Dab Garner, 50, Wilton Manors, Fla.; Diagnosed in 1982
The first thing I would advise is to educate yourself about HIV, the medications and Ryan White funding and services. The more you understand each of these items, the better you will be able to live with HIV. Whether you learn to be an advocate for your own health care or to help our HIV/AIDS community on a city, state or national level, education is key to survival.
Next, you need to know it is imperative to continue practicing safer sex, even if your sexual partners are also HIV positive. Not only can you potentially catch other strains of HIV, you do not want to complicate your life with other STDs.
It is also very important to find a health care provider who you can work with toward health goals. It is essential to be totally honest with your physician about your body so they know when and how to treat issues as they arise as well as recommend preventive strategies.
Finally, you should practice better overall health goals that anyone should, regardless of HIV status, such as regular exercise, good nutrition, stress reduction, getting enough rest, taking your medications as prescribed and limiting or eliminating alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances.