Talk to someone
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with HIV you might be feeling upset, shocked or confused. It can be a difficult time and hard to take in the things you’ve been told or find the right information. Don't worry – we're here to help.
Here are some key things you need to know:
- Although there is no cure for HIV, treatment for it is highly effective and freely available on the NHS. If medication is taken as prescribed, HIV is a manageable condition and shouldn’t prevent you from leading a normal life.
- Once on HIV treatment, the level of virus in your body quickly drops to such a low level that it becomes undetectable, meaning you can’t pass it on to others.
- Telling others about your HIV isn’t something you have to do, but we often want to so that we feel supported by those closest to us.
- Over 100,000 people in the UK are living with HIV and they come from all walks of life. There are lots of people with lived experience who are willing to share it with you and give you the support you need, including at My Community Forum. You can also join one of our peer-led support groups.
- If you're living with HIV, your rights are legally protected. It’s also important to know that HIV treatment is free of charge to anyone in the UK, regardless of your immigration status.
- With the right care, if you are living with HIV you can give birth to healthy babies without passing on HIV. See also our information for young people growing up with HIV.
This page includes the key information you need to know and support that is available.
Dealing with a new diagnosis can be difficult to accept. We have guidance on how to look after your mental health.
Whether the people you date are living with HIV or not, our advice on sex and relationships will help you to protect yourself and your partners from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
If you're considering whether or not to share your status with others, here's some guidance on telling people you have HIV.
My Journey to Acceptance
Tim, Shiellah and Callum talk about their diagnosis, how they felt at the time, how they feel now and how they navigated their journey towards acceptance.