Testing positive for HIV often leaves a person overwhelmed with questions and concerns. It’s important to remember that HIV can be treated effectively with HIV medicines.
Treatment with HIV medicines (called antiretroviral therapy or ART) is recommended for everyone with HIV. HIV medicines help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives and reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
The first step after testing positive for HIV is to see a health care provider, even if you don’t feel sick. Prompt medical care and treatment with HIV medicines as soon as possible is the best way to stay healthy
After testing positive for HIV, what can a person expect during their first visit with a health care provider?
After testing positive for HIV, a person’s first visit with a health care provider includes a review of the person’s health and medical history, a physical exam, and several lab tests. The health care provider also explains the benefits of HIV treatment and discusses ways to reduce the risk of passing HIV to others.
The information collected during a person’s initial visit is used to make decisions about HIV treatment
Which lab tests are used to make decisions about HIV treatment?
A health care provider reviews a person’s lab test results to:
- Determine how far the person’s HIV infection has advanced (called HIV progression)
- Decide which HIV medicines to recommend
ARVs Work and react to bodies differently, your body may not be compatible to a certain type of ARVs and this can only be identified through a test. If you start taking these drugs and you start getting worse side effects, the best thing to do is visit the doctor for a better prescription
Results from the following three lab tests help answer these questions