It's a new day for DC residents who are currently living with HIV. HIV is treatable and manageable. And when you enter and stay in treatment, you can live a long, healthy and active life—with the support of DC behind you.
Whether you are already in treatment, looking for support, or concerned about a friend or loved one, here are resources and information to help you.
Know That HIV Is Manageable.
By taking these easy-to-follow, positive steps, you can learn to better manage your health, lead a more active, fulfilling life — and prevent the transmission of HIV to your loved ones. Here's what you need to know.
It may be a small thing, but taking your HIV medication every day means you will be healthier. It's that simple. You're not alone in having to take medicine every day. More than 3 out of 4 people in the US take some daily medication. More than half of people forget to take their medicine sometimes. So, don't beat yourself up if you do too. Here are some easy steps to make it easier to remember:
Many people keep their medicines in the bathroom, which is okay. But some people drop their medicine into the sink by accident. For some medicines, hot, steamy bathrooms are not the best place.
Another place that you use regularly, like a kitchen cabinet, could be better. The temperature is even. Everybody's got to eat, so it's a room that's used a lot. The kitchen is where you keep glasses. That makes it easier to get something to drink to take your medicine.
When someone finds out they have cancer, they go to a cancer doctor or oncologist. For heart disease, they go to a heart doctor or cardiologist. Now that you have HIV, you get a HIV doctor or infectious disease specialist to help you stay healthy with your HIV. You have many choices. Your regular doctor can suggest someone he or she knows. Or you can check with the DC Department of Health. We suggest you see the HIV doctor two times a year.
The doctor will take some tests to find out your CD4 and viral load numbers. It is important that you ask as many questions as you want. It's also helpful for you to tell your regular doctor or gynecologist if there are changes in your medications. The doctors should talk to each other, but sometimes they don't. Since you're taking charge of your health, you can share what's new with each one.