Things To Do & Not To Do When You Learn A Friend Is HIV Positive
There’s no denying the fact that being diagnosed positive for HIV will change your life. Fortunately for HIV-inflicted people of today, the government’s effort in making the society more aware of the real deal with the condition have been successful. And unlike the past years when being diagnosed positive for HIV meant being close to dying, living with HIV today does not sound as grim as it used to. Nonetheless, there’s still the issue about how to deal with it. Many guides have already been published about how to cope with the condition if you are the patient, but not much has been said to educate friends or relatives of people with HIV. Here’s a little guide to make you aware on what to do and not to do when a friend or relative of yours gets the bad news:
1. Be Knowledgeable about the Condition. If you know the causes and effects and complications and everything there is to know about being HIV positive, it will help alleviate your grief and your friend’s grief over the news. This will also give you a good background on how to deal with your friend’s condition.
2. Inform the Concerned People. Just as you yourself feel you have the right to know about your friend’s condition, so will your other friends and the other people close to your friend deserve to be notified.
3. Be a Shoulder to Cry On. Part of getting inflicted with the condition is getting depressed and anxious and angry most of the time. Be the shoulder to cry on for your friend and let him know someone will always be there to listen and to care for him.
4. Boost Their Morale. Life altering as it may be, getting HIV is not the end of the world. Although some patients may find it hard to accept, with friends around it should be easy for these patients to realize there’s more to life to enjoy and look forward to even with HIV.
5. Adjust with the Lifestyle. If you’re really intimate with your friend, then you would have to get adjusted to the life changes that your friend will be experiencing. Working together, this shouldn’t be a difficult task to overcome.
Not to Do’s
1. Try to Hide the Truth. It is a patient’s responsibility to inform his relatives or close friends about his conditions. This way they can work with you on the process of accepting and living with HIV.
2. Shy Away from Your Friend. This is one of those days when your friend will need someone he trusts to talk to, to listen to him, to encourage him about life, and to tell him that there’s no need to be afraid.
3. Wrongly Misinform People. Some people may overreact on the issue and give wrong information about the cause of disease or the story behind the condition. This will only worsen the emotional torture the patient is already suffering from.
4. Discriminate. Everybody is susceptible to HIV. It’s a misconception that only gays get the condition. So make sure to remove any stereotypes and labeling you have about the condition.
5. Play Doctor. Like any medical condition, playing doctor yourself never helps (well, at least most of the time). Medicines and treatments and the likes should always be taken from a professional physician and not from a close pal or a best friend.