Being diagnosed with HIV can be challenging and raise lots of questions. Fortunately there are lots of services to support you in Sheffield.
Receiving a positive diagnosis can cause any number of emotional responses including surprise, anger, fear and shame, other people may feel emotionally numb – not knowing how to feel or react. It’s really important for you to know that there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to react, and that the main thing is for you to take the time you need to explore your feelings and to ask for the support you need to stay as healthy as possible.
When you receive a positive diagnosis, there are many options for help and support. At the time of testing you will be offered the opportunity to talk about your feelings about the diagnosis, and to ask as many questions as you might have about how your life will be affected. Don’t worry if you forget to ask anything, or can’t take everything in – this is to be expected – you can always ask again at another time when you are more able to take the information in.
There are a range of different services available to support you in managing your positive diagnosis, whether around treatment options, daily living or finding peer support networks. For more information please visit our services section.
For some people, receiving a positive diagnosis comes at a time when the virus has started to damage their immune system and they are feeling ill. The medical team might refer to this as a ‘late diagnosis’. If you are diagnosed at this point it might feel overwhelming trying to take in all the information being given to you, your emotional state along with your physical health.
This can be a really difficult time and you might have a range of confusing feelings about your late diagnosis, but you should know that you are not alone – in fact the Health Protection Agency states that almost a third of all HIV positive adults in the UK received a late diagnosis, and this does not take into account all those living with HIV who do not know their status.
What is important is that while receiving a late diagnosis can be serious, and may require you to adapt to your diagnosis more quickly, you and your medical team can work closely to find the best treatment to support your health and wellbeing. For more information about the different treatment options available to you please visit our HIV & You section.
Receiving a positive diagnosis
Upon receiving a positive diagnosis, you will naturally have many questions about how it will change your life. Please use the hyper-links below for further information to what some of those questions might be:
- How is HIV treated?
- Where can I go for treatment?
- Where can I go for support?
- What can I do to look after myself?
- Can I still have a family?
- What about sex and relationships?
- How do I deal with people treating me differently?
- Do I have to tell anyone? – See Also: HIV and Work
Some of the information on this page has been sourced from www.myhiv.org.uk