YOU DON'T HAVE TO ROLL OVER AND DIE!
Thinking about starting HIV treatment? You’re in luck: People diagnosed with HIV today have dozens of options, including some medications you take only once a day.
The key to treating HIV is adherence: Taking your meds every day, as prescribed, to keep the virus suppressed. Missing doses or stopping treatment can allow HIV to become “drug resistant,” meaning certain medications no longer keep the virus in check.
Finding a treatment regimen that is right for you—and learning ways to stick with it — can help you live long and well with HIV. Here’s a roadmap for your HIV treatment journey:
1. Find an HIV specialist :
As soon as you test positive, the first thing to do – even if you don’t feel sick – is find a medical provider who is has plenty of experience treating HIV.
- Ask for referrals at an HIV/AIDS organization in your area
- Search this online directory for a provider near you
- Not sure what to look for in an HIV doc? Try this “My Ideal Provider” checklist.
2. Get Connected :
The emotional and physical challenges ahead can be difficult; it’s important to have supportive people around to help you face them. We offer a variety of counseling and support groups for HIV-positive people, including Positive Force, a program providing 1:1 peer counseling and social events for gay, bisexual, and transgender men in the San Francisco Bay Area.
3. Educate yourself :
An essential part of staying healthy (and protecting others) is learning about HIV and its treatment. That's why we publish BETA Blog. From tips on talking with your doc to the latest word on HIV meds, the BETA Blog can help you stay on top of your HIV health.
Gay, bi, and trans guys in the Bay Area can participate in PLUS <em(positive living="" for="" us)<="" em="">, a weekend-long workshop for those newly dealing with an HIV diagnosis, and other educational events offered by our Positive Force program.
4. Remember :
With treatment and regular medical care, HIV today is a manageable disease. In fact, recent studies say HIV-positive people can have normal life spans with effective treatment that keeps their immune systems healthy. Take advantage of the resources listed above, and take care of yourself!