Taking Care of Your Health: Managing HIV
HIV or human immunodeficiency virus is more common than you think. It’s not something to be ashamed of nor something you should keep a secret. Many women suffer in silence because they are scared of what society will think of them. But, living with HIV means nothing. It does not define you: it’s just something you deal with in your life.
Taking care of yourself while dealing with HIV is manageable, but because of all the stigma behind it, many women don’t learn how. If you’ve just been diagnosed, or still feel like you’re alone in this, let’s go over how to manage your HIV without letting your disease control you.
First know that you are not your disease. HIV does not define who you are.
It is unfortunately something that you must deal with, but that doesn’t mean you should let it control you. No matter how you contracted the virus, it does not reflect negatively on you.
Trying to hide it or deny it will not help you. In fact, this will make things much worse. The best way to handle having HIV is learning how to accept it. Then you can seek outside help. That way you won’t have the burden of shame or guilt riding with you as you heal, recover, and begin new relationships.
Seeing a Doctor
It’s important to see a doctor once you are sure you have HIV. This illness cannot be left untreated under any circumstances. It’s something that you need the help of a medical professional to manage.
A doctor will lead you in the right direction with medication and future steps. If you go to a doctor, make sure the doctor you see specializes in managing HIV and other similar diseases. They’ll give you medication, provide support, and help you with seeking further resources like therapy.
Medication and Management
There are plenty of medicines that are used to treat HIV. Finding the right one for you is important. There are pills, patches, and therapy. The combinations of medicine are called antiretroviral therapy and are unique for every case.
Make sure you talk with your doctor before starting any medications. It might not be the first or the second medication that works for your body, but eventually, you’ll get there.
Once you find the right combo, the medication will make your life a whole lot easier. But make sure that you let your doctor know if you’re feeling any adverse side effects.
Do your research on all medication options, even after your doctor prescribes you a specific type. Not all medications are tested the same, which means that people can be at risk for side effects depending on the meds they take.
One example of a HIV medication manufacturer that triggered many adverse reactions in users is Gilead, whose brand names are Atripla, Truvada, among others.
Recently, several HIV patients filed a Truvada lawsuit against Gilead. These patients have claimed to be suffering from severe side effects such as acute kidney failure and osteoporosis. If you have been taking these meds, you might be entitled to compensation. You should be getting yourself back on track as soon as possible with a new medication.
Even though there are dangerous medications on the market, this should not lead you astray from seeking help. Most medication will manage and treat your HIV symptoms so that you do not have to suffer any longer. Just be sure to research and even get a second opinion.
A lot of HIV positive people think they have to experience their illness alone, and that they have to keep others away. But you don’t have to go through this alone. Find people who truly understand by joining a support group for HIV positive people in your area. Talking about what it feels like to have HIV can bring a lot of clarity and peace.