I'm HIV-positive -- Doing Okay -- What Now?

If you know you are HIV-positive, that means at some time you answered "Yes" to the question, "Should I take the HIV antibody test?" It's likely you've been grappling with questions ever since.

Perhaps you've asked yourself, your friends, or your doctor whether AZT, ddI, Zerit, 3TC, the protease inhibitors or combination therapy is right for you -- or, whether to avoid antiretroviral therapy. Have you wondered how to talk with your doctor? Do you have questions about T-cell counts? Viral load tests? Have you thought about whether you're safe with an HIV-positive partner? A pet? In sunlight? What about the flu vaccine? Vitamins? Acupuncture? Coping with stress? Do you think about what you're eating? As a woman, do you know about female-specific medical care? If you've been doing okay, are you wondering "What now?"

Sylvia Lopez, Wellness Program Coordinator for AIDS Services of Austin (ASA), will present a two-part series on consecutive Saturdays in August that offers a practical guide for addressing questions and exploring options for maintaining health and managing HIV. The course is especially appropriate for those with early HIV infection, those who have just learned of their HIV infection, and those seeking an understanding of current approaches to the management of HIV disease.

"Taking Charge -- Strategies for Healthy Living," will be offered 10am-2pm Saturdays, August 17 and August 24 at ASA, 825 E. 531/2 St., Suite E-104. A $5 per session or $10 series donation is requested, but participation is welcome for any amount, and no one will be barred for lack of money. A light lunch will be served. Attendance at both parts is strongly encouraged, but not required. Past participants interested in receiving updated information are welcome to attend.

Information from recent conferences as well as findings from recent studies on HIV/AIDS have been incorporated into the Taking Charge series. At these conferences researchers reported on emerging strategies for monitoring and managing HIV disease.

At the '93 International Conference on AIDS, healthy behaviors and a personal involvement in medical care were the factors most frequently cited by the long-term survivors. Studies have shown that HIV+ men and women who take an active approach to promoting health of body, mind and spirit fare better than those who only react to illness and far better than those who do not act at all.

For more information about course topics and to register, call Sylvia Lopez at 406-6162.

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