A positive HIV diagnosis means you can still live a long, healthy life with proper treatment.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). There is currently no effective cure. Once people get HIV, they have it for life. But with proper medical care, HIV can be controlled. People with HIV who get effective HIV treatment can live long, healthy lives and protect their partners.
Most people who get HIV get it through anal or vaginal sex, or by sharing needles, syringes, or other drug-injection equipment (for example, cookers). But there are powerful tools that can help prevent HIV transmission.
Are there symptoms?
Some people have flu-like symptoms within 2 to 4 weeks after infection (called acute HIV infection). These symptoms may last for a few days or several weeks. Possible symptoms include
- Night sweats,
- Muscle aches,
- Sore throat,
- Swollen lymph nodes, and
- Mouth ulcers.
But some people may not feel sick during acute HIV infection. These symptoms don’t mean you have HIV. Other illnesses can cause these same symptoms.
See a health care provider if you have these symptoms and think you may have been exposed to HIV.
HIV treatment involves taking medicine that reduces the amount of HIV in your body.
- HIV medicine is called antiretroviral therapy (ART).
- There is no effective cure for HIV. But with proper medical care, you can control HIV.
- Most people can get the virus under control within six months.
- Taking HIV medicine does not prevent transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases.
U=U or Undetectable=Untransmittable means that people with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load—the amount of HIV in the blood—by taking antiretroviral therapy (ART) daily as prescribed cannot sexually transmit the virus to others.
At the following locations you can receive HIV Treatment:
- AIDS/HIV Immunology Center at The Miriam Hospital
- Open Door Health
- Thundermist Health Center
- Providence Community Health Center