In the United States, approximately 1.1 million people are living with HIV today. In recent years, programs have been created to help people living with HIV lead a fulfilling life. With various resources such as HIV support groups, HIV communities and HIV dating apps, individuals with HIV no longer have to fight alone.
Make Treatment a Part of Your Healthy Lifestyle
Whether you were diagnosed with HIV during youth or recently discovered the diagnosis, it is ultimately your responsibility to keep up with medical treatments to protect yourself and others.
HIV wreaks havoc on the immune system, and if it is not treated consistently it will affect your quality of life as well as life expectancy. Talking to your doctor about the different types of HIV medication and finding the one that is right for you is the first step to maintaining the active lifestyle you deserve.
Surround Yourself with Support
Family and friends can create a strong support system for anyone living with HIV, but many times they do not understand the struggles of everyday life that you might face. HIV support groups and services provide educational value, emotional support and give you a better understanding of your future with HIV. Below are different types of positive support that are available to people living with HIV.
Peer Support. This type of support can either come from attending a group or one-to-one support. Discussing your experiences and gaining knowledge about another person’s journey will help you regain confidence in yourself and understand that you are not alone.
Sex and Relationship Support. Relationships can be particularly difficult for someone living with HIV. Many times, people living with HIV have fear of transferring the virus to their sexual partners. Sex and relationship support groups provide encouragement, education and can answer any questions you may have about engaging in a relationship.
Psychosocial support. This type of support is generally one-on-one support from a counselor who specializes in the field. Being diagnosed with HIV oftentimes results in depression, anxiety and isolation from community. Speaking to a professional counselor can help you manage these feelings and gain back your confidence.
Creating Healthy Relationships
The fear of transferring HIV should not hold you back from being in a relationship. Although healthy relationships can be developed with someone who is not living with HIV as long as you are keeping up with treatment, there are also resources for people to meet other individuals living with HIV. A few popular websites that include discussions, latest HIV news and dating opportunities include HIV Mingle, Meet Positives and POZ Personals.
At Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania, we provide services to help people living with HIV maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. If you or a loved one is living with HIV, contact us today to learn more about the services our providers offer to help improve quality of life.