Testing positive for HIV is life changing.  It will make you feel as if you are isolated and alone, as if you cannot share your status with anyone else.  The truth is that you are not alone and that you can continue to live a happy and productive life. HIV support groups are the first step to understanding you are not alone and offer invaluable advice on dealing with family and friends.

Shame, feeling misunderstood and anger are common reactions to HIV positive results.  People who are diagnosed will often reject the idea of living with HIV.  Education, HIV support centres, online HIV forums, family, friends and colleagues can help you.  The first step is to accept the information and to acknowledge that you have the support you require around you.  All that is required of you is to reach out for help.  HIV positive people could fall into deep depression if they do not disclose their emotions, fears and anxiety.  The feeling of being judged by their community, family, friends and colleagues places them in a vulnerable position, pushing them towards isolation and loneliness.

HIV positive people can choose to be alone or share their story with others.  They can become an ambassador to other HIV positive people.  Reaching out to people who are HIV positive will help you understand your emotions and situation better.  You will find out that there are other people who you can trust.

Like anything in life we always have a choice.  You can choose to isolate yourself and reject the idea of being HIV positive or you can accept your HIV status and help others understand the disease.  Share your feelings with a counsellor, family member or friend; someone who you feel you can trust with something so delicate and personal.  Educate yourself about the disease, review how you could have contracted it, and tell your partner that you are HIV positive.  It is your responsibility to deal with your HIV status in a responsible manner.  Speak to your partner, explain how you feel.  HIV positive people can continue to engage in sexual intercourse as long as it is protected.  Using condoms can minimise the risk of spreading the disease to someone you love.

HIV positive people will soon realise that through accepting their status they can change their lives for the better.  Medical insurance, antiretroviral treatment, healthy eating and regular exercise will assist in controlling the disease.  You will also realise that through a healthy lifestyle you can adopt a healthy attitude towards life.  Remember that you are in control of your life and you always have a choice.