How to Live Well With HIV
For most people being diagnosed with HIV is possibly the most devastating news. It can lead to shock, a feeling of hurt, extended period of grief and depression. This might give them feeling that life is not worth living. However, for those who are aware of the different dimensions of the infection, and have access to modern treatment, dealing with HIV is not merely about surviving but also living well. It has been proven that with the right clinical treatment and lifestyle, people afflicted with the HIV virus can lead a life, that is in no way inferior in quality than those who are healthy. Three things you can do to improve the quality of your life and maximize your wellbeing and happiness, even when you are HIV positive:
Learn to Love Yourself First
Everyone, irrespective of their HIV status, deserves to be in relationships that are warm, caring, loving, and supportive. When people get to know of you being HIV positive, they can also be shocked and be less than understanding. Some relationships turn unhealthy and can substantially affect the quality of your life. Unequivocal support and understanding from your spouse, family, relative, friends or even a support group is vital for wellbeing. However, the process really starts with your accepting that you are indeed worth the love and respect of others. It is advisable to undertake another round of Elisa testing by a reliable clinic before telling others.
Manage Stress Well
Even when you are healthy, stress is something that we need to deal with every day of our lives. However, one can understand that being HIV-positive can substantially add to the stress level. Irrespective of whether they are minor aggravations or tribulations that are severely worrisome, your mood, as well as the quality of life can be severely impacted by stress. Taking care of your mental and emotional health by addressing concerns like anxiety, trauma, depression and other such challenges, can help you to better manage HIV and enable you to lead a life that is more vibrant. It is thus vital for you to take the time to recognize the various symptoms of stress and the reasons behind them so that you can address them effectively and lead a life that is qualitatively more superior.
Find a Purpose in Life
It is important to realize that having HIV does not have to mean the end of life as you know it. Contrary to popular belief, you can lead a life that is as exciting and long as any other healthy person. Therefore, you should focus on doing something interesting and exciting. This is also a very good time to focus on your special talents and gifts. Or, take time out to discover and develop new ones. Engaging in activities that help other people can be especially satisfying and assist you to gain and retain a sense of being in control over your life. This can enhance your general health. According to experts, it can be useful for people to use their HIV status as an excuse to rethink the purpose of their lives. Because it usually leads to lower stress and an enhanced sense of wellbeing.
It may have been possible that the discovery of being HIV positive had resulted in shock, shame, and even stigma. However, the presence of these emotional obstacles makes it even more important that you stabilize and regain your confidence. Being HIV positive can be a life-changing event. However, it’s important to overcome the initial shock and despair and come to terms with life. By taking good care of your physical and mental health, and with the right emotional support. It is possible for you to lead an extremely satisfying and fulfilling life.
By Isabella Rossellini
She is a senior mental and emotional health counselor. She has years of experience of advising people how to overcome the initial shock of finding themselves HIV positive after ELISA testing, and how to get on with life in a purposeful manner.