When you first find out about your HIV diagnosis, know that it’s ok to not have a good grasp of everything immediately.
You’re going to have a lot of different terms and phrases that you’ve never heard before but you’re expected to kind of jump on board with. Know that it’s ok to be overwhelmed. Know that it’s ok to be kind of ok, I don’t know what the hell’s going on here. I need some time to deal with this.
You have to emotionally cope with it. It’s a change in your life and so allow yourself to be in that moment and then move forward with it.
A lot of us can go back and say like, who gave it to me? I need to find them. Why did this happen to me? I was doing so well.
It’s absolutely natural to feel that way. But you’re going to have to move past that because you’ve got medications you’re going to need to take. You’ve got changes you’re going to need to make in your life and you’ve got to absorb this internally and start to understand what this means for you moving forward. So don’t get caught up in all that other stuff. It’s overwhelming but you can handle it.
Dr. David Malebranche, MD, MPH, a clinician-researcher specializing in HIV, gives the lowdown on all things HIV care and treatment in the latest installment of the #AskTheHIVDoc video series.