Question: What happens when I am first diagnosed HIV positive?
Getting the news you are HIV positive can be the most frightening news one can receive. But being HIV positive is not a death sentence like it once was. Now that you have learned you are HIV positive, what happens next? This brief feature will help you get through that first day after being diagnosed HIV positive.
Find An HIV SpecialistNow that you have been diagnosed HIV positive, you will need to do a few things to make sure you stay as healthy as you can. The very first step is to choose a doctor specializing in HIV to monitor your immune system and your disease.
Build a Relationship With Your DoctorDuring your initial visit your HIV specialist will do a complete physical exam, collect blood for several different blood tests, and ask you questions about your past medical and social history. Some of these questions may seem very personal to you but are necessary for your doctor to give you the best possible care. These initial visits are a perfect time for you to establish open communication with your doctor. Many HIV treatment programs will have social workers, dieticians and other medical professionals to assist you in these difficult first days.
Learn As Much As You Can About HIVThe key to living with HIV is to learn as much about HIV as you can. The old saying goes "Knowledge is Power" and never has that been more true than when you are HIV+. By understanding your disease you can take control of your life instead of letting HIV take control of you.