questions and concerns. It’s important to remember that HIV is a manageable disease that can be treated with HIV medicines. HIV medicines can’t cure HIV, but they help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives.
- The first step after testing HIV positive is to see a health care provider, even if you don’t feel sick. Prompt medical care is the best way to stay healthy.
- People with HIV work closely with their health care providers to decide when to start treatment and what HIV medicines to take. Making these decisions begins with an HIV baseline evaluation.
- An HIV baseline evaluation includes a review of the person’s health and medical history, a physical exam, and lab tests.
- Results from an HIV baseline evaluation are used to decide whether a person is ready to start lifelong treatment with HIV medicines, and, if so, what HIV medicines to start.