I Am Here
I am here for you. Those are the words that I wish I had heard right after I was diagnosed with HIV back in 2014. So, if you are newly diagnosed and reading this, then I am telling you that “I am here for you.”
I can honestly and genuinely tell you that because I know exactly how you are feeling because I used to be in the same place you are right now.
I used to constantly wonder about things like disclosing my status to the people that I love, which included my family and my friends. I used to wonder how I would ever date again and how I would tell my potential sexual partners that I was HIV positive.
I would wonder how I was supposed to remember to take a pill every day for the rest of my life. I am telling you now that you can and will do all of these things. Sometimes all you really need is a little support from someone who has been through it or someone who cares and will listen.
I did not realize how strong I was and how much I had to overcome so many obstacles around my new status. I am not saying that getting a new diagnosis isn’t hard, but it does get easier as time passes and you learn more about yourself and your diagnosis. I remember when I was newly diagnosed, and I instantly wanted to freak out about it.
Learning as someone who was newly diagnosed
I was almost twenty-one and did not know much about HIV other than that it was a virus that attacked your immune system. Before you start to panic, you need to research what HIV really is and how it can affect the body. You should research the types of medications that are out there that are available for you to take to get yourself to an undetectable viral level.
You should also start to research what U = U (Undetectable = Untransmittable) stands for because something as important as this can start to give you peace of mind. U = U means that people who are HIV positive and have an undetectable level of the virus in their blood are not able to transmit the virus to others when they are on treatment.
Disclose your status when you are ready
Another piece of advice that I can give you and that really helped me is not to disclose to anyone until you are ready and you really understand exactly what the virus is doing to your body. My reasoning behind this is when I first told my closest friend about my new diagnosis, he had so many questions about it.
Unfortunately, I did not have all the answers for either one of us. A few months later, when I told my mother, I knew she would have the same questions, and this time I had all the answers for both of us. This time I did my research and was already at an undetectable viral level and taking my medication daily.
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