Top 8 Tips on Living Well with HIV

Living with HIV is not only a physical battle, but an emotional one as well. Let's explore 8 tips that will help you optimize your health and well-being while living with and managing HIV. 

Dealing With a New Diagnosis

Human blood and chemistry samples awaiting lab testing
Human blood and chemistry samples awaiting lab testing. Getty Images/Rafe Swan/Cultura

You've tested what? Finding out you have HIV will change your life but doesn't have to control your world. Take a deep breath and start at the beginning. Here are the first steps to taking an active role in your health. 

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Conquering Depression in HIV

Man sitting at kitchen table with hands on face
Man sitting at kitchen table with hands on face. Getty Images/Aleli Dezmen/Cultura

Everyone has days when they feel a little "blue" — we all have been "down in the dumps" or felt "blah" But when these feelings last longer than a couple weeks, you may be suffering from depression. Learn about the cause of depression in HIV, the signs and symptoms, and the treatments available. 

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Finding the Right Doctor

Doctor talking to patient
Doctor talking to patient. Getty Images/Portra Images/Taxi

How do you choose the right healthcare provider to help you manage your HIV? What is an HIV specialist? What should you inquire about at your first doctor's appointment? What are your rights as a person living with HIV? Answers to these questions will be addressed in this brief guide on finding the proper care.

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Learning About HIV

HIV infection, artwork
HIV infection, artwork. Getty Images/Science Photo Library/Brand X Pictures

Myths and misconceptions make it difficult for those living with HIV. Learn ten important facts about HIV, like what HIV is and how it affects your body, how to tell someone you have HIV, and how to protect your partner if you have HIV. Knowledge is power and will only make you a better advocate for your own health. 

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Understanding HIV Medications

Man holding HIV medication cocktail
Man holding HIV medication cocktail. Getty Images/Bruce Forster/Photographer's Choice

There are a number of antiretroviral drugs — 27 individual drug agents to be precise— to help treat your illness. Learn the basics about these medications, like their names, dosages, and side effects. This will help you be a partner with your doctor in determining the best treatment regimen for you. 

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Adhering To Your HIV Medications

Man taking medicine
Man taking medicine. Getty Images/BSIP/UIG/Universal Images Group

The purpose of your HIV therapies is to lower the amount of HIV in your body and improve your immune system. But these therapies only work if you take them everyday — and this is easier said than done due to the potential side effects. Here are some tips and tricks to help improve your medication adherence and optimize your HIV health. 

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Paying the Bills

Woman with bills and medication
Woman with bills and medication. Getty Images/Image Source

Paying for HIV care is a huge undertaking. Let's take a peek at the various services and programs that are available to help you manage the financial difficulties of living with HIV. One program in particular, called the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program, works with a person's community to provide healthcare funds to over a half a million people living with HIV each year. 

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Staying Healthy and Get Vaccinated

Female nurse filling syringe
Female nurse filling syringe. Getty Images/Hero Images

Prevention is key to maximizing your health when living with HIV. Getting vaccinated is one way to prevent serious, sometimes life-threatening infections. Learn about what vaccines your doctor will recommend as a person living with HIV.

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