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Getting diagnosed with HIV: Your next steps

for Veterans and the Public

Your next steps

Finding out that you have HIV can be scary and overwhelming. If you feel overwhelmed, try to remember that you can get help and that these feelings will get better with time.

Testing positive for HIV is a serious matter but one that you can deal with. This guide will take you through the steps you need to take to protect your health:

There are some things that you should know about HIV that may ease some of the stress or confusion you are feeling.

Remember:
  • You are not alone. Many people are living with HIV, even if you don't know that they are.
  • HIV does not equal death: Having HIV does not mean that you are going to die of it. Most people with HIV can live long healthy lives if they get medical treatment and take care of themselves.
  • A diagnosis of HIV does not automatically mean that you have AIDS.
  • Don't freeze: Learning how to live with HIV and getting in touch with a health care team that knows how to manage HIV will help you to feel better and get on with your life.