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Nearly everyone who is HIV positive has questions about HIV that have never been answered – by your doctor, your friends or general reading.

This is a shame because nearly everything is easy to explain.

Finding out you are positive can be difficult, but it does get easier. The experience of coming to terms with HIV can even become very positive and life-changing.

Understanding your own health and treatment can help you feel more confident when talking to your doctor. It can also help you feel more in control when other things in life might be difficult. Supporting other people as an advocate can also be a positive experience.

HIV treatment (ART) is one of the most important successes of modern medicine. The science behind ART can be exciting.

ART has changed the outlook for HIV positive people. 

  • Treatment is now more effective and easier to take than ever before.
  • Life expectancy is similar to being HIV negative – especially if you are diagnosed early and begin treatment. Being HIV positive might actually help you live longer because you will access medical care throughout your life.
  • ART prevents HIV transmission. This means that our sexual partners, if they are HIV negative, are protected too. This should also help reduce the fear about HIV. It should help reduce stigma.
  • This resource looks at medical aspects of HIV including the HIV lifecycle and natural history, the impact of ART and even research into a cure.

Key points

  • Finding out that you are HIV positive can be tough.
  • For all the difficulties, HIV can also bring positive experiences.
  • The chance to learn about HIV and treatment can help you feel more in control of your health. It can help you have better health by being more confident with your doctor.
  • Helping others through this process can also be good.

Last updated: 27 May 2019.