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 via Zoom due to the Coronavirus pandemic but offer you safe spaces to meet with other people to share experiences of living with HIV.
Current Peer Support Sessions
The Lock-Down Sociall runs every Tuesday 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. We also have a game of bingo just for fun, which is a great way to get involved in the group.
Positive Space for Positive Women:
This is held every first Saturday of the month 13:30 – 15:00 and third Monday of the month at 19:00 – 20:30. This group is for HIV+ Women, and was set up to offer the opportunity to explore and discuss ALL things women related, sex, relationships, aging well with HIV.
Mens Talk Southwest:
Held every second and last Thursday of the month from 18:00 – 19:00. Mens Talk South West is a space whereby Men can talk ALL things men! This group often has special guests – HIV nurse specialist from different clinics across the Southwest and is a great resourse and freindly group for HIV+ men in the South West.
All groups provide a safe space to meet other people that have a shared experience!
That is a good enough reason to come along!
To find out more about joining our groups email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any concerns, questions or just want to speak to someone about HIV then you can contact us at email@example.com or on 0800 328 3508