People Living with HIV

People Living with HIV
hands shaking pills out of a jar

HIV Treatment Basics: Antiretroviral Therapy and Healthy Lifestyle Choices

There is no cure for HIV, but with early diagnosis and proper care, people living with the virus can expect to live a normal lifespan. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the current standard in HIV treatment, which combines different classes of medications to stop the virus from replicating and damaging the immune system. Terms commonly used for HIV treatment include ARVs, HAART, and CAART.

By controlling the amount of virus in the body, ART helps the immune system stay healthy. Along with medication, people living with HIV can improve their overall health by making healthy lifestyle choices like good nutrition, exercise, reducing or eliminating drug and alcohol use, and managing stress.

To learn more about HIV treatment and healthy lifestyle choices for People Living with HIV, visit CATIE: Canada’s source for comprehensive HIV treatment information.

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Southern Alberta Clinic: HIV Medication and Medical Services

If you're living with HIV in Southern Alberta, the Southern Alberta Clinic provides free treatment and medical services. These services are available for people with provincial health insurance, including the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan.

At the Southern Alberta Clinic, you'll receive an intake appointment with a nurse and social worker to provide an introduction to the clinic and HIV education. During your first medical visit, your complete medical history is taken, test results are reviewed, and a management plan is created. Follow-up appointments are typically scheduled about 1 month after the first visit and then every 3 to 6 months afterwards.

The clinic also offers nursing services to coordinate care within the clinic and with other agencies, as well as provide HIV education. Pharmacy services are also available for medication counselling and dispensing of HIV medications.

You can be referred by a doctor or self-refer if you're new to Alberta. Contact the Southern Alberta Clinic by phone at (403) 955-6399 or find more information online on their website. Take the first step towards managing your HIV by reaching out to the Southern Alberta Clinic today.

Hepatitis C

Effective Treatment for Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C (HCV) can be effectively cured, which means achieving a sustained virological response (SVR). This not only makes the virus non-infectious but also prevents liver damage and improves health outcomes and quality of life.

Several factors can affect treatment for HCV, including genotype and previous treatment experience, extent of liver damage, co-infections (HIV or HBV), cost and coverage, and potential for adherence concerns. It's important to discuss these factors with your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment plan for you.

It's also worth noting that successful treatment doesn't mean you're immune to HCV. You can still be re-infected after treatment, so it's important to take preventative measures to avoid exposure to the virus.

If you're living with HCV, don't hesitate to speak to your healthcare provider about effective treatment options. Achieving a sustained virological response can make a significant impact on your health and quality of life.

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Treatment for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Many STIs can be easily treated with antibiotics, making it important to seek testing and treatment as soon as possible. This not only helps alleviate symptoms but also prevents the spread of infection to others.

It's important to note that testing and treating sexual partner(s) is also essential to prevent ongoing sources of infection. This can help ensure that all parties are treated and protected from future infections.

While undergoing treatment for an STI, it's recommended to abstain from unprotected sexual intercourse for at least a week until antibiotics are completed. This helps ensure the infection is fully treated and reduces the risk of transmitting the infection to others.

If you're concerned that you may have an STI or have been exposed to one, don't hesitate to seek testing and treatment from a healthcare provider. With proper treatment, STIs can be easily cured, and with preventative measures, the spread of infection can be greatly reduced.

Support Services for People Living with HIV at SafeLink Alberta

If you're living with HIV in Alberta, SafeLink offers a variety of support services to help you manage your condition and improve your overall well-being. Our programs and services are designed to provide you with the resources you need to live a full and healthy life.

We also offer referrals to other service providers if you require additional support or specialized care. To learn more about the support services we offer for people living with HIV, click the link provided.

At SafeLink, we're dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate care to all of our clients. If you need help managing your HIV, don't hesitate to reach out to us for support. We're here to help you navigate your healthcare journey and live your best life.