Recommended Resources for People Who Have Recently Been Diagnosed with HIV
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) can be a very scary diagnosis especially for individuals that are newly diagnosed and often for people who lack the appropriate resources to obtain adequate knowledge. In my practice, I find that people who are most afraid of HIV/AIDs and even prevention are those that do not have well, EASY TO READ, resources which is one of the reasons I created a “Homework” module in my practice (Insert Eye Roll).
First, let’s talk about the google degree versus the actual medical degree. Google searches are very valuable, especially since they do not have many filters and allow the individual to get a plethora of information without much prejudice (unless it is paid advertisement). HOWEVER, these resources are often not primary but secondary or even not scientific just opinionated. So often patients will present this information to me and I’ll tell them “Hey, Livestrong is a great FYI but do not over-read” because if
you have ever searched your symptoms on WebMD … you will likely come up with some catastrophic illness that has you thinking you’ll be dead in 24 hours calling the emergency hotline, not cool.
Good Resources I like to utilize for HIV:
This is a GREAT website, I usually have all my patients start here. Regardless if you are positive or in a serodiscordant (one is positive, one is negative) relationship this is a great place to begin your initial review of HIV. Start with the topics at the top like “Just Diagnosed” or “Prevention” and work your way through the modules. The reading is easy and condensed – most importantly it is up to date and scientific.
With all Education gurus, we all believe in teaching in different formats, so if reading is not your forte, do not fret! I have educational videos. These are made from the pharmaceutical giant Gilead. Their videos are actually very well put together and I’ll often have them playing in my exam rooms for those newly diagnosed or if you reached your Undetectable goal. They have them available in Spanish if needed. They all come from www.helpstopthevirus.com you can find the direct YouTube links here:
Videos for HIV education:
Now what kind of article would this be not to quote or point out the famous U=U campaign that has been the game changer for treatment/prevention? If you are undetectable for greater than 6 months, on medication and in a sero-different or serodiscordant relationship you CANNOT TRANSMIT THE VIRUS. Affirming the term “Treatment as Prevention (TASP)” what so many people can now utilize in the dating apps to let people know their status. I also utilize this website to teach my PREP patients who come to me concerned about getting HIV from their partner to offer reassurance. I find most of the HIV positive individuals want their HIV negative partners on PREP because of their fear of transmission so I try and have a real heart to heart discussion to let them know they cannot transmit but I will always offer PREP if it will improve their relationship (and sex life) by adding the additional protection of PREP. HIV Undetectable = Untransmittable
And lastly your plain HIV poster from the CDC in the event someone needs pictures.
HIV 101 for consumer
Let us know what resources you like to use and continue to subscribe to Dallas Red Foundation for more updates.
Peter Triporo, MSN, RN, ACNP-BC, AAHIVS
Dallas Red Foundation, Board of Education, Chair.