If you test positive, the sooner you take steps to protect your health, the better. With treatments today, you can lead a long, healthy life as an HIV-positive person. Get connected with services and support as soon as possible. Early medical treatment, a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude can help you stay well.
It is important to know that a positive HIV test should always be confirmed, to be sure that it is a true positive. If your test result is positive, you immediately should:
- See a doctor or other licensed healthcare provider, even if you don’t feel sick. Try to find one who has experience treating HIV. There are medications to treat HIV that will help you suppress the virus and maintain good health.
- Have a tuberculosis (TB) test done. You may have TB and not know it. Undetected TB can cause serious illness, but it can be treated successfully if detected early.
- Stop or reduce the use of recreational drugs, alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, which can weaken your immune system. There are programs to help you quit these substances.
- Get screened for other STIs. Undetected STIs can cause serious health problems.
- Consider joining a support group for people with HIV or speaking with a counselor.
- Connect with other local and/or national resources that might help you.
- Talk with your sexual partner(s) about your HIV status and make sure you reduce your risk of transmitting the virus by maintaining your HIV treatment and medications and practicing safer sex, including using latex condoms.
For information on our services and other available local resources, call us at 727-328-3260.
For additional information and referrals, call the CDC National AIDS Hotline at 1-800-342-2437 (English), 1-800-344-7432 (Spanish) or 1-800-243-7889 (TTY).
Posted in: Testing,