Tested positive with mental health concerns
Jul 28, 2013
I'm a 38 year old male who was just tested for HIV. My test came back positive. My CD4 is 814 and I'm still waiting for a number for my viral load. I told myself when I was younger that I would kill myself if I ever got HIV. I know it is not the same outlook as it was back then so I am torn. I also have PTSD so it is very hard to keep my depression in check as I have no insurance and haven't taken my pills for PTSD in quite awhile. Is there a good resource online for support and info for those recently testing positive? Any secrets on how to fight the depression of living with HIV?
Response from Dr. Fawcett
Thanks for writing. I'm sorry to hear about your positive test but glad you are open to finding support. A good place to start would be TheBody's resource center for the newly diagnosed. There you can find good information along with personal stories and other helpful links.
Obviously it is really important that you adhere to both your antiretrovirals and your mental health medications. HIV infection puts one at greater risk for depression, and since you already have PTSD/depression it is even more important. If you haven't done so already, get an HIV case manager who can help you navigate the health care system. Ironically, you may discover that you now have better access to all kinds of medication. Of course, there are other ways to help stabilize your moods, including staying socially connected, adequate sleep, and practicing relaxation techniques such as breathing or meditation.
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