HIV/AIDS

Updated 25 June 2014

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.

  • 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)

 

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Ask the Expert

HIV/Aids expert

Dr Sindisiwe van Zyl qualified at the University of Pretoria before working for an HIV/AIDS NPO in Soweto for many years. She was named one of the Mail & Guardian's Top 200 Young South Africans in 2012.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules