If you called or came in to see me because you just found out you have HIV, I’d let you talk and I’d listen. I’d answer your questions and let you know that having HIV today is not the end of the world, even if it seems that way now. It will take some time to adjust, but during that time I will be right here working with you. We’ll figure out what you need and make a plan. I’ll make sure you feel supported, that you get into care, and that you know that although you may have HIV, it doesn’t have you.
Finding out you have HIV is a big change in your life, but it is not the end.
Today, we know more about HIV and have many new effective and simple treatments. It is possible for people living with HIV to have a normal life expectancy.
While it all may feel overwhelming, there are 3 basic steps you need to take right now, and we can help.
- Get Into Healthcare and Stay in Care—It is very important that you begin your healthcare as soon as possible. Even if you don’t feel sick, you will want to monitor your health with a doctor who is an expert in treating HIV. Don’t miss this opportunity to get on top of your HIV.
- Seek Support—People who live best with HIV have good support systems. For some, support comes from their family members or friends. For others, it comes from the HIV community. If you are not sure whom to turn to, start with us. We can help you figure it out.
- Learn—Learn all you can about HIV disease and treatment so that you can become a partner with your doctor in managing your health. Learn how to prevent transmission to others and when and how to tell someone that you have HIV. Learn about what services there are to help you get into care and to stay in care.