Posts Tagged ‘positive’
Here at MyHIVAIDSAwareness.com, we focus on researching credible and trustworthy sources of information. Our team thoroughly reviews the mountains of data – some opinion and some fact – to present simple personal solutions that can make a difference in living with HIV/AIDS.
We come across a tremendous amount of information that can be sometimes confusing and contradictory. We have identified these 25 things that you should know because they impact your actions and what path you take.
I have shared a favorite quote before, but I’d like to share it again. “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” ~Morpheus
DAY 1: The truth about HIV testing
The standard HIV test looks for the presence of HIV antibodies in your blood. It doesn’t test for the presence of the virus in your system. This means a lot when you are talking about knowing your status for sure.
Why is this important to you?
If you are infected with HIV, your body responds by producing special proteins to fight the infection. These are called antibodies and are part of your immune system response. An HIV antibody test looks for these antibodies in your blood, saliva or urine. If antibodies to HIV are detected in your body, it means you have been infected with HIV.
It takes most people 6 – 12 weeks to develop detectable HIV antibodies after infection. Very rarely, it can take up to 6 months and that usually means you have some other auto-immune disorder. It is very unlikely that it would take longer than 6 months to develop antibodies in your body.
The time between when you are infected and when your body produces antibodies is called the “window period”.
During the window period you will test negative for HIV antibodies, but could still be infected and transmit HIV to others. To avoid false negatives, antibody tests are recommended three months after potential exposure to HIV infection. A second test at six months will confirm you are HIV negative ONLY if you don’t have continued risk of exposure.
How does this affect your path?
It means that you could be infecting others for up to three months after you are infected and not know it because you test negative. Unless you don’t expose yourself to risk of HIV infection for a period of six months, you really don’t know for sure that you are HIV negative – no matter what your latest test says. To prevent potentially exposing others, you’ve got to assume you are HIV positive and take safe sex precautions.
The power is yours. Which path will you choose?
Part 2 of 4 Part Series
“Through my illness I learned rejection. I was written off. That was the moment I thought, Okay, game on. No prisoners. Everybody’s going down. “
In this second part of this series, I want to talk about knowing your opponent. You need to see your opponent to understand their game plan. You need to know all about HIV and how it plays the game.
I know that you might say that living with HIV is no game, but what is a game anyway? Isn’t it some form of contest where there are opponents and rules that decide the winner? It is no different when your opponent is HIV and winning means living the healthiest life possible.
What is HIV’s strategy to win? It is a simple strategy of finding the CD4 cells in your immune system and using them to replicate. By destroying the ability of the infected cells to do their job in the immune system, your body then loses the ability to fight many infections. HIV is tricky and it changes its attack over time by mutating.
But your opponent has a weakness that can be exploited. If HIV is not able to replicate and mutate as often as it would like, it can be put into the corner. A combination of HAART drugs creates problems for HIV replication, keeps the HIV offspring low, and reduces the possibility of HIV mutating.
HIV also doesn’t like healthy living, good nutrition and a toned physique.
For every person in this fight, there is a unique game with its own special set of rules for your body. Your strategy to fight HIV requires you understanding your opponent and how it fights in your body.
Here are five ways to give you the edge in fighting HIV and in life:
Be real, be authentic, and be yourself. There is no way you can face your opponent with blinders on and no way to win this battle without being in focus. Too often people spend incredible amounts of energy trying to bend themselves into something they’re not or hide from the truth.
Shower your HIV team with honesty. Your team is your lifeline and they deserve your honesty in sharing this battle with you. Tell your HIV doc the truth about your habits and experiences so they can craft a strategy that can win. Be upfront with your support team about how you feel and what you need.
Take a sincere interest in HIV. You have got to understand it to fight it. Take the steps necessary to be the expert on your body and its response to HIV. Be the first to know what is happening and what your next steps should be.
Always be positive. Positive is more than a diagnosis in your life. It is easy to pile on to a complaint fest or add to the chorus of negativity on living with HIV. But you can be the standout who is focused on the positive outcome. It doesn’t just make your life easier; it makes your immune system healthier.
Recognize others. Don’t forget that you aren’t in this battle alone. Your team is with you and this includes caseworkers, doctors, therapists, family and friends. Let them know how much you value what they do for you and the sacrifices they make for you.