How to take back control of your life
Take Control HIV is a sister website to Keep Relationships Real that provides support for individuals living with HIV and empowers them to get the care they need. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. While there is no cure for HIV, there are medications that allow you to live your life to the fullest and also help prevent you from giving HIV to others.
What is Take Control HIV doing?
Despite there being more treatment options than ever before, HIV stigma continues. HIV stigma is negative attitudes and beliefs about people living with HIV. This may look like:
- Believing only certain people can get HIV
- Making judgements about people living with HIV
- Thinking that people deserve to get HIV because of their choices
HIV stigma can lead to discrimination or treating people living with HIV differently because of those negative attitudes and beliefs. Individuals living with HIV can have T feelings of fear, shame, and isolation, which can also impact emotional well-being. Often, stigma and discrimination may prevent people from getting tested for HIV or from seeking help.
Take Control HIV decreases HIV stigma and fear to empower people to take control of their life and to live life to the fullest. On the Take Control HIV website, you can find blogs that cover a variety of topics related to HIV that include taking care of your mental health and relationships. If you have questions about HIV, there is a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page that allows you to explore the questions you have. There even is a free downloadable booklet that is an all-in-one place for your upcoming appointments, tracking your CD4 count and viral load, and for any notes or questions that you have for your medical provider.
Why is HIV Testing important for family planning?
HIV is commonly spread through anal and vaginal sex, as well as sharing needles or syringes. This means that you can spread HIV to your partner if you and your partner are not using condoms or if your HIV viral load is detectable. If your viral load is undetectable from continually taking your HIV medicine, there is effectively no chance of spreading HIV through sex (anally or vaginally). You may also have heard of the term PrEP, which stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. PrEP are pills that a person can take to prevent them from getting HIV.
HIV can also be spread from a pregnant person to her child. However, with advances in research, prevention, and treatment, the chance of spreading HIV to your baby is very low as long as you are taking your HIV medications. If you are living with HIV and are planning on having a baby, talk to a healthcare provider about your options to reduce the chance of spreading HIV to your baby.
Where can I get tested for HIV or find support if I have HIV?
If you think that you may have HIV or are looking for support for HIV treatment, there are many healthcare providers throughout central Pennsylvania. You also may be eligible to receive free testing and support if you are uninsured or underinsured. In addition, some family planning provider locations may offer free HIV testing.
Remember, there is more to you than HIV. Take on life and take control of your HIV by finding a healthcare provider near you through Take Control HIV!