We can guess that you have clicked on this link for one of two reasons:
- You are currently waiting for HIV test results; or
- You have recently tested positive for HIV.
For many, this period can be stressful, and sometimes lonely if you feel you have no one to talk to. It’s important to have others to share what you are going through. Many fear reaching out to tell others that they might be HIV positive or that they have been recently diagnosed. You are not alone, many people living with HIV (PHAs) have talked about the struggle when first diagnosed that was related to their fears of being judged and stigmatized. PHAs commonly talk about how their own personal feelings impacted their ability to reach out. We know that there is a lot of misinformation “out there” and that we still have work to do in the area of removing the stigma that is associated with HIV.
What we hear most from those newly diagnosed, or going through the testing process, is that they fear they will die, their life is over and that they will never be the same. We can tell you that a HIV+ diagnosis is not the end – people are living full lives, living longer than ever before, are working, planning families and more. With the right treatment and planning, as with any other illness, you can do well. The first step is reaching out.
We will help you through the process by providing support, education and referrals – the things we know best. For those who are newly diagnosed and are looking for more information on what to do and how to live well with HIV, great informationcan be found at CATIE, below
Starting Points is a great first step pamphletoriginally from Toronto People with AIDS Foundation and later adapted by CATIE.