Are you newly diagnosed with HIV or AIDS and feeling lost, feeling overwhelmed, scared, nervous and completely overwhelmed?
Are you just now thinking: I have HIV and I just need ANSWERS ?!?!
You have come to the right place… I’m Josh Robbins and although I am not a doctor or therapist, I understand exactly how you feel. I’ve been there and you probably found this page after you have spent hours searching online for anything and everything that will give you hope, that will finally “ANSWER the simple HIV questions” that you want and you need answered… I understand how you feel because I was searching online just like you have been just a couple years ago.
So let’s dig in and hopefully my experience with HIV will help answer your questions after recently being diagnosed with HIV. And after checking out this page, email me if you have more questions, firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond.
Remember, my answers to the HIV questions below are just my opinion– and I’m just an HIV activist and peer advocate… I am not a doctor, nor a lawyer, nor a charity, nor am I qualified to treat or offer medical advice.
These answers to the following HIV questions are based on my personal experience living with HIV and they may or may not work for you. Please contact a hospital or call 911 if you are having an emergency. I offer support for the newly diagnosed with HIV and AIDS by providing my answers to these questions from my experience living HIV-positive.
QUESTIONS about HIV – ANSWERS from Josh Robbins, Peer Patient Health Advocate for imstilljosh.com
Am I going to die from HIV?
No! Well, probably not, but I contacted a doctor immediately (like days) after learning of my diagnosis. You should be looking for a local HIV specialist, or a case manager with a local HIV service organization. They can help you get that going. It’s important not to wait on this first visit because you need to know which medication options you will have and decide how you want to tackle this. Waiting isn’t really a good solution.
Do I need an HIV doctor?
Yes! I found a doctor by asking my local HIV nonprofit for a recommendation. They also helped me deal with my insurance (and assisted me with all my insurance questions). Do not delay getting started because you think you can’t afford to go to the doctor or can’t afford the meds. It will all work out!
Do I need to start taking HIV drugs?
HIV medications are allowing many with HIV and AIDS to live well and a long time. I am thankful for the current meds on the market and the side effects aren’t what they used to be. I’m looking forward to living a long time because of advances in HIV meds! So view the medication as the big assist to living!
Who do I call?
I called my local HIV service organization within 24-hours of finding out I had HIV. Listen though, if it takes you a few days or a week, that’s okay too. You know yourself better than anyone.
Who should I tell?
I chose to tell my family ASAP, but I know people who haven’t told their families or friends even after living with HIV for years.. It’s a choice that I made to tell people and I felt safe and not in harm doing so. But I understand it’s a big decision. I only told people that I was absolutely sure I was ready to tell! So be sure you are ready before you share the information, if ever.
Who should I not disclose my HIV status to yet?
I didn’t tell anybody I didn’t want to know or that I wasn’t comfortable telling. If I questioned whether I should tell someone, I waited to tell them. I did, however, know that if I chose to have sex again, that I would have to tell them prior to sex. The HIV laws are tough on that where I live and many other states. They are tough and unfair laws— but they are the law for now.
Why am I scared of being HIV-positive?
I was scared because I wasn’t informed and knowledgeable about how to succeed with living well with HIV. Once I got answers and help, I was mentally back in the game. I also got a therapist. I’m glad that I did. Other people have told me they got one as well and it helped. This is a lot of information to process on your own. A therapist is a cool way to talk and work through it. When you call the HIV service organization, tell them you want to speak to a therapist as well. It didn’t cost me anything.
Why do I feel like I will never find love now that I am HIV Poz?
I was scared of never having sex again, never falling in love, never being loved or accepted. After two years, I can tell you– I have had sex again, I found a partner of 6 years. And even though I’m recently single again, it had nothing to do with my HIV diagnosis. (I guess I was just a bad boyfriend. Haha! Jk!)
What HIV medication should I start taking?
This decision for me was personal and very important– and I talked with my doctor about it. I realized starting meds was important and should happen quickly — when we felt I should begin treatment. My doctor is awesome! So talk to your doctor and share any questions or concerns.
What websites should I start reading?
I read TheBody.com, healthline.com, Poz.com, and of course http://Imstilljosh.com. Duh!
Is HIV real? I am reading tons of stuff online that says it is not.
Yes. I think some of those people are really talented at making great fake news stories seem real and verified. I don’t believe their factually-wrong ideals. HIV is real. Period. Don’t let them get you off the track to living well by listening to their hoax junk.
Who can I trust?
This is a personal question that I had to answer for myself. You must figure that out for you.
Where do I find an HIV doctor?
I asked my local HIV service organization and they offered me some great resources.
Is there a cure for HIV coming out soon?
I hope so! But until, I am living so well already, tho!
Should I wait for answer from you before I contact a local HIV service organization?
I didn’t wait on anybody before I called my local HIV service organization. I wanted to take control of my HIV health!