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Tips on Dealing With an HIV/AIDS Diagnosis

 16/27 

Kenyon Farrow

Kenyon Farrow, Queers for Economic Justice, New York City

The best thing for people to do when they're are newly diagnosed with HIV is, first of all, if you don't have health care, figure how you can get some, whether it's Medicaid, or you need ADAP [AIDS Drug Assistance Program] or any of those supports.

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This article was provided by TheBody.com.
 

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Mark (Manila. Philippines) Mon., Sep. 30, 2013 at 10:19 am EDT
Thanks for your Tips... I will always remember that. Hope to meet you soon.
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Comment by: kk (india) Sun., Jun. 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm EDT
I had oral sex with a gay he took my penis in his mouth and licks my ass hole with his tongue he is +ve or -ve i dont know shall i must be worried or not
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Comment by: W. (Spring Lake, NC) Thu., Jun. 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm EDT
HIV is the only disease that comes with shame, and stigma. Many infected people are depressed because of the shame, rejection and loss of friends who we have told. In some cases family members have turned on us. To each of you I say, live, love your self, be as happy as you can. Take your meds, keep your Dr. appointments, take charge of your health, educate yourself, join a good support group. Adopt a new attitude. My attitude is: I refuse to lose one dam T-Cell because of what someone else thinks of me. I am worthy of a decent life, regardless of being HIV+ It only matters what I think of myself. Make it about YOU. The people who love you will love you anyway, those who shun you, if it was not HIV/AIDS believe me they would eventually find something. Surround yourself with people who support you, care about you. There are a lot of us around, and we don't want nothing from you except friendship, and to know you also care for us. Hold your head up, yes you may be going through a storm, sometimes going through a storm requires learning how to dance in the rain. Put a smile on your face, hold your head up, face your fears, dance like there is only you that matter. Be the star of your own show. Keep in mind your attitude determines your altitude. Soar like an Eagle, avoid the turkeys. (They have their place on the table Thanksgiving). :)
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Comment by: b. irena (key west & phila pa) Wed., May. 22, 2013 at 10:24 pm EDT
Son diagnosed six years ago with aids and teribly
sick with dissemenated tb. I thought I would die.
My only child.ee. pa. Hiv under control. Lots of
problems w/side effects of meds. Getting better.
Keep the faith. Lots of hope where there never was
any, more people love you than you know.

barbara



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Comment by: James (New York) Wed., May. 15, 2013 at 9:56 am EDT
Hi everyone! I just found out about my HiV+ status about 12 days ago. So far just told to my 6 years partner(who tested negative), a close girlfriend and my mom. My CD4 cells were under 150 what leads me to AiDS. My doctor said that i've probably been infected for over 5 years. Shame on me not to get tested more often. But I would never consider myself in a risk group since im not a sexual person. My 6 years partner is also my first relationship. He is very supportive but sometimes has his breaking points. It is a lot to handle. A lifetime change. I havent start my meds yet since my doctor still waits on blood work to identify my virus. Im on Bactrim(antibiotic) for a full month. Im on psychotherapy and its been really helpful. I cry everyday but after a while i look to my puppys face and i realize that no only him but so many others love me so much and that makes me strongly believe that i will get through it. My heart goes out to each and everyone living with it. God bless! Xo.
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Comment by: Gregory (Oklahoma) Fri., May. 3, 2013 at 12:06 am EDT
I just found out by a oral suave that I am positive 2 days ago. I am not waiting for the confirmation in two weeks from my blood. These last two days have been hell for me. I have kids that are grown and I'm wondering should I tell them if it is confirmed. My anxiety is going through the roof right now. I told the 2 guys I have been with in the last year and they went and got tested. The came back negative thank God! I keep hearing everything will be ok. I worry about my job. Can they find out about this if we are self insured? I am really stressed out about this!!!
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Comment by: Moses (Kampala ) Wed., May. 1, 2013 at 10:21 am EDT
All i can to you my dear friends wherever you are, Please live a positive life. Never should any of you regret. you are not alone. do the medications, feed well, protect yourselves from re-infections. you will live longer than you can think of
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Comment by: David (Brooklyn, NY) Tue., Mar. 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm EST
I've been HIV+ since the beginning of the plague, at least for 28 years. Before there was AZT. When all my friends were dying of the illness. Somehow I managed to keep a hopeful outlook and to trust what my physicians were saying. And I'm still here, healthy (undetectable for 15 years) and happily "married" to a great, HIV- guy. We've been together from the beginning and somehow managed to keep him from becoming infected (although I hate latex!). So - there is hope. Take care of yourselves. ALWAYS have protected sex (even with other poz guys). There are many guys who can look past a poz diagnosis toward a real relationship, and many more that will shut you our automatically. But lead a balanced, happy life and enjoy every day. Every day is a gift. Best wishes.
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Comment by: DAVID (nyc) Fri., May. 10, 2013 at 9:59 am EDT
I LOVE WHAT YOU ASID AND I FILL YOU TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUE


Comment by: banana (NJ) Thu., Feb. 21, 2013 at 10:01 pm EST
was diagnosed in august 2012 and i think i have had it for two years but am fortunate to be respondx well with complera though i spend all my time and energy tryx to hide it
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Comment by: Chinwe (Abia state) Fri., Jan. 11, 2013 at 5:38 pm EST
Hi friends just stay postive & trust God for with him all thing are possible
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Comment by: Samantha (cooeqEmrKoEkvbIRyOq) Tue., Jan. 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm EST
This was a really incedribly beneficial publish. In theory I’d prefer to publish like this also getting time and actual effort to make a excellent piece of writing… but what can I say… I procrastinate alot and by no means appear to obtain a thing done.
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Comment by: LeAnn (Arkansas) Wed., Dec. 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm EST
I never had a chance to learn what HIV/Aids was as a teen growing up because people was so uneducated to the disease. One day when I was in my early twenties I was face with HIV and I was just being nosie, I found out my boyfriend of 6 yrs was Hiv Positive my heart stop for minute it seemed as if I didn't know what to say or what to do so I confronted him. I knew what I had do that was seeing was I okay I thought about my 3 kids and my family, oh boy! That was so hard to do look in those little faces and say I could be HIV Positive. I got checked found out I was okay I didn't leave him or turn my back on him but it was hard . I wanted to make him feel the frightening pain in my heart and the rush of blood to my head . I had to realize I love this man before all this and he needs me we are still together and very happy ! I only just wish he had told me in the beginning I still would have not pass him by. He is my friend, my lover and my handsome boyfriend 4 ever and ever. God is so good to us and all we need to consider other people . Give love regardless of what a person is going through God will bless you, I love you all. LeAnn
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Comment by: Lebz (South Africa) Sat., May. 18, 2013 at 5:51 am EDT
I found out 3 montha ago that my boyfriend is +. I was mad because he knew about his status and deliberately wanted to infect me in the name of love. I,'m negative. I was on Lamzid for a month following his test. I've forgiven now but he still refuses to get his blood tested for viral load and CD4 count and possibly start taking life saving medication. I love him but he seems to not want to give his health a fair chance. Yours is a success story. I'm very happy for you.


Comment by: Eddie (South Africa) Tue., Nov. 27, 2012 at 8:54 am EST
Going through all these comments makes me thinking so many things. I've just been tested positive a week ago and I'm still trying to get to grips with it. I suppose it is going to take a while for it to sink in but I will have to deal with it somehow. I was reading the comments on tips on dealing with HIV diagnosis and it disturbing to an extent. Most of theguys talks about medication which is the last thing I would wnat to hear. I'm living a well balanced active lifestyle. Hate taking any form of medication and certainly wouldn't want to unless I have to of course.
Haven't told anyone yet and don't know how to but will have to at one stage. I'm waiting on results of a 2nd test just to confirm. Yes I know what some might be thinking but I just need that.
I am going to speak to a doctor and unless I have to, will not take any medication. My main concern is I've had unprotected sex with 2 guys and after a few months decided to get tested just for the sake of it. Didn't feel sick or ha dany reason to but wanted to. Should I tell these guys to get tested and what if I am being accused of infecting them. I got tested annually and always negative. It freaks me out. I haven't had sex since the test and I'm as horny as hell and I'm suppose to see the 1 guy don't know where to start or what to do.
How would you guys deal with this.
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: John (Cape Town, South Africa) Sun., Dec. 2, 2012 at 10:03 am EST
Hi Eddie,

I tested positive 6 months ago. I recognise so many similarities in my experience. Diagnosis was a shock for me after years of being safe and testing every 6 months (I was -ve and involved with a +ve guy for 5 years).

First up, you have made an excellent start by finding and reading The Body.com. I continue to learn from the info here and check back here often. You won't remember all the facts at once - I didn't - and this site is a great source of reference, and there is always new info.

I have excellent support here in CT. Look up www.health4men.co.za - they have branches in GTG as well. I hope you can get to them. If you can't, email them and ask for support in your area. They will help you. The guys and girls there have given me encouragement, facts, advice, tests and reassurance.

I also had unprotected sex with some buddies just before diagnosis, and was as anxious about exposing them as I was confused and shocked about my own diagnosis. We all did tests and turned out they are OK.

I also feel really horny at times and want to go out and have a good time. I don't know how to talk about it yet.

The best advice I have received is:

A. Don't tell buddies/friends/family until you are really ready. We need to be ready to deal with their reactions when we do tell others. We have to deal with our own reactions to this first. We don't have to take responsibility for them. There are doctors and counsellors who can help you and keep it confidential.

Also, when you do tell someone, that person may need to talk it through with someone else - so try to tell 2 friends together so they can talk to each other, especially if you ask them not to tell anyone else.

B. Be safe. This is the best way to protect yourself AND others. Even after having unsafe sex in the past, saying you want to use a condom this time is understandable and common practice and it is good for you and the other guys. No-one can argue with that.

Take care. You are not alone.
John
Comment by: Nana (Jhb) Sat., Feb. 2, 2013 at 1:36 am EST
Hope you are coping well so far,I felt like that when I was told abt my status 1yr 6 months ago,all I did was to make a choice If I want it to control me or I take ownership of my right against it.since then I am leaving a very healthy life,am on Atripla,I exercise a lot and have a very stable job.all am saying is I think my life changed for better because I leave each day with purpose now.

As for disclosing I made a decision that I won't tell because is not like am sick is just a virus that happened to be living in my system.


Enjoy life and stay positive.
Comment by: Gregory (Oklahoma) Fri., May. 3, 2013 at 12:10 am EDT
I just got told 2 days ago and I'm freaking out! Now I have this 2 week wait to see the confirmation results. My anxiety is through the roof.


Comment by: jose (fresno,california) Mon., Nov. 26, 2012 at 2:02 am EST
I had been hiv post since 2004 I m deaf also. I need a help and share from all of lov e people of world. Hugs Jose
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Comment by: CARISMATIC (Fort Myers,FL) Thu., Nov. 15, 2012 at 9:38 pm EST
FUI DIAGNOSTICADO EN MARZO 2011,LLEGUE AL EMERGENCY ROOM CON TAN SOLO MUCHA DEVILIDAD,AL DESPERTAR VARIAS SEMANAS DESPUES ENTUVADO Y SOLO ESO,TAMBIEN AL TENER LAS T-CELLS SOLO EN 21,PASE POR MENINGITIS/TOXOPLAS/SEIZURES/HONGO ESTOMACAL,Y PERDIDA DE CASI LA MITAD DE MI PESO,DESPUES DE MUCHO EZFUERZO DE LA CIENCIA Y GRACIAS A MI FAMILIA POR TODO SU APOYO DURANTE VARIOS MESES,ME PUDE LEVANTAR DE ESA CAMA DE HOSPITAL,CON LA AYUDA DIVINA,YA QUE LES PUEDO DECCIR ESTUVE EN LIFE SUPORT,Y CUANDO ME FUERON A DESCONECTAR YA QUE MIS PULMONES HABIAN COLAPSADO,MILAGROSAMENTE COMENSARON A FUNCIONAR,LUEGO ESTUVE CONECTADO A OXIGENO POR OTRAS SEMANAS,A TODO ESTO PERDI LA VISTA DE MI OJO DERECHO,YA ME ATACARON LOS SHINGLES MIENTRAS ME ENCONTRABA EN COMA,SOLO LES QUIERO DECIR A TODO ESTO NUNCA ME DI POR VENCIDO Y FUERON MIS GANAS DE SEGUIR VIVIENDO LAS QUE TAMBIEN GRACIAS A TODAS LAS HORACIONES Y SOBRE TODO A MI PAREJA,EL CUAL SIEMPRE A ESTADO JUNTO A MI DURANTE TODA ESTA ODISEA,AMIGOS,NO SE DEJEN VENCER,RECUERDEN QUE AUNQUE ALGUNOS NOESTENALLI PARA ALENTARNOS,DIOS CON SU INFINITA MISERICORDIA ESTARA ALLI CON USTEDES,SIN IMPORTAR RELIGION O PREFERENCIA SEXUAL,YA QUE AQUI SOLO ESTAREMOS LO QUE EL ASI DECIDA,VIVAN LA VIDA A LO MAXIMO,Y RECUERDEN(LO IMPORTANTE NO ES LAS HUELLAS QUE DEJAMOS,MAS NO ASI POR DONDE SE HALLA PASADO,SONRIAN Y NUNCA PERMITAN QUE NADIE LOS HAGA SENTIR MENOS,TODOS SSOMOS IGUALES ANTES NUESTRO PADRECELESTIAL,AMEN!
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Comment by: Trevor (Dublin, Ireland.) Mon., Oct. 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm EDT
You know after reading most of those comments I feel rather depressed.
Look I was diagnosed with this bloody virus in June 2011 and part of me is still really devastated about it. But, the doctors that I have spoken to say that the future for positive people 'is now very bright'. So can we please dispense with all the negativity. Thank you.
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Comment by: pablo (colombia) Sun., Sep. 16, 2012 at 3:43 pm EDT
fui dianosticado en el 2002 , por una pequea gripa y no lo podia creer,no quice tomar los retrobilares hasta el 2006, hasta este momento me encuentro muy bien indetectable
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Comment by: rodney (fairfield,ca) Sun., Sep. 16, 2012 at 3:21 am EDT
i have had hiv for i think five years and day by day i get closer. i think i found a guy thats cool with it and he is clean. i always wanted to be loved by another man.
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Comment by: Michael (Miami,fl) Mon., May. 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm EDT
Rodney. I just got the news about my status 4 weeks ago and I'm still in shock. Love my life and Im going to do all my best to be well. finding someone is my biggest fear and I felt much better when I read this.
Be well


Comment by: Rigsier (Toluca, lake--Los Angeles Ca) Tue., Jul. 31, 2012 at 3:39 pm EDT
Yes i Live in Los angeles and my status. (+)
bot my situation now is under good control
Taking my
Meds. The bad thing appening is my moral
Pain cannot tolerate sofar .....

Feel lonely .... I need friends with equal circumstances
Please ... Be my friend
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: werner (south africa) Fri., Dec. 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm EST
hi just be strong
Comment by: Beto (Los Angeles) Wed., Feb. 13, 2013 at 10:42 pm EST
Stay strong. You are not lonely. I live in Los Angeles if you ever need a friend!


Comment by: marius (Santa Cruz, CA) Sat., Jul. 21, 2012 at 5:07 pm EDT
ive been here in the united states for 12 months for my studies and volunteer job. recently i was diagnosed with HIV, so deppressing having hiv being alone, ADAP covered up all my medications for free. Depression is hard to fight this time of my life to the extent that im thinking of going back to my country where its only 5% chance of medication for hiv, what would i do my friends? pls advice
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Comment by: Rigg (Los Angeles, Ca) Sat., Jul. 7, 2012 at 8:53 am EDT
I feel very lonely and I need to share
Comments and talk experiences
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Comment by: Will (New Jersey) Sat., Sep. 15, 2012 at 2:03 am EDT
I totally get it feeling lonely and want you to know that someone cares.Try holding on to a smile and always a kind word it will go far.This will attract positive energy and make you feel better.
Comment by: John (North Carolina) Sun., Nov. 11, 2012 at 3:38 am EST
I feel the same at times. You want to just shout out I am HIV positive at the top of your lungs but afraid to. Trusting someone if you tell them and concerned if the friendship will weather such information without being stereo typed makes that feeling of loneliness worse.


Comment by: patricia (zimbabwe) Tue., Sep. 20, 2011 at 7:57 pm EDT
i would like to encourage pple out there to stay positive, just knw that Jesus is the hope for hiv, he is a my healer, there is no diesease he cannot heal.
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Comment by: jim (boston ma) Wed., Oct. 3, 2012 at 2:46 pm EDT
jesus does not cure disease, and he never will, u really need to get into reality
Comment by: Martin (London ) Wed., Feb. 13, 2013 at 1:18 pm EST
Patricia it's fine having your belief but you need to make sure you get medical care and access to anti-virals so you both stay healthy and it reduces your cHances of giving a partner HIV. So please look after your health by getting medical intervention. All the best


Comment by: David H. (San Francisco, CA) Sat., Feb. 26, 2011 at 9:11 pm EST
I was diagnosed a long time ago. I've gone through many Doctors, many jobs,many living situations. The long and short of it is this: even after a positive diagnosis, you still may live a long time, and have many things come up in your life -- things that don't have alot to do with HIV. Keep living. Don't let HIV define you. You hold firm to that definition --- donm't you ever give it up. You have alot of flying to do -- so get on with it.
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Comment by: Barbara P. (Florida) Thu., Sep. 23, 2010 at 8:12 pm EDT
I would tell that person to refuse to be discouraged in the face of this disease. Finding some medical assistance is paramount, then you can begin the search for a support network.

In fact, I would suggest that anyone who either practices high risk sex or has practiced high risk sex in the past to find a friend who has already been diagnosed and go through the recovery process with him.

That way, God forbid, if it ever happens to you, you will already know what to do... and you will already have a built-in support network already going.

I still remember the day when my son told me he had been diagnosed with AIDS, I immediately placed him on the Oxygen Therapy Program because that would prevent the virus from retro-combining in his system. I felt that it would work for him because I had read research of doctors curing AIDS with this therapy. Of course this was the intravenous type and because we couldn't find a doctor in America who would do that, we decided to try the oral method at home.That was 17 years ago and he is living very happily ever after, but only by the grace of God.

I always say that no drug can cure anything. Only God can. My son believes that this was God's way of getting his attention and he looks back in gratitude somedays for his AIDS.

He learned that God loves him, not because of whom he has sex with and not because of his lifestyle, but because he is who God made him as.

May God bless and keep every single one of you, as well.
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Comment by: Greg (London) Mon., Aug. 13, 2012 at 6:15 am EDT
Can you all stop talking about GOD and his power to cure it?! Wake up and educate yourself. This is a VIRUS that stays with you. GOD CANNOT CURE IT. FULL STOP! So please! I personally myself, do not need to hear this bollocks at the moment. I am here to get a support. IF I WANT your GOD bollocks I would simply go to CHURCH. The funny thing is that most of all these GOD comments come from Africans where he HIV level is alarming. Two faced?!


Comment by: Responsible (Indianaoplis, IN) Fri., Sep. 3, 2010 at 3:44 pm EDT
I know that those who have been diagnosed can't do anything to change their status, and must remain positive about it not being a "death sentence." However, I MUST inform those who have not been infected, and believe that HIV is just another one of those things, to PLEASE practice common sense when dealing with, and there are MANY of them out there, those who are oh so casual about having unprotected, anonymous sex because it "feels good." Just remember this: There are very FEW if any currently infected persons living with HIV that would continue on the same path if given that second chance. They ALL would run in the other direction knowing and living HIV today.
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Comment by: YOLANDA HENDERSON (HOUSE OF CHARITY MPLS MN) Thu., Aug. 19, 2010 at 8:09 pm EDT
PLEASE HELP ME TO FIND A COLLEGE THAT OFFER PROGRAMS FOR STUDY OF HIV AND AIDS ALSO GRANT PRORAMS SO i CAN GO TO COLLEGE AND INTERNSIP ALSO HAVE $ LEFT OVER TO START OWN THERAPUTICAL SPA
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Comment by: nomha (United Kingdom) Mon., Aug. 9, 2010 at 11:36 am EDT
Think positive all the time and don't allow ppl 2 discourage yu. What i believe all things are posible in Gods hands.
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Comment by: luis (chicago, il.) Sat., Jul. 24, 2010 at 9:04 pm EDT
the first time i knew? i was devastated: i saw my doctor's lips telling it me but i was wasn't in the room in that moment i was thinking in the short live i lived, i was 37. i was diagnosted back in april, 2010. 3 months later i'm feeling well again, thanks god my once-a-day pill doesn't give those weird dreams they talk about but mentally the most help i'm receiving from my closed friends who treat me if nothing never ever happen is what keeps me here and in balance with my life.
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Comment by: Stephanie (Rockingham, N.C.) Fri., Jul. 23, 2010 at 1:58 pm EDT
no matter what the situation is or how one contracted HIV my heart goes out to each and every one of you. who ever you are where ever you are im praying for you all. MAY GOD BLESS EVERYONE
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Comment by: sharon (nj) Tue., Jul. 13, 2010 at 10:14 pm EDT
Life goes on every one with hiv didn't asked for it hey hold u head up still
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Comment by: Sarah Mon., Mar. 18, 2013 at 8:59 am EDT
I love the positive attitude amazing


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