First steps after your recent HIV diagnosis

It’s normal to be scared and overwhelmed after finding out you tested positive for HIV. Nowadays, HIV is considered a chronic treatable condition, so knowing your status is the best first step to staying healthy with medical treatment and self-care.

“About a million people in the U.S live with HIV, and about 1 in 7 don’t even realize they are infected,” said Ann Khalsa, MD, District Medical Group physician at Valleywise Health. “Please know that you do not need to cope with your HIV diagnosis alone. There are many resources to help you move forward with your life.”

Ann Khalsa, MD, District Medical Group physician at Valleywise Health

While there is still no cure for HIV/AIDS, it is definitely possible to manage the disease and live a long healthy life. We recommend taking these steps first:

See a medical provider promptly, even if you don’t feel sick.

It’s important to start HIV medicines, called antiretroviral therapy (ART), as soon as possible. ART prevents HIV from multiplying in the body, keeping your immune system strong. (Source: S Department of Health and Human Services)

Get and stay enrolled in health insurance.

There are many resources available to help individuals receive health care services, even for those not currently employed or eligible for insurance. At Valleywise Health, we can connect you to these resources, so you can take ART and live a long and healthy life. (Source: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program)

Protect others.

Taking HIV medicines daily and maintaining an undetectable level of virus in your blood can help to prevent passing the infection on to others. In addition, there is preventative medicine that your HIV-negative sex or drug partners can take to prevent getting the virus. At Valleywise Health, we can provide both treatment for you and preventative medication for your partner. (Source: gov)

Change your Diet.

Taking an active role in your care is essential to keeping you healthy longer. Eat fresh, whole foods like fruits, vegetables grains and lean protein. (Source: U.S Department of Health and Human Services)


Looking for more help? Valleywise Health is the largest provider of HIV-related medical care for adults in Arizona. Make an appointment today at 1-833-VLLYWSE (855-9973).

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