So you tested positive for HIV

Published 19, Jan, 2018
Author // Kimutai Kemboi,

Kimutai Kemboi of Kenya offers his best advice for those newly diagnosed with HIV.

So you tested positive for HIV

So you tested for HIV a few hours, days, weeks, months or years ago and you found out that you are HIV-positive. I know that was the last thing you expected, yet you must have been worried since that day you messed up somewhere or unwillingly/unknowingly got involved in a mess. Don't even burden yourself with thinking of that; it is absolutely not important.

What is important is what you do after getting the facts.

Immediately you saw two lines appearing in that testing kit, your mind went into a blackout for a while, which is normal. But after coming back to your senses, the fact still stood there in front of you: you are HIV-positive. The person who did the test explained a lot of things to you but majored on being initiated to medication, and since you were not prepared, you promised to come back at a later date. When exactly is still unclear even now. You might have convinced yourself that the results were wrong or that you are still fit and healthy (waiting for your health to deteriorate) or that taking those pills on a daily basis is tiresome.

Unfortunately the issues mentioned above are simply confusing you. The fact remains that you are HIV-positive, so what is the next move? It should be something appropriate, something that can restore your good health, make you strong and put you in a better position to fight other infections. Take responsibility for your health!

How can you become responsible for your health? It is a hard and a simple task at the same time but its difficulty depends on the way you perceive it. It has few steps but they are crucial:

  1. Accept the results. Many people try to convince themselves that they are negative even after the confirmatory tests have been run. Denial won't heal you - in fact it will worsen things!
  2. Get initiated to medication. Nowadays the policy says test and treat unlike previously, when someone was initiated to treatment based on their CD4 count. This current approach has been found to benefit health outcomes in the short and long term, so remember: the earlier the better. Don't wait for your health to get worse before starting medication. Start as soon as you test positive.
  3. Eat a balanced diet. “A balanced diet” does not mean you take the most expensive foods. It is all about the content. Ensure your diet has all the important nutrients.
  4. Body fitness. Ensure that you always do some exercises to make yourself physically fit.
  5. Positive lifestyle. Live a life free from all sorts of negativity such as stress/depression. Also avoid activities that are at verge of getting you reinfected such as having unprotected sex.

Something to note is that the treatment does not cure HIV but reduces its intensity. Proper adherence to medication will successfully suppress the viral load to UNDETECTABLE and this is something we should smile about since it means we cannot pass on HIV!

Once undetectable, you are indisputably a CHAMPION and pose no threat to people around you. This is expressed in its simplest form as UNDETECTABLE=UNTRANSMITTABLE (U=U).

Take your medication and have undetectable as your goal!

For more information about Undetectable = Untransmittable, visit the Prevention Access Campaign, here.


About the Author

Kimutai Kemboi,

Kimutai Kemboi,

"I am Kimutai Kemboi, turning 26 on 9th of April 2017. Currently I am pursuing an undergraduate degree in computer science at Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. 

"I’m HIV positive and under medication but doing well health wise since I have accepted to live positively, adhere to medication and practice a healthy lifestyle so that HIV does not overwhelm me. Besides my studies, I work as a volunteer to create HIV awareness and sensitivity in the community, both face to face and through social media platforms, especially Facebook.

"I opted to do this awareness-raising because I want to have an HIV-free society and save my generation from perishing."