What does an HIV diagnosis mean?
HIV cannot be totally eliminated by the human body, unlike certain other infections. Once you have HIV, you will always have it.
But HIV can be managed with the right medical treatment. When receiving good HIV care, people with HIV can live long, healthy lives and protect their partners.
What should I do if I just got diagnosed with HIV?
Take Your Time to Process the News
Getting an HIV diagnosis can alter your entire life. Sadness, despair, or rage are just a few of the emotions you could experience.
Health professionals can support you as you navigate the early phases of your diagnosis. They are readily available at the office of your health provider.
After diagnosis, begin HIV treatment as soon as you can.
Go to a clinic and take HIV medications (called antiretroviral therapy or ART).
HIV levels in the blood can be decreased by taking HIV medication (called viral load).
The viral load can get quite low with HIV medication (called viral suppression). A blood sample with less than 200 HIV copies per milliliter is considered to be virally suppressed.
Treatment for HIV can reduce the viral load to a point where a test cannot detect it (called an undetectable viral load).
The best thing you can do to be healthy is to achieve and maintain a viral load that cannot be detected (or to maintain viral suppression). Being virally undetectable also stops the spread of the illness to others. In actuality, you won’t give HIV to your partner if your viral load is undetectable. Within six months, the majority of people can control the infection.