Recently diagnosed with HIV?

HIV: A New Diagnosis

If you have only recently learned that you are HIV positive, you may be feeling shocked, frightened, angry or upset. It may help to know that there are men and women from all over New Zealand and from all walks of life who are HIV positive. Positive people are from many different cultural and religious backgrounds, of all ages, sexualities, with and without partners, spouses, or families.
This booklet is for any person who is diagnosed HIV positive. It details how the virus affects your body, offers advice on how to manage your life as an HIV positive person and provides suggestions on how to make decisions around treatments, sex, telling people and your legal rights. It will not answer all of your questions, but it may be a useful starting point.

HIV is not a death sentence.

Nowadays, more and more people with HIV are living longer, enjoying healthy and fulfilling lives, working, studying, having relationships and making their own choices about treatment.

In addition, improved and inclusive research practices means that much more is now known about the effects of HIV treatments in our bodies. As a person with HIV living in New Zealand now, it is likely that you will live a normal life span. You are able to have sex, and you are able to have as fulfilling a life as you want for yourself.

Talking to someone you trust is important. This may be a friend, a relative, a doctor or someone from Body Positive which is an organisation specifically for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA): Someone who has some knowledge of HIV is a good choice. You don't have to tell everyone in your life now, or ever.

Effective Treatment

You will need to take medicine at some point to control HIV. The drugs used to treat HIV are called antiretrovirals (ARV for short) and they are used in combinations of three together.

The treatment of HIV is evolving. The drugs do have side effects and some individuals find more difficulties with them than others. There may be some trial and error before you find the right drugs for you. New drugs and new combinations of drugs are being researched with the aim of reducing side effects and improving effectiveness.

This booklet covers:

  • What is HIV?
  • Long Term Effects of HIV
  • HIV Facts and Myths
  • Telling others about your status
  • Your Legal Rights
  • Coping Strategies
  • Life with HIV
  • Treating HIV
  • Sex and Relationships
  • What is safe sex?
  • What does HIV mean for women?
  • Viral load and CD4 count
  • HIV and Recreational drugs
  • Transmitting and preventing HIV
  • Sexually transmissible infections
We hope that this free publication from Body Positive will help you:
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New 2017 Edition
Published: June 2015
Updated: August 2017
File Size: 1.3MB
If you would like a printed copy of this booklet sent to you instead please contact us
This booklet is a reproduction for New Zealand of an original booklet published by AFAO (Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations)
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