Providing gay men with the support and information after they receive an HIV diagnosis is the aim of new information booklet produced by ACON.
The START resource includes information about relevant services as well as personal experiences of other HIV positive gay men who have successfully navigated the HIV care continuum including treatment, counselling, support, choosing a doctor and staying healthy.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill says advances in HIV treatments have, for most people, transformed living with the virus into a manageable health condition.
“With the right medical care, peer support and a healthy lifestyle, someone diagnosed with HIV can look forward to a long and productive life.
“However, receiving an HIV diagnosis can be a challenging experience, and accessing the wide range of care and support services that are available to help people manage their diagnosis is an important part of the process of being newly diagnosed.
“We’re delighted to be launching this new resource, which importantly has been written by gay men living with HIV who are speaking from their own personal experiences.
“There are myriad of feelings and emotions you can experience when diagnosed with HIV but knowing your status means you can take control of your health.
“After being diagnosed it’s really important to get connected to a variety of support options and services. The treatments available today are highly effective with little or no side effects and can reduce the chances of HIV transmission occurring.
“The START booklet has been designed specifically to provide accurate and up-to-date information which is always the first step in adjusting to a diagnosis.
“The resource addresses all the common myths about HIV, how to access the right medical care, how to enjoy a fulfilling sex life and how to make the right choices for you and your partner.
“This is all in addition to the wide range of services ACON provides including our newly diagnosed counselling services, living with HIV workshops, one to one peer support, HIV health retreats, vitamin service, and online resources.
To download or request a copy of the START booklet, click here.
Andrew Hamadanian, ACON Media & Communications Officer
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