Important facts to know about living with HIV.

  1. People on effective treatment cannot pass on the HIV virus

  2. The HIV virus is unable to damage a persons immune system if they are on effective treatment and therefore very few people in the UK develop serious HIV-related illnesses.

  3. HIV positive women who are on effective treatment can have children without passing on the virus.

  4. The term AIDS isn’t used much by UK doctors. Instead they talk about late-stage or advanced HIV.

Watch the videos below to hear stories from real people living with the HIV virus.

New Diagnosis : Finding out you have HIV may feel like the worst diagnosis in the world. You may be upset, scared, shocked or even angry when you first receive the news however there is support and modern treatment ready to help you live a long and healthy life. The Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) can provide support and explain your next steps on their new diagnosis information page. You can also find local services in Wakefield, Barnsley and Wigan and Leigh.

Treatment: HIV is not curable but treatment stops the virus from reproducing in your body. The aim of treatment is to have an undetectable viral load which means there’s no risk of passing on HIV to other people or developing late-stage HIV. Over 25 anti-HIV drugs are now available with the vast majority of people taking a fixed dose combination pill. HIV treatment can have some side effects but your doctor will help you to understand and manage your medication.

Support: Now that HIV treatment reduces the risks associated with the virus, you can live well with a HIV diagnosis. It is however important for you to stay healthy, attend regular check-ups, look after mental health and have supportive relationships with those around you. For more support and information visit the Terrence Higgins Trust webpages on living well with HIV and living with HIV long-term.