The human immunodeficiency virus or HIV can cause acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. Once the HIV enters the body, it is there for life. But with the advancement in AIDS treatment methods, it is now possible to live longer and lead a better quality life than ever was possible with HIV.
Now, there are many different kinds of drugs available to control the HIV infection. Many countries also have free STD testing centers to help people with HIV and other infections. Also, because people now have access to proper information about HIV, it has become easier for people to seek treatment for this disease.
There are several steps you can take to live a healthy and positive life even after getting HIV and AIDS. The first step to take when the early signs of HIV begin to appear is to take a test to confirm the infection. You can consult a doctor or go to a free STD testing center in your area.It is important to not rely only on the telltale signs of HIV. Early HIV symptoms resemble those of other viral infections. So, if you suspect you might have been exposed to HIV, confirm it through a test.
With the help of the drugs, it is possible to contain the infection. When you seek prompt treatment for HIV, you can stop the second stage of the disease from progressing to AIDS (the last stage) for decades. Before HIV drugs were available, the infection progressed in a few years. But now it is possible to be healthy and stop or slow the spread of HIV with proper treatment. Doctors prescribe the antiretroviral medicines in a combination of 23 different classes of drugs. This stops the viruses from becoming resistant to the medicines. Each individual with HIV can react to the drugs differently. Some can experience side effects like other infections while others may not have any problems. Doctors also need to constantly monitor the patient’s health to check the virus load and the number of CD4 cells (the cells that help the immune system fight infections).
It is important for a person with HIV to be fully aware of all facets of the disease. This can help individuals to take preventive measures so that they do not pass the virus to others and also take steps to live a healthy life. Informing the current or any new sexual partners about your HIV status can help patients continue to have healthy relationships. In many countries, it is required by law to reveal your HIV status to your partners. Sharing this information can also help your partner(s) to get tested and seek timely treatment for HIV if needed.
An HIV diagnosis can be devastating for anyone. It is easier to get into depression and keep others at bay. But the support of family, friends, and also of doctors and therapists can go a long way in helping you live with HIV in a positive way.