your team includes you

You can be your own powerful source of support.

Be your own
bodyguard

Your healthcare provider will check your health every time you go, but you're the one who can guard your own body to help keep HIV under control.

Know your numbers

It's very important for you to know what your CD4+ T-cell count and viral load are. These, and other lab tests your healthcare provider may do, will tell you if your HIV is under control. Learn more about your numbers.

Eat healthy & exercise

Eating healthy food and exercising are important for everyone, and especially important for people living with HIV. People with HIV also have to be careful about food safety—making sure the food they eat doesn't make them sick. There's more about eating and exercise here.

Alcohol or drug abuse

Drinking more than you should or taking illegal drugs can make your immune system weaker, which is very risky for someone with HIV. Your healthcare provider and ASO professional can help you find support if you're having problems with drinking or taking drugs.

Staying safe

If you're HIV-positive, you have to practice safe sex—for your partner(s) and yourself. Some people don't know that even if you're positive already, you can catch different strains of the virus, and they may be harder to treat. Also make sure you talk to your healthcare provider about the best ways to protect your partner(s) from getting the virus.

Be your own
HIV expert

GET THE FACTS about HIV so you know how it affects your body and what you need to do to keep it in control. You can start learning more about HIV.

GIVE THE FACTS to your healthcare providers so they can give you the advice that's right for you. Don't be embarrassed. Be open and honest. All they care about is keeping you healthy.

    Let them know:
  • How you're feeling physically and emotionally
  • What medications you're taking—prescription and nonprescription, as well as vitamins and herbal supplements
  • What your CD4+ T-cell count and viral load numbers have been
  • If you're on treatment and experiencing any side effects
  • If you're on treatment and skipping doses
  • If you drink and/or take illegal drugs
  • If you're getting the support and help you need

Be your own
advocate

I HAVE THE RIGHT to good care from healthcare providers who specialize in helping people with HIV.

I HAVE THE RIGHT to ask for financial assistance to help pay for HIV treatment.

I HAVE THE RIGHT to change healthcare providers or ASO professionals.

I HAVE THE RIGHT to not be discriminated against. There are laws to protect people with HIV from losing jobs or apartments, or being turned down for healthcare because of their positive status.

Be your own
hero

You've gone through a lot and learned a lot along the way. Help other people with HIV by sharing what you know. You can give them support, and feel proud of the fact that you're helping them live a positive life.