16 October 2017 ~ Comments Off on Living With HIV: Facts You Need to Know

Living With HIV: Facts You Need to Know

There are a number of misconceptions and stigma attached when you get diagnosed with HIV, but fortunately over recent years these rumors have dwindled. Facts and accurate information have reached a lot of people and make them understand the disease better, along with understanding the situations of the people who have the disease and the lifestyle changes they must undergo because of testing positive in their HIV screening.

In Singapore, the number of HIV positive citizens rose to 6,685 based on a 2014 survey. That is equivalent to one person being HIV positive for every 826. The figures only remained consistent with new reported cases annually, and more often than not they continuously increase in count.

Living with HIV has been made bearable and easier to manage now thanks to the many advances in medicine and treatment. This article will present key basics on how to constantly keep in touch with your doctors, begin treatment, and manage lifestyle changes you need to make as you deal with life accordingly — as someone who is diagnosed with HIV.

Talk to your doctor

Constantly keeping in touch with your doctor for hiv screening tests in Singapore is important as you begin treatment. You must let them know of your diagnosis and cooperate with every question they may ask afterwards regarding your circumstances. Sometimes, they may also want to check your personal test results and get additional information about your diagnosis, such as how long it has been since you underwent the HIV testing, if you tested positive with other sexually-transmitted diseases, and how you were potentially exposed to the virus.

A physical exam is generally conducted during your first consultation, which helps your doctor establish a baseline or point of reference they can easily refer to as your condition progresses. You may also be subjected to a lot of blood tests to get your viral load checked as well as your CD4+ T-cell levels. The results of these tests will establish how much the virus has taken toll on your immune system.

Keep track of your condition

Diagnosis and treatment can get confusing at times, to the point of leaving you overwhelmed by all the medical jargon and various names of medications you have to familiarize. Keeping a journal alongside with you as you conduct your treatment is helpful especially in keeping track of all the information your doctor provides every session.

Jot down everything you need to remember such as any questions or concerns you have in mind, or anything you want to research further on. This is also essential once you start taking new medication, enabling you to keep track if it has any side effects on your body. You will be surprised just how much keeping log of the crucial information can help a lot in confronting the virus.

Find support

It is easy to wallow in negativity once you are diagnosed with the virus, but the thing is, you do not necessarily have to deal with the burden alone. Keep the weight off your shoulders because it might only drag you down. You need to deal with your condition with your head held high. Talking with others who are diagnosed, or has been diagnosed with the virus, will reassure you that you are not alone in your battles.

Support is out there, you just have to know where to find it. If you feel unsure in making choices about medication and treatment, talk it out with another person to offer you another perspective aside from your own. Find someone who is willing to listen. Start with opening up about the results of your anonymous HIV test to a loved one or a family member. Online support groups are available at your convenience, as well.

Adapt healthy lifestyle habits

Treatment does not stop after successfully availing the best medication for your case. Taking good care of your body in general can take better care of your well-being, especially now more than ever that you are diagnosed with HIV. Adapting healthy habits can prevent other possible complications brought by the infection like heart disease, obesity, and even cancer.

Start with eating a healthy and balanced diet with lots of vegetables and fruits, lean protein, and whole grains. Cut off on your junk food consumption and opt to eat whole foods instead. Always remember that good food is also good medicine. With your immune system compromised, you might as well put effort into maintaining it at its best as well as provide it with the ample energy it needs.

Change treatments when necessary

After some time, you might need to change treatments from the one you’ve grown quite used to because of a number of reasons. This is usually because of a decrease in drug absorption, poor adherence to the prescribed dosage, an ineffective combination of two different medicines, among the many others. Sticking onto the same antiretroviral therapy throughout isn’t always the case.

The fight against HIV requires you to explore and consider every treatment option possible. It’s better to consult your doctor about his professional opinion over the matter. It also won’t hurt to ask a second opinion from a different doctor in case you want to widen out your options further.

Your life does not stop after getting declared positive in a HIV testing. It’s okay to feel initially confused and overwhelmed, but at some point you have to learn how to deal with the illness with your head held high and be confident the disease won’t get a better hold over you. Thanks to the many great advances in the field of medicine, life with HIV has become easier to manage. You just have to know how to deal with the disease efficiently.

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