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HIV and you

“Staying curious is key. When I hear from others, I learn about myself. And when I ask questions, I start to see things differently.”

Living with HIV is not what it used to be. If you have HIV, there are many things you can do to help take care of yourself.

HIV treatment is more than just taking pills. It’s about having strong relationships and making lifestyle changes that work for you. This could mean changing your diet, stress levels, exercise, and sleep habits, as well as paying extra attention to your day-to-day health.

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Telling others

It’s common to feel nervous or afraid to tell people that you have HIV. But telling people may make you feel better and closer to your friends, family, and loved ones.

Here are some things to think about when telling others:

  • Support is often closer than you think. Try to find someone who can support you. If you have not told any family or close friends yet, think about talking to your healthcare provider, social worker, counselor, or case manager.
  • Everyone reacts differently. Your friends and family may accept your HIV status—or they may need some time to understand. They may even become a big part of your support team.
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Eating right

Even small changes in your diet can make a difference. That’s why it’s important to think about what you eat and drink.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What are some things about my diet I need to think about?
  • Where can I find healthy foods in my area?
  • Is there someone at my ASO who can help me come up with a plan?
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Practicing safer sex

To protect you from other sexual infections and to help prevent transmitting HIV to your partner, it’s important that you practice safer sex.

Keep these things in mind if you are going to have vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone:

  • Tell them about your HIV status.
  • Make sure to use protection every time. Using protection may stop HIV from spreading.
  • Check for cuts, open sores, or bleeding gums on your body and your partner’s body. These may increase the risk of spreading HIV.
  • If you are both HIV-positive, you still need to practice safer sex. You can spread STDs or be infected with a different strain of HIV.
Erin