So, you’ve tested positive for HIV? You are not alone, and one of approximately 35,000 people living with HIV (PLHIV) in Australia. There is no right or wrong way to respond, but it is important that you know QPP provide expert support for people newly diagnosed with HIV.
When you received your HIV diagnosis, you probably reacted in a way that most people do after receiving the news: shock, anxiety, worry, stress, confusion, anger, depression, shame or perhaps you adjusted very well because you had trusted and knowledgeable loved ones.
When you test positive, it is common that people feel overwhelmed by information. Here are a few key points to try and remember:
- You are not alone; there is community and there is QPP.
- Watch the online films Need Help Talking.
- Being HIV positive does not mean you have AIDS.
- PLHIV are able to live long and well because of improvements in treatment. Talk to your doctor.
- Although sex might be the last thing on your mind at this point, you deserve to have a full and satisfying sexual life – just like everyone else.
- There are exciting new ways to reduce your risk of transmitting HIV – talk to us.
Being told you have a HIV diagnosis is never easy, but living with and coping with HIV does get better with time. This is especially true when connected to other PLHIV and keeping up your regular clinical appointments such that treatment can be started when it is necessary for your individual needs.
HIV treatment these days can be as simple as taking one pill once a day. Side effects of modern treatments tend to be low. The vast majority of PLHIV on treatment go on to live a relatively normal lifespan and live a healthy life.
Many people worry about passing on HIV or getting a different type of HIV. Relax, and contact QPP or check out our Prevention: Transforming HIV section of the website.
QPP runs several “Aware” workshops specifically designed for people newly diagnosed with HIV. The Aware one day workshop covers topics including:
- HIV disclosure
- HIV & the law
- Community services
Please read more about our programs online, or call toll free from a land-line on 1800 636 241, use the contact form provided or call (07) 3013 5555 (national) to speak to one of our knowledgeable staff about enrolling in the next Aware workshop, or for a Peer Support & Communications Officer.