Living with HIV
Living with HIV can be challenging, but HIV-positive people find life, love, and happiness in the face of infection. HIV positive people have families and have relationships, sometimes with other HIV-positive people and sometimes with uninfected people.
It is important for your physical and mental health to remain emotionally and physically strong.
Finding an infectious disease doctor with HIV experience is helpful in getting good treatment and follow-up. You can work with your doctor to develop and follow plans specific to your health needs and lifestyle.
There are also many support groups, both on the internet and within community-based organizations, which can give you the emotional support you need to fight through the bad days and celebrate the good days.
Discussing your diagnosis with family and friends may be difficult, but you may be surprised to find out just how much love and support they have to offer. Sometimes it's as simple as giving a hug and saying they still love you and want you in their lives. Sometimes it's as much as taking an active role in your care and reminding you every day to take your pills.
Adherence is the key to doing well with your medications. If a person is willing to take their medications as prescribed every day, then they're more likely to keep the viral levels down in their body and have a more successful therapy.
Any time anybody slips up -- and people do slip up -- they need to know it's not the end of the world. It is important to discuss medication issues with your doctor to help determine the best options for you and your daily activities.
Not everybody will experience the same side effects from the same medication. Not everybody will experience side effects at all. It is important to work closely with your doctor to make sure the medications you take are the best ones for your body. Unfortunately, the trial and error process can be difficult and painful at times. However, once the right combination is found, adherence becomes easier and the infection can stay under control.
Resources for Positive Living