My HIV Test Result is Positive
Firstly don’t panic. You have taken a really important first step in finding out your HIV status.
HIV is a long term, manageable condition, once it’s diagnosed. Honestly, HIV is just 3 letters, not a sentence.
If you are thinking do I have HIV? Finding out you have HIV early has two enormous benefits:
1. You will be able to start treatment as soon as you need it. Although there isn’t a cure for HIV, treatments are now so advanced that in the UK, with correct treatment at the correct time, you can live an active and healthy life and have a normal life expectancy. Early diagnosis is absolutely critical - the longer HIV goes undiagnosed, the more damage it will do to your body. The drug treatments that are available prevent the virus from reproducing and limit the damage to your immune system.
2. HIV is most commonly passed on through unprotected sex (vaginal or anal sex without a condom). Condoms are proven to prevent HIV transmission. It is really important you use condoms, as having unprotected sex will put yourself and others at risk.
If you are confirmed to be HIV positive, this means you have the virus in your body - it doesn't mean you are ill, or that you have AIDS.
AIDS is an advanced stage of HIV infection and only happens after someone goes a long time without treatment. Not having treatment for HIV infection eventually weakens the immune system and a person cannot effectively fight even the most common illnesses.