The HIV positive status brings along a whole range of different questions and concerns. Firstly, an HIV positive individual is often worried whether they will be accepted in the world that is often biased, especially towards persons who are infected with this wicked disease that is mostly known for being transmitted sexually. Therefore, HIV is often related to one’s – supposedly – promiscuous lifestyle, even though one might happen to get it from a long-term partner or via a contaminated blood transfusion. Still, the majority often don’t go so far in their thinking and they decide to be judgemental instead.
Secondly, HIV positive persons are often confused in terms of what to do first because they are often not well-informed about the disease despite the strong propaganda surrounding numerous anti-HIV campaigns over the years – or simply because they don’t have anyone with similar condition in their close proximity, which makes them even more scared, ashamed and non-willing to act quickly and ask for help.
It’s not over yet
On the other hand, there’s a psychological moment where an individual is basically petrified because they don’t know what to expect from the future, especially in terms of forming romantic or friendly bonds with other people. They are aware they might not be able to make friends or find a partner that easily, precisely due to mentioned prejudices. They often overlook the possibilities offered by specialized platforms dedicated exclusively to HIV dating because they are more inclined to traditional, old-school dating variants or perhaps haven’t considered an online dating as an option before. They are also confused regarding disclosure of their HIV status to their long-term partner or employer.
Science has come a long way
Still, the medicine has come a long way in the 21st century, and even there’s no cure for HIV yet, it’s important to mention that it’s possible to keep the infection under control and live a meaningful life. There are, however, some steps that need to be taken in order to get the most out of a current situation that will allow an individual to avoid potential depression, see where they are at the moment and move forward as quickly as possible.
A few facts about HIV
Nowadays, HIV infection is completely manageable disease, meaning that one can take an appropriate therapy, which is also called the antiretroviral therapy or ART, in order to keep the infection under control and give it a less chance to transform into a full-blown AIDS. The ART also decreases the possibility of a further HIV transmission, which is great.
On the other hand, facts show that individuals who started to take their therapy after they have tested positive for HIV, together with a series of necessary lab tests and searches are more likely to avoid the worst-case scenario. This series of lab tests and other necessary searches is called an HIV baseline evaluation that is often different for every individual due to specific nature of the infection itself. Still, this is an ideal moment to mention some of the most common questions that are in tight connection to all we mentioned above.
- Should I go and see a doctor even if I don’t feel sick?
Yes, this is of the utmost importance. Your doctor will get a better insight into your overall state by analyzing your physical condition, which will further help them determine the right therapy for you.
- Which tests are included in HIV baseline evaluation?
Drug-resistance testing is one of the most important tests because it can help a doctor determine which drugs won’t be effective against the virus – it’s something like antibiogram (which is done to determine which drugs are effective for different species of bacteria). There is also a viral load test that allows the doctor to see how much virus there is in blood – and lower the load, the better. The entire purpose of the HIV treatment, given that it can’t kill the virus, unfortunately, is to lower the viral load as much as possible. CD4, on the other hand, is the test that shows the number of cells of our immune system. HIV destroys these cells and it’s harder for a damaged immune system to fight off other infections so the higher the number of CD4 cells is a good sign. The person should also do additional tests for other sexually transmitted diseases because there is a risk of coinfection of HIV with another disease, which makes it more aggressive and more difficult to keep under control.
HIV positive status carries a lot of questioning, facing the prejudices and building up the internal strength in order to carry on. The advanced medicine achievements made living a longer, healthier life certain. The most important thing, though, is to process everything step by step, get informed, do the necessary tests and start taking therapy immediately.