Because knowledge means power. This is a case of “what you don’t know CAN hurt you”…and others. Finding out sooner means taking control sooner.
Early detection can mean taking action sooner. It can also mean more available treatment options for you. Remember: having HIV does not necessarily mean you will get sick right away, and the key is to manage the disease sooner rather than later.
We understand the thoughts that might be racing through your mind when you hear that you are HIV positive — but remind yourself that improved treatment options mean more people with HIV are living longer, fuller lives than ever. Once you are past the shock, you can spring into action and take the necessary steps to stop spreading the disease.
The longer you wait to get tested , the sicker you might get and your immune system might not be able to recover.
Prevention starts with learning. If you have tested negative, you need to learn how to keep it that way. Talk about it, be open to suggestions, and take precautions. If your health is important to you, don’t let one moment of passion decide your long-term future.
If you have tested positive , you need to keep the virus from being passed on to others. Start by gathering all the facts you can on HIV from reliable sources, like the ones you’ll find here on this Web site. Some people want to know all there is about HIV upon testing positive. Some people are afraid to learn about HIV because it makes it more real. But…it is real, and as with anything that is unfamiliar, the more you know about it, the less scary it is. Taking control of your life is a positive thing. And not transmitting HIV is also a good thing.
One good place to start is with no one else but you! Take a look at how much personal risk you are willing to take and how you can create your own prevention strategy by asking yourself these simple questions:
When am I most willing to take greater risks?
How do I feel when I take a risk? Before? During? After?
How would I feel knowing that I just transmitted HIV to someone or got infected by someone?
Responsibility and Respect Toward Others
One of your responsibilities upon being diagnosed HIV positive is to let your sexual partners know about your new health status. This may be a difficult thing to think about doing, but you must give others the same opportunity as you to be tested and, if necessary, seek prompt treatment.
Like a good boy scout, be prepared: when you go to your Dr.’s appointment, bring a list of your medications, write down your medical history (diseases you may have had in the past, surgeries, allergies), and have a list of questions ready along with any symptoms you may be experiencing, take notes or bring a friend (you might be nervous or forget).
You can have HIV for 10 years and not display any symptoms. Just because you don’t feel sick, doesn’t mean you’re not sick.