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INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE RECENTLY DIAGNOSED WITH HIV

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					Specialised HIV Service                            Queensland Positive People (QPP) is a peer
                                                   based advocacy organisation which is committed
AMU (AIDS Medical Unit) Brisbane
                                                   to actively promoting the self determination and
                               07 3837 5622
                                                   empowerment for all people living with
                                                   HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) throughout Queensland.
Sexual Health Clinics
                                                   1800 636 241 (within QLD)
                                                   www.qpp.org.au/
Brisbane                          07 3837 5611

Bundaberg                         07 4150 2754
                                                   Spiritus Positive Directions (PD) are a co-
Cairns                            07 4050 6205     ordination, information and referral service for
                                                   People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in
Ipswich                           07 3817 2428     Queensland, with offices in Cairns, Townsville,
                                                   the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Mackay                            07 4968 3919     07 3900 8000
                                                   www.positivedirections.org.au/home.aspx
Gold Coast (Miami)                07 5576 9033

Mt Isa                            07 4744 4805     Queensland Association for Healthy                 INFORMATION FOR
                                                   Communities (QAHC) promotes the health of
                                                   lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in
PA Hospital (Annerley)            07 3240 5881
                                                   Queensland. QAHC is engaged in the areas of
                                                                                                      PEOPLE RECENTLY
Rockhampton                       07 4920 5555     LGBT Health, Sexual Health, Indigenous Health
                                                   and fosters community capacity building and        DIAGNOSED WITH
Sunshine Coast (Nambour)          07 5470 5244     development. QAHC was previously known as the
                                                   Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC).
Toowoomba                         07 4616 6446     07 3017 1777
                                                                                                            HIV
                                                   Freecall 1800 177 434 (outside Brisbane)
Townsville                        07 4778 9600     www.qahc.org.au/




Sexual Health and AIDS Counselling Service
(SHACS) is a counselling team of psychologists     This information is adapted from a fact sheet
and a sessional psychiatrist which offers a wide   produced by the Australasian Society of HIV
range of brief to longer-term psychological and    Medicine (ASHM)
counselling services for people living with
HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and other sexual issues.          Produced 06/2008
07 3837 5799
Recently you had an HIV test and in a follow-up         immune system to repair any damage that has            which means that the laboratory has already
consultation with your doctor it was confirmed that     occurred (by increasing your CD4 cell count).          informed Queensland Health of your positive
the result was positive. This means that at some                                                               result. Queensland Health may assist your doctor
point in time you have been infected with HIV.          You require a regular GP even if you see a             to discretely trace people who may have infected
Having HIV does not mean you have AIDS.                 specialised doctor for your HIV. Some GP’s who         you, or whom you may have infected, in order to
                                                        specialise in HIV have undertaken additional           help them and to reduce spread of the infection.
What is HIV?                                            training which authorises them to prescribe
HIV is short for the Human Immunodeficiency             medication to treat HIV. The medication can then       You may also wish to consider telling other people
Virus. It is the virus that can cause AIDS. Once        be supplied at subsidised cost under the               of your HIV status such as doctors, nurses and
HIV enters the body it attacks the immune system,       Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to Medicare       dentists. Health professionals are required to
breaking down its ability to fight disease and          card holders. Non Medicare card holders can access     keep this information confidential and knowledge
infections. If left untreated, HIV will in almost all   HIV medications at full cost.                          of your HIV status could help them to make more
cases lead to AIDS, which stands for Acquired                                                                  informed decisions with regards to your health
Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS develops when          Treatment                                              care. In Queensland you are only required to tell
the immune system can no longer function to fight                                                              people who could be at risk of harm. The law in
disease or infection.                                   HIV used to be considered a death sentence, but it     other states in Australia is different. For more
                                                        can now be treated and people can live with the        information read the Queensland Health leaflet
How is HIV spread?                                      infection and remain well for many decades. There      ‘HIV Contact Tracing, Your Legal Obligations and
                                                        are a range of drugs, antiretroviral therapy (ART),    Confidentiality’.
HIV can be spread through unsafe sex, through the       available that can control the virus and limit the
sharing of needles and other drug injecting             amount of damage it can do to your immune system.      Emotional Support
equipment, and through other blood-to-blood             Not every person with HIV needs to take
contact. It can also be transmitted from mother to      medication immediately to control the virus, as your   Being diagnosed with HIV is possibly one of the
baby. It is important to use condoms during sex, to     own immune system will give you some protection        most significant events to occur in your life. It is
avoid sharing drug-injecting equipment and to           and fight the infection. Your doctor will advise you   important to be able to ask questions and receive
prevent any blood-to-blood contact. HIV cannot be       when ART is recommended based on your regular          support which suits you. Support is available from
transmitted by casual contact such as by sharing        blood tests.                                           a number of sources such as: family and friends,
eating utensils or by touching someone.                                                                        HIV and Sexual Health services, GP and
                                                        Confidentiality                                        HIV/AIDS organisations within the state and
Caring for your health                                                                                         Australia.
                                                        Your HIV test result is private and personal. You
You will need a good GP to help you to care for your    do not have an immediate obligation to tell            Where to get more information
health. As HIV is a complex disease and best            anyone, although you should consider informing
management changes frequently your GP may refer         your current and past sexual partners and people       The organisations listed below can provide you
you to another doctor or clinic that has more           with whom you have shared injecting equipment.         with information and support.
experience and specialises in the monitoring and        This is to offer them the opportunity to have
management of HIV. You will need regular blood          their health monitored closely if they have HIV.       Queensland Health has a website containing up-
tests to discover how your body is coping with HIV      Only in exceptional circumstances is it lawful for     to-date information on HIV/AIDS and related
and whether you should start treatment. The aim of      doctors, nurses or health care providers to tell       issues:
this treatment is to reduce the viral load (the         anyone that you are HIV positive without your
amount of HIV in your body) and to allow your           consent. However, HIV is a notifiable disease,         www.health.qld.gov.au/sexhealth/

				
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Description: INFORMATION FOR PEOPLE RECENTLY DIAGNOSED WITH HIV