We all know everything about the HIV/AIDS – its meaning, how it is transmitted, etc. but still when we get to know that there is someone who is diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, we start secluding that person. HIV related stigma and discrimination persists everywhere in the world. We never understand that this negativity can really affect the life of that person very badly. This makes the life of an HIV infected person more vulnerable.
However, we can make a difference by helping someone who has been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS recently. There are many things that we can do to make a difference.
It is always seen that if someone is HIV positive, we never talk to him. We hardly include that person in any of the social gatherings. However, we never realize that how bad that friend can feel now knowing that he is been discriminated. We should understand that same person wants to connect with us again in the same way he did before being diagnosed. Hence, we should be available for that friend as and when he needs, like the way we used to be. Do not change your behavior rather help him to understand HIV/AIDS better and guide him about the treatment available for the HIV/AIDS.
After being diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, a life of a person changes a lot. The life does not remain easy and happy. In that case, a sufferer wants to speak his heart and wants someone to listen to him. Hence, be a good and active listener. Provide him with the resources to find the solutions to his problems related to HIV/AIDS.
Learn and Create Awareness
It is very important to educate yourself about HIV/AIDS and its related information. Most of us do not know that HIV can be controlled by taking proper medical treatment and care. There is no cure for HIV, however, effective antiretroviral (ARV) drugs can control the virus and help to prevent transmission so that people with HIV, and those at substantial risk, can enjoy healthy, long and productive lives. (Please refer: HIV Factsheets). Also, there is a need to create an awareness about HIV/AIDS as most of us live in a myth.
If your friend has disclosed this fact that he/she is HIV positive, then acknowledge this gracefully. You should say ‘Thanks’ to him/her, as he/she has trusted you to share this truth of his /her life with you. Furthermore, reassure your friend that this truth will not bring any change in the relationship you both maintain. This kind of positive words can bring hope and courage to your friend to fight against the disease.
Get The Support Of Others
It is obvious that while supporting a person with HIV/AIDS, there is need to take care of yourself too as you may also feel sometimes anxious, sad, tired etc. In that case, take the help of others and do not over pressurize yourself.
Reach Out The Local HIV Service Organizations
It would be good if you try reaching out the local HIV service organizations for better help and support. These organizations have support groups for the people with HIV and for their family members. You can search in the Google for the local HIV service organizations.
Avoid Those Situations That Can Put Your Friend At Further Risk
Being an HIV patient, your friend’s body has damaged its immune system making more vulnerable to catch any opportunistic infection. Therefore, advice your friend to stay away from every contagious environment and location. Even if your friend is undergoing Antiretroviral Therapy (ART), there is still a risk.
Encourage To Have A Healthy Lifestyle
After being diagnosed with HIV your friend may be living with several emotions, which can further add risk to his life. Hence, encourage your friend to follow a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and nutritious diet, adhering to medicines, physical exercise, etc. This will give him a kind of a better feeling.
Help To Deal With Stigma
HIV/AIDS is like a taboo in our society and numerous stigmas are attached to it. An HIV patient has to face this discrimination and stigma every now and then. Therefore, help your friend with the ways by which he can deal with this type situation in his life. Let your friend read some personal stories of real people who are living with HIV happily. After all, life is all about fighting and winning.
Although annual HIV infections are decreased due to increased testing and treatment. Many projects like HIV Treatment Works, Start Talking. Stop HIV, Let’s stop HIV together are various projects run to spread awareness and try to prevent it. Still, we have to work more on this.
Life is not easy for a person who is living with HIV/AIDS. They know that there is no cure for this infection and their life expectancy is not too long, however, it is their RIGHT TO LIVE happily until the time they live. Therefore, make a difference and help your friend instead of insulting, rejecting and gossiping about their disease. A small change on your part can make a big difference in the world.
Love to All.
Together We Can Bring A Change. Let’s Share this article and spread more humanity. Do comment if you like a small attempt of ours to bring a smile back on faces who are just living in the dark.