What if I test positive?
Find emotional support
For many people, receiving a positive diagnosis can be a shocking and upsetting experience. People describe feelings of despair and shame, they blame themselves for their actions and fear that their life as they know it will be over. This is internal stigma, and if these feelings are familiar to you, the best way to overcome them is to talk to someone about your feelings. No one can carry the burden of a disease on their own, and most positive people have at least one person who supports them. This could be a friend or relative, a health worker, partner or spouse, a priest or counsellor.
The HIV helpline has experienced counselors available 24 hours a day on 0800 012 322. You can find a support service on www.healthsites.org.za
Remember that HIV can be managed with treatment and you are still the same person, positive or negative. You are not alone.