What to do if you have HIV?
What to do if you have HIV?
What to do if you have HIV? Receiving an HIV diagnosis can be very overwhelming. The feelings of sadness, anger and fear can influence mental and emotional well-being. Besides its physical impact, an HIV diagnosis can entirely change how you live. It can leave you with lots of questions, concerns, and worries.
Having the condition does not mean you have AIDS. You can prevent the infection from advancing to AIDS by doing numerous things to mitigate AIDS from developing. So, what should you do if you have HIV? Here are a few guides..
Obtain immediate medical care.
Because of medical advances, treating the condition today is easier compared to earlier days. However, before starting your treatment, you need a healthcare professional to review your medical history and perform a physical exam. You will also likely undergo several lab tests to know the extent of your condition.
After running some tests and learning how the infection progresses in your body, your healthcare professional will devise the best treatment plan. It includes the suitable drug you must take daily to suppress and control the infection. Treating the virus in its earliest stage is necessary to prevent it from progressing.
Take your medicine.
Antiretroviral drugs treat HIV. Since there are a lot of drug classifications under this treatment, the proper medicine to use will depend on your healthcare professional’s diagnosis. Once a prescription is available, take medicine immediately as instructed. However, you must be prepared and committed to taking this medicine for the rest of your life.
Keep yourself healthy.
Besides following daily medications, one way to help the immune system fight against the infection is by keeping yourself healthy. A lifestyle change may be necessary to keep the virus at bay. Some of the practices include eating healthy and nutritious food and exercising regularly.
Some other things you can do to keep healthy are improving your sleep pattern and breaking your alcohol addiction. Sleep deprivation can lead to several health dilemmas. It can also pave the way for HIV complications. On the other hand, alcohol can make your treatment less efficient as it can interact with your HIV medication.
The infection can compromise your mental and emotional health during this challenging time. That’s why seeking enough support is vital to protect your sanity and feelings. There are certain people you can talk with. It could be your family, friends, or lover. However, if it’s too much of a burden and a shameful feeling to share with these people, you can find a haven in support groups.
Support services are available for HIV-positive people. This way, you can connect with people with the same sentiments and worries about their present lives and future endeavors. You can listen to their experiences and find solace. Furthermore, it is the easiest way to share your feelings without worrying about the judgement and stigma that society built.
Protect others from the infection.
This is where responsibility comes in. As an HIV-positive person, you should know what it’s like to be infected. Note that even if you are not sick, you can still give the virus to others. You can transmit the infection through unprotected sex or irresponsible use of shared needles and injections. You can protect others by using protective barriers like condoms or using clean needles when engaging in injectable drugs.
Although continuous use of antiretroviral drugs can make you undetectable from the virus, and transmission is at zero rates, medical professionals still recommend using condoms during sexual activity. It will prevent the transmission of other STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) that will put you at risk of HIV infection.
Keep an eye on your health.
Several ways are available to monitor your health. One of them is keeping doctor appointments. This procedure is necessary to keep track of the HIV viral load in your body. It will also determine how the medicine is responding and working to control the infection.
Another thing is to watch for possible complications. Several health complications can occur when treatment fails to protect and boost your immune system. Be keen on the symptoms that will develop. If you notice a negative change or activity in your body, report your condition immediately to obtain the necessary medical care.
HIV may be a lifetime condition; however, this should not stop you from going on with your life. Several studies have supported the efficiency of HIV treatment and how it helps infected individuals live longer like undiagnosed people.