Get connected to people who can help
You may have just found out you're HIV positive, but you'll find that you're not alone. Many people like you know the importance of a support network—how friends, family, and community can make a difference by providing assistance and loving support.
As you start thinking about what it means to be HIV positive, you might think people in the community will discriminate against you or your family because you are living with HIV. Talking about your feelings and concerns with your health care professionals, your loved ones, and your support groups are just some of the positive actions you can take to help live life to the fullest.
Take care of yourself and stay healthy. Make connections that can help you take care of yourself and your family. This includes finding a health care professional who understands your needs. You will also need to:
- Find support, because you are stronger when you don't feel alone.
- Reach out to friends or family who will be there for you.
- Create new friendships through organizations and groups for other people living with HIV. People with strong, supportive relationships in their lives are more likely to stick to their treatment and medicine.
Reach out to your support networks—emotional and financial, new, old, and trusted. Combine them. Revisit them. Use them over and over again, whenever you need them. Start with these resources:
- Support groups
- AIDS service organizations (ASOs)
- Therapy or counseling
- Case managers/Social workers
- Religious or spiritual groups
- Health care professionals
- Support programs for substance or alcohol abuse
Where do you go from here?
If you are feeling overwhelmed and unsure about your next steps, remind yourself that every challenge can be met. Find the strength you have within you, and all around you, to meet this one. There is help and support out there for you. Embrace this challenge—and the people who want to help.