Give yourself time to process your emotions and learn about HIV—then prioritize treatment.
Dealing with an HIV diagnosis can be challenging. You may feel many emotions—sadness, hopelessness, or even anger. So, it's incredibly important to process those thoughts and feelings. But it's also important to start treatment as soon as possible because HIV can be treated effectively with today's treatments.
HIV treatment can help people live longer, healthier lives by helping you lower your viral load. Of course, HIV medication is an important part of starting treatment, but support is also needed to help you get off to a good start. If you need emotional or mental health support during this time, here are some resources that may help.
We have defined some key terms that might be helpful to know as you are starting and sticking with treatment.
Real person living with HIV.
MATTHEW: If somebody came to me and told me that they can’t deal with HIV right now, I would just simply tell them, you’ll be surprised on what you can do.”
One thing I’ve learned ... is not use the word “can’t”.
Think about what you can do.
And move forward from there.
And you’re allowed to write people into your circle. Those are gonna be the ones that are gonna help you make you feel like you are a person, you do matter. And you are important.
So, your perspective of whatever you’re facing is pretty much the first step.
And you start moving forward, and then your day gets brighter.
Because the moment you actually understand the power that you have inside, you’ll be amazed at how far you can go in life.
You’re still you.
Focus on what you want to do.
And just smile.
After testing positive for HIV, the first step is to talk to a healthcare provider—even if you don't feel sick. Seeking medical care and starting HIV treatment right away helps you get off to a good start with important health benefits.
Living with HIV: Matthew | Think about what you can do
No questions are off-limits when you meet with them, and it's great to come prepared. Here are some questions to copy and save for your visit.
For additional resources to help support you along your journey, including finding a healthcare provider, financial assistance, or mental health services, feel free to check out these resources.
There are many resources out there to help you manage your HIV diagnosis and stay encouraged through your treatment journey. For more information about HIV, please visit the National Institutes of Health.