I tested HIV positive, what do I do now?

Well done for getting tested! Testing for HIV is one of the most empowering things a young person can do. You are probably asking: ‘How can knowing my HIV status be empowering?’ Well, knowing your HIV status gives you the power to take action, either by getting onto treatment or by staying HIV negative. These actions can help you to fulfill your dreams of a future -- with a job, a family of your own, and time with friends and family that bring you happiness.

Getting an HIV-positive diagnosis is the start of a new journey and can be very scaryat first. After getting your HIV-positive diagnosis you will need to visit your clinic to see if you should start antiretroviral treatment (ART). If you are having difficulty coping with your HIV-positive diagnosis, talk to a counsellor or social worker at your clinic. Also try to get accurate information from your clinic on HIV/AIDS, HIV transmission and how to stay healthy.

One of the important things to do is to disclose your status to someone you trust and who can support you on this journey. Make sure that you are informed about HIV before you disclose your status so that you can correct any misinformation and myths you might hear. You do not have to disclose your status to anybody unless you are comfortable to do so. If you find it difficult to disclose on your own, you can get help from a counsellor or trusted person. You can also join a club or support group where you can get updated information and extra support.

Remember the words of Nelson Mandela (2008) when you feel scared: "The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear".

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Anonymous 10 January 2017 13:25

Is it possible for a woman to test positive whiles a man negative but they have been having unprotected sex for 4 years? What are the chances

B-Wise Expert Expert 13 January 2017 09:15

There are three ways you can get HIV, through sex without a condom with someone who is HIV positive, from an HIV positive mother at birth or from a dirty needle. The female partner should go to the clinic to get tested, even if her male partner tests negative. If she finds out she is positive, she needs to start treatment immediately. They’ll also need to use a condom every time to make sure the negative partner stays negative. 

ntsimep 19 March 2016 12:22

Tell me more about HIV

B-Wise Expert Expert 20 March 2016 22:51

Hi NTSIMEP, HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus and it is a germ (virus) that attacks your bodys way of staying healthy and fighting off disease. You catch it from another person that has the HIV in their body. Check out https://b-wise.mobi/english/health-issues/hiv/ for more information.