Did You Just Test HIV Positive?

Part of HIV and Me: An African American's Guide to Living With HIV

Did you just test HIV positive?
Joyce McDonald
"Hold on! Don't give up! You can still live a good life! Having HIV is not the end -- having no hope is."
-- Joyce McDonald, diagnosed in 1995
To read more about Joyce, click here.


In 2014, more than two out of every five people newly diagnosed with HIV were African American. More than 1.2 million Americans are now living with HIV.

We don't want to make light of what you're going through. Getting an HIV diagnosis may feel like the worst thing that has ever happened to you.

But pay attention to this: There is life after testing positive. Take a deep breath. No matter how alone and depressed you may feel right now, know that there is a big community of HIV-positive folks out there ready to provide information, support, advice and many other resources. This booklet can help you find the resources you need.

First, let's get something straight. All the fear, ignorance and prejudice about HIV and HIV-positive people may cause you to feel guilty, depressed or angry in ways that can be hazardous to your health. But you are not your illness. That's why it's vital to know the facts. Here are some steps you can take to deal with living with HIV.