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29 May 2009

I’m HIV positive – what now?

To receive an HIV-positive test result is never easy. You will probably experience feelings of fear, loss, grief, guilt, denial, anger, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.

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  • To receive an HIV-positive test result is never easy. You will probably experience feelings of fear, loss, grief, guilt, denial, anger, anxiety, low self-esteem and depression.
  • It is, however, important to remember that HIV infection is a chronic disease and can be managed very effectively.
  • HIV infection is an immune-system disease, and it is within your own power to keep your immune system as healthy as possible.
  • Care for your immune system by taking care of yourself. Eat healthy, avoid junk food, take vitamins, rest, exercise, avoid smoking, alcohol abuse and recreational drugs, do fun things with your life, laugh and manage your stress.
  • Join a support group and keep in contact with friends and family.
  • Find a doctor who is an expert in HIV management. Go for regular routine visits.
  • Get treatment for opportunistic infections when necessary (for example, tuberculosis and pneumocystis pneumonia).
  • Treat STIs (sexual transmitted infections) immediately.
  • Always practise safer sex (for example, using a condom during sexual intercourse).
  • Talk to your doctor about anti-retrovirals.
  • Take control of your own health by staying informed.

(Health24)

 
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