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Persons Living With HIV: Important Facts to Know

Persons Living With HIV: Important Facts to Know

When people talk about HIV, they usually talk about how to avoid it, or what to do in case you get infected. But not a lot of people talk about how life is like for persons living with HIV.

Read on to learn more about their experiences, struggles, and how they cope with their condition.

What Life Is Like For Persons Living With HIV

Even to this day, a lot of people are still in the dark about HIV and AIDS. Not everyone is aware of how people get infected, and this can lead to stigma and prejudice against those who are HIV-positive1.

This stigma is the reason why some persons with HIV avoid talking about their condition in public, or even with their friends and loved ones. They’re scared that they might be judged harshly, or treated differently once other people find out about their condition.

One way of stopping the spread of misinformation is through education. By learning more about HIV, and what HIV-positive persons go through, people can have a better understanding of what HIV really is.

Here are some things that everyone needs to know about persons living with HIV:

HIV Can Be Managed Through Medication

For the longest time, being diagnosed with HIV was similar to a death sentence. This was because, at the time of the first HIV outbreaks, there was no form of treatment that was able to suppress or manage the condition.

But these days, persons living with HIV can take advantage of ART or antiretroviral therapy2. This medication can’t cure HIV, but if taken every day, it can significantly lower the amount of HIV in a person’s blood.

Persons undergoing ART for years can eventually have an undetectable viral load. This means that they are still infected, but the chances of them infecting other people are essentially zero.

However, this can only happen if the person takes the medication every day. Another caveat is that ART can be fairly expensive, and not everyone with HIV is able to afford the medication.

Persons Living With HIV Can Have Healthy and Active Lives

Another important thing to know is that persons who have HIV aren’t necessarily sickly, nor do they need to avoid being active. By undergoing ART, eating the right foods, and engaging in regular exercise, persons with HIV can have the same quality of life as those who don’t have HIV.

It’s also important for them to check in regularly with their doctor3. This is because as they grow older, they might develop certain health problems, or different symptoms of HIV could manifest. By keeping in touch with their doctor, it enables them to always be on top of their health.

Persons Living With HIV Come From Different Backgrounds

One of the most common ways that people get infected with HIV is through sexual intercourse. And in a conservative country such as the Philippines, this fuels the stigma against people who are HIV positive.

Persons living with HIV come from all sorts of backgrounds, and all of them have their own stories to tell. What they need is our understanding and support, not our judgment4.

Key Takeaways

When it comes to HIV, one of the most powerful weapons that we have is education. It is important to educate people on what they can do to avoid being infected, as well as spreading HIV.

It’s also important for people to not treat persons with HIV any differently. Their condition can be managed, and simply interacting or being with someone who has HIV doesn’t mean that you will get infected.

Learn more about HIV/ AIDS here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

  1. Facts about HIV Stigma | HIV Basics | HIV/AIDS | CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/hiv-stigma/index.html, Accessed July 26, 2021
  2. amfAR :: Basic Facts About HIV: The Foundation for AIDS Research : HIV / AIDS Research, https://www.amfar.org/facts-about-hiv-and-aids/, Accessed July 26, 2021
  3. Taking care of yourself when living with HIV | Avert, https://www.avert.org/living-with-hiv/health-wellbeing/taking-care-of-yourself, Accessed July 26, 2021
  4. Facts about HIV and AIDS | Office on Women’s Health, https://www.womenshealth.gov/hiv-and-aids/hiv-and-aids-basics/facts-about-hiv-and-aids#:~:text=The%20Centers%20for%20Disease%20Control,of%20the%20epidemic%20in%201981., Accessed July 26, 2021
  5. Healthy Living | Living With HIV | HIV Basics | HIV/AIDS | CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/livingwithhiv/healthy-living.html, Accessed July 26, 2021
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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Apr 21
Medically reviewed by Michael Henry Wanat