Living With HIV


If you've been diagnosed with HIV, you may have questions about what it means for you. You may feel confused and scared. But you can live a full and happy life with HIV. These tips can help.

Take an active role in your own care

First, take an active role in your own care. Find a doctor you like, and get regular checkups. Learn all you can about HIV. Ask questions when you don't understand something. And take all of your medications as directed. That will help keep the amount of HIV in your body as low as possible and slow the progression of the disease.

Tell others

Even though it can be uncomfortable, you need to disclose your HIV status to anyone you may have exposed to the virus. Your sex partners need to know. If you are a drug user and you have shared a needle with anyone, they need to know, too. If you're having trouble doing this, there are notification services that can help you do it without revealing your name.

Be responsible

And now that you know your status, take steps to protect others. Be honest and upfront about your diagnosis. Practice safe sex. Your doctor can tell you all the precautions you and your partners can take to prevent the spread of the virus.

Get support

Finally, an HIV diagnosis can be emotionally overwhelming. So reach out. Talk to others. For many people, a support group is helpful. It can let you connect with others who have been through what you're experiencing. If you are feeling depressed, tell someone. Talk to your doctor so you can get the treatment you need.


If you take an active role in your care and follow your doctor's advice, you can learn to manage your HIV successfully.