There are different strains of HIV and you can be infected again with the same or different strains if you do not use a condom.
What do I need to do if I test positive?
- Have a CD4 test to see if you should be on ART (medication).
- Try not to panic. Although there is no cure, HIV is NOT a death sentence. You can still live a healthy life if you care for yourself. It is normal to feel angry, afraid, shocked or guilty, but these feelings will not last forever.
- Always use a condom when you have sex as you can pass HIV on to others and you can be re-infected.
- Discuss your HIV status with your sexual partners so that they can also be tested.
- Try not to hide your status. It creates stress and that is not good for the body. The body needs its strength to fight the virus.
- You can live positively by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, attending your clinic appointments, being screened for TB and taking medications consistently as prescribed by your doctor or nurse.
- If you are a woman and pregnant, go to your clinic for ART.
- Come to terms with your status. There is hope. With care and treatment you can live a healthy life.
- Tell someone. A partner, parent, brother, sister, or a good friend.
- Go to your nearest clinic. You will get the best treatment, good information and ongoing support.
- Find out if you need ART because it can keep your healthy and, together with condom use, prevent further transmission of HIV.
What do I need to do if I am negative?
- Live a no-risk lifestyle and make it your goal to stay negative.
- Test again in 6 months, or sooner.
- You need to abstain from sex or use condoms between tests.