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What to do with the stress and fight?
Feb 7, 2010

I am sure that I have HIV as I have been contacted by a person I had sex with several time who now has the disease. I took an at home, FDA approved test and it did show that I was positive. I do not know what to do next as I do not wish for anyone to know that I have this (family, etc...I would never put others at risk let me make that clear). How do I go about seeing a doctor? Are we any closer to a cure? Is there a medication available that prevent the transmission of this virus?

Response from Dr. Young

Hello and thanks for your post.

Sorry to hear about your test. What you should know is that your health can be preserved and you can live a normal life expectancy.

This does require a little bit of luck, but mostly developing a good relationship and trust of an experienced HIV healthcare provider. One of the best ways to find such a person is to contact your local AIDS service organization for their recommendations (check out TheBody's ASO Finder page or the American Academy of HIV Medicine's "Find a Provider" page.

You should definitely see such a specialist, get lots of information about your health and health risks, drug resistance testing of your virus, preventive vaccinations and other laboratory tests. If your health or labs indicate, learning about adherence and HIV medications might be indicated.

As for cures and prevention of transmission, there isn't a cure (yet) for HIV once you have HIV infection. I'm afraid to say that there isn't a cure on the near term horizon. On the other hand, prevention of transmission (or at least significant reduction in the risk of transmission) can be achieved with the early administration of HIV medications (we call this post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP). There is a whole category on this forum devoted to PEP.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to surf these pages liberally for your other questions, but most importantly write us back anytime.

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