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HIV Positive: What Now?

by Lori Sciame October 8th, 2014 | Health Observance, Men's Health
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manIf you find out you are HIV positive, you may feel devastated.  Of course the health care providers at the testing center gave you lots of information, both verbal and written, yet you may still feel lost.  Please understand that when hearing such news, it can be hard to digest everything you need to know.  Take heart.  Unlike 30 years ago, HIV can now be managed using special medications, plus community resources exist to help those who have been infected.  Keep asking questions.  Keep researching HIV/AIDS.  Remember – a take charge mentality will help you adjust much better.

Who Will Take Care of Me?

The HIV testing center has probably given you information on finding the best medical care possible.  In many cases, new patients are referred to an HIV specialist.  If you feel that you haven’t been matched with the best possible medical professional, check out this website for tips on what to do. Remember, even if you live in a remote area of the country, you should seek out the best care available; you deserve it!

Legal Disclosure

Once a man has been diagnosed with HIV, his positive result will automatically be forwarded to the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Rest assured, these agencies do not share this sensitive information with anyone else.  Instead, they use the information to monitor the prevalence of HIV in your area of the country.

It is important to understand, however, that many will be required to tell all sexual partners of his new found HIV status.  As outlined on the US Government website, AIDS.gov, “Many states and some cities have partner-notification laws—meaning that, if you test positive for HIV, you (or your healthcare provider) may be legally obligated to tell your sex or needle-sharing partner(s). In some states, if you are HIV-positive and don’t tell your partner(s), you can be charged with a crime. Some health departments require healthcare providers to report the name of your sex and needle-sharing partner(s) if they know that information—even if you refuse to report that information yourself.”

Take Advantage of Social Services

Sometimes, one needs to ask for help.  Thank goodness that local, state, and national agencies exist to help those in need.  Another bonus: applying for benefits can many times be accomplished online.  HIV patients may be eligible to receive help with  housing, food, energy assistance, and the like.  All it takes is the courage to ASK.

Be Strong

While your life may seem to be over; it’s not.  You CAN learn to live with this illness.  Research has revealed that young people diagnosed with HIV can reach old age if they have regular health care, and if they take care of themselves.  It may be hard to shake the idea that HIV will instantly turn into full blown AIDS, but you must.  Times have changed.  Treatments have changed.  This diagnosis may be a set back, but with perseverance, you will not only survive, you will thrive as well.

Follow this link for more information.

(Photo courtesy of  Viktors Kozers)

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.