Screen Readers Skip to Content

Updated Guide Helps HIV Patients Navigate New Territory

Author: Think
Published: 12th Feb 2016
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: HIV and Aids Publications

Summary: Healthy Life with HIV Book suggests ways on how to communicate with family, friends and others about the often-misunderstood disease.

Main Document

In the 35 years since the emergence of HIV, treatments of the disease - and patient lifespans - have dramatically improved.

"With medications, many HIV-positive people can now expect normal, healthy lives," said Allison Webel, an assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and co-author of the new guide for patients, Living a Healthy Life with HIV.

First published in the mid 1990s - before the existence of effective and widely-available HIV treatments - the text has been overhauled for the first time in a decade to reflect a new reality: HIV is now considered a chronic condition, such as diabetes and heart disease, that can be managed (but is not yet cured).

Similar to those conditions, HIV can be kept in check - and prevented from advancing into AIDS - with proper self-care and medication.

"It's something many could only imagine when the epidemic started," Webel said. "Many of these advances have come in the last five to 10 years."

With half of HIV-positive people in the United States over 50 years old, management of the disease now addresses nearly all aspects of patient lifespans and lifestyles: how to eat well and exercise, while working with doctors to manage the disease's distressing symptoms; how to safely have sex and become pregnant (mother-to-child transmission is now preventable in most U.S. cases), as well as raise children.

A daily pill can effectively suppress the virus and is accessible and affordable to most U.S. patients with medical insurance.

Nevertheless, nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed with HIV each year nationally, and the epidemic is still strong in Africa, India and other places.

"Although the disease is almost entirely preventable, some populations and regions bear a disproportionate burden," Webel said. "We want these advances and information to reach everyone affected by HIV."

Still, HIV-positive people do not just battle the disease - they also confront myths, stigmas and prejudice, even after decades of public education. In Living a Healthy Life with HIV, authors suggest how to best communicate with family, friends and others about the often-misunderstood disease:

When disclosing HIV status:

"We've come far," Webel said, "but there's still a ways to go to reduce misinformation, while aiming for zero new infections and taking care of those who are already HIV-positive."

The book, published by Bull Publishing Co., was co-written by Kate Lorig, Diana Laurent, Virginia González, and David Sobel of Stanford University School of Medicine's Patient Education Research Center, Allen L. Gifford of Boston University, and Marian Minor of the University of Missouri.

Post to Twitter Add to Facebook

Latest HIV and Aids Publications

The above information is from our reference library of resources relating to HIV and Aids that includes:

Rainbow-colored LGBT letters. thumbnail image
Online toolkit helps parents improve communication with gay and bisexual sons about behaviors to help them stay healthy.
Publish Date: 13th Nov 2022 - Updated: 5th Jan 2023
FDA Approves Trogarzo (ibalizumab-uiyk) for Patients with Limited HIV Treatment Options thumbnail image.
U.S. FDA approves Trogarzo for adult patients with HIV who have tried multiple medications and whose HIV infections cannot be treated with other therapies - multidrug resistant HIV, or MDR HIV.
Publish Date: 7th Mar 2018
Undetectable/Untransmittable: Gay - Bisexual Men Skeptical But Attitudes On The Rise thumbnail image.
Hunter CHEST study sought to examine how accurate gay and bisexual men perceive this message to be by surveying more than 12,000 men across the United States.
Publish Date: 16th Jan 2018
Transgender Women Take Triple the Number of HIV Tests As Trans Men thumbnail image.
Study revealed HIV testing among transgender adults was higher in those who identified as female, were African-American or Hispanic, or had a history of incarceration.
Publish Date: 1st Nov 2017

1How Many Genders Are There?
Alphabetical list of gender identities.

2Transgender Reporting Guide
How to write about transgender people.

3Glossary of Sexuality Terms
Definitions of sexual terms & acronyms.

4Glossary of Sexual Identities
Definitions of gender related terms.

5Am I Gay? Questions to Ask
Think you may be gay or bisexual?

• Submissions: Send us your coming events and LGBTQ related news stories.

• Report Errors: Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.

• (APA): Think. (2016, February 12). Updated Guide Helps HIV Patients Navigate New Territory. Retrieved April 19, 2024 from

• Permalink: <a href="">Updated Guide Helps HIV Patients Navigate New Territory</a>