For many people, there will be many emotions when testing positive for HIV, and it may come as a bit of a shock.
You might have a lot of questions about how you contracted HIV, what happens next, whether you can have children, whether you can work, travel or have sex again.
The most important thing to know is that HIV isn’t what it used to be in the 80s and 90s. There are very effective treatments which can minimise the effects of it on your life.
People who are diagnosed early and start treatment immediately can expect to remain healthy and have a normal life span. This is because modern treatments work really well at controlling the virus in your body. After 3-6 months, we’d expect you to have an undetectable viral load. This means that even if you have sex without a condom, you will not be able to pass HIV to others. You can also be the biological parent of a child without HIV.
When you are diagnosed with HIV, we will recommend various blood tests so that our medical team can give you the best care possible. If you feel ready we can start treatment right away.
We can help answer questions about who (if anyone) you might tell, disclosing to sexual partners, how you might meet other people living with HIV, and any other concerns you might have about moving forward.
With the right care and support, there is no reason why HIV should get in the way of your future life and happiness.
To find out more about emotional and practical support click here