Have you been recently diagnosed HIV+?
- If you're diagnosed with HIV, you'll have blood tests which will monitor the progress of the HIV. This will be a HIV viral load test – a blood test that monitors the amount of HIV virus in your blood. You will also have CD4 lymphocyte cell count – which measures how the HIV has affected your immune system.
- Treatment, referred to as Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) can usually be expected to start straight away. This can be as simple as one or two tablets a day.
- You can live well with successful HIV treatment reaching an Undetectable Viral Load. This will mean you are untransmittable, unable to pass HIV on to another person. This is referred to as U=U, Undetectable = Untransmittable.
Want to know more visit NAM About HIV | aidsmap
Living Well with HIV – What does this mean for me?
- You can expect to live as long as someone who is not HIV+ Great News!
- Be sure to take your tablet as prescribed by you HIV consultant – this is referred to as Medication Adherence
- Attend your appointments at the clinic – this plays a big part to living well with HIV
- Look after your Mental Health – it is not unusual to experience low mood, anxiety, feel as if your concentration is impaired, and insomnia. (This list is not exhaustive) This could be a sign of depression – if this is the case chat to your clinic as they may have a professional you can talk to, if not they will be able to refer you to a specialist mental health service. To find services available in your area please visit Mental health charities and organisations - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
If you are looking to access Peer Support Groups?
Well, The Eddystone Trust just might have the right group for you.
All our groups are available to HIV+ people living in the Southwest and are currently held online, are facilitated, have guest speakers and are a safe space for a check in as well as the opportunity to meet with other people to share experiences of living well with HIV.
Current Peer Support Sessions
Positive connections for all.
This is a mixed group and runs every Tuesday, excluding the last Tuesday of the month from 18:45 – 20:45. We welcome HIV+ people, this is a group that offers a ‘Real Peer Support experience’, where you can meet and discuss Living Well with HIV.
Positive connections for men
Held fortnightly on a Thursday from 19.00 – 20.30. This group provides a space whereby Men can talk ALL things men! A safe space and friendly group for HIV+ men in the Southwest.
Positive Space for Positive Women
Held on the last Tuesday of the month from 18.45 – 20.45, this group provides the opportunity to meet other HIV+ women for group discussion. It’s a safe, positive, and friendly space for women across the southwest.
Positive connections newly diagnosed
Positive connections for carers
All groups provide a safe space to meet other people that have a shared experience!
That is a good enough reason to come along!
If you haven’t been to a peer group before why not give it a try – it’s a great space to enjoy a couple of hours and support each other through our individual journeys and shared experiences, everybody is welcome even if it’s just to listen to others.
To find out more about joining our groups email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any concerns, questions then head over to our HIV frequently asked questions page by clicking here or if you just want to speak to someone about HIV then you can contact us at email@example.com or on 0800 328 3508