A reliable diagnosis of “HIV-positive” can only be made after an HIV confirmation test with a second blood sample. The diagnosis on its own still tells you nothing about your current state of health. It also does not mean that you are already suffering from AIDS or that you will definitely get AIIDS. However, it does indicate that measures need to be taken to protect your health and your partner’s health. The regional AIDS centre and other agencies are available to offer you advice.
What does HIV-positive mean?
HIV is the abbreviation for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The virus takes its name from the fact that it attacks and weakens the human immune system. Without treatment, the virus will reproduce unimpeded in the body and destroy the immune system so much that it is no longer able to defend itself safely against disease-causing agents (pathogens). That ultimately leads to AIDS, and later to death. This can effectively be prevented by HIV treatment as drugs hold the virus in check. Although HIV is still not curable at the moment, thanks to effective medication:
- the immune system rapidly recovers,
- as a result, your health is protected,
- AIDS does not break out
- and you are largely able to lead a normal life.