Maybe we don’t hear about HIV as often anymore but the disease did not just disappear, it is still rampant in our world. Help the community of those suffering from HIV by learning how to donate your car. The Aids Community Research Consortium (ACRC) has a mission to help. They provide an educational support for those living with HIV in and around the San Mateo County Area. ACRC teaches those who suffer from these diseases how to live a healthier lifestyle, maintain better eating habits, take the proper medications and learn how to live with their disease. ACRC offers prevention programs to encourage those who live with HIV to not spread these diseases by providing condoms and safe needle exchange programs for those at risk. ACRC also provides a food program to implement a healthy eating lifestyle.
What is it like to live with HIV?
Take a moment to understand what living with this literal ” death sentence” disease is like. Here are some looming questions people who find out they are infected with HIV have:
1. Will I have to change my life?
HIV does not necessarily mean your whole life changes as much as you think. You will need to begin a treatment program and use some extra precautions but with proper medical treatment you can plan to live just as long as most anyone else.
2. Do I need to take medicine the rest of my life?
Yes, you will need to take medication for the rest of your life. This is a routine change but will help you live a longer and healthier life.
3. What are my numbers and what do they mean?
Previously, the CD4 number used to determine when treatment would begin but currently doctors recommend beginning treatment the moment you discover you are infected. The reason for this change is that HIV begins harming your body the moment you are infected so treatment as soon as possible is recommended. A CD4 number just charts the progression of your disease and how many antibodies you still have left to stay healthy.
4. What if I cannot pay for medical care?
Even if you do not have medical insurance there are many programs out there to help in your care. Do not just ignore your care because you do not have the money to pay for it.
5. I don’t want people to find out I have HIV, why do I need to tell anyone?
Telling people is your personal choice. Make sure you protect others from contracting the disease by being well educated. The new treatments do not affect your face and body like they used to so you will not look like you are physically ill any longer, as HIV patients did in the past. The most important thing to remember is not to spread this disease.
6. I don’t feel sick, am I?
Yes, the moment HIV enters your body it begins the attack and you are sick, even if you still feel fine. Treat HIV as a lifetime and long term disease even when you are still feeling the same as before and you will enjoy a longer and healthier life. Always remember you have the potential to give this to someone else.
7. Is there a cure?
HIV is a very complicated disease and there is no cure as of yet. Scientists are working hard at finding the cure but it will take more time. Early detection and treatment will allow anyone who has contracted the disease to live a long full life until a cure can be found.
HIV is a hard disease to live with but people can live for a long time with treatment. The stigma of the disease has lessened over time but people who have it need to be vigilant to protect others from getting it. Programs like ACRC are important in continued education and support for those who are not only at risk but those who have HIV.
By donating your car to help this worthy cause you are helping those who suffer from a modern day plague that is terrifying. To find out you have HIV then takes a lifetime of care to maintain your health. People do not die from HIV nearly as quickly as they used to when the disease went rampant in the 80’s and that is because of the care and research that has been rolling along for more than 30 years now. ACRC provides a little light at the end of a very long tunnel of fear and confusion for those who have HIV.