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what hope do i have?
Jul 1, 2001

What are the symptoms of HIV. If a person is tested positive for HIV. What must she do? What does HIV medication do for the person? And what would she have to face in the future? THx.

Response from Dr. Aberg

The first thing a person must do is to become educated about HIV. This starts with the process of getting post test counseling. There is way too much information for me to answer all your questions.

First, I recommend that if you have a positive test for HIV, that you seek care immediately. Your doctor will discuss what HIV is and what the natural progression of the disease is. Second you will have your CD4 (T-cells) (cells that fight infection) and your HIV viral load (amount of virus in your blood). This will give you information about the stage and prognosis of your disease. Additional blood tests wil be done to see how healthy your liver and kidneys are, other infections you may have been exposed to and other important information regarding your health. Once all this has been examined, your provider will discuss whether or not therapy (medications) is right for you. There are lots of medications available. Some of the medications directly effect the virus and decrease the amount of virus you have in your body and increase the CD4 cells. Other medications are used to prevent your from getting infections associated with HIV.

The first part thing a person must do about facing the future is accepting the fact that you have HIV. Many people with HIV lead full productive lives. Start by seeing your healthcare provider. Get involved with AIDS Service organizations and learn all you can about HIV. There are many good web sites and you have already found us. Look through the site. Many of the questions you have or will have are answered on the site.


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