When it comes to HIV treatments, many people put them off until they start feeling the effects of the disease. Infrequent testing, lack of insurance, and the stigma that surrounds this issue are partly to blame. It’s also very easy to be uninformed about HIV treatments. A lot of people think it’s just a pill a day and nothing more. Though it sounds easy, many don’t realize the need to get tested and seek help early. The stigma of a positive diagnosis combined with the mentality “it can’t happen to me” is a recipe for disaster.
Receiving HIV treatment as early as possible is life-saving. It’s that simple. And now we’ve got the studies to show it.
In fact, the early use of HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) has been shown to prevent the onset of symptoms, slow down the progression of HIV to AIDS, and increase survival rates. Early and uninterrupted treatment has also been linked to longer life expectancy, a healthier immune system, and a lower possibility of passing on HIV. The sooner you get tested, the sooner you can get on HAART.
The prick of a finger, some blood droplets, and 30 minutes is all it takes to get tested—fast and easy. But for many, the hard part is admitting how essential it is to be tested. A lot of people let fear of social rejection prevent them from knowing their HIV status. What they don’t know is that a positive test doesn’t mean you should lose hope.
Often, seeking HIV treatment can be a daunting task, marked by scarce health resources, mounting medical bills, and feelings of isolation. But, it doesn’t have to be. That’s why agencies like AIDS Services of Austin know how essential early treatment is and provide help every step of the way. We offer free weekly testing (you can find our locations here). We help our clients get prescriptions and health insurance to pay for the medications through our case management program. Our food bank is set up to help clients get proper nutrition so that their medications are absorbed properly. We even help with housing and offer emergency financial assistance.
If you are living with HIV, your health should be your main priority. Our goal is to help you focus on your health as much as you can and let you know you’re not alone. If you need us, we will be there to help you be the healthiest you possible!
Click here to learn more about our programs.