Newark, NJ – Being newly diagnosed with HIV can be a scary and uncertain time in one’s life. As expected, many patients have unanswered questions and concerns after being told they have tested positive for HIV. Years ago, such a diagnosis carried a notion that death was inevitable from the infection. With great strides in early detection and medical treatment, an infected person can expect to enjoy a long, healthy life, but only if he/she makes positive choices to seek medical care and carefully follow a treatment plan. For those newly diagnosed, seeking medical care should be the first step.
The NJ AIDS STD Hotline received a call from a friend of a newly diagnosed HIV positive individual. The friend wanted to get into care but, being a new resident of New Jersey, he did not know where to turn for help. The New Jersey AIDS/HIV/STD Hotline is a great resource for HIV positive individuals trying to manager their infection. A health care professional at the hotline was able to connect the caller’s friend to a navigator who got him into care within 24 hours.
In care, patients will learn the benefits and risks of HIV treatment, as well as, how to reduce the risk of spreading HIV to others. Patients and their health care providers work together to make important decisions; for example when to start treatment and what HIV medicines to use. The earlier medical care is started the better. The main goal of treatment is to fight the virus in the body so the person can stay healthy longer. By taking the medicines the way in which they were prescribed, patients give themselves the best chance for the treatment to work and prevent spreading HIV to others.