What do you think the experience of having a loved one diagnosed with AIDS is like?
Having a loved one diagnosed with AIDS is quite aggravating since the disease can only be treated but cannot be cured. This means that the person’s family will always watch out for the individual to take their drugs as prescribed. The experience is also complex as the loved one needs to be shown love and talked to openly about the disease to ensure they feel the warmth of the family members and reduce any negative thoughts they could have. The loved one also needs to be listened to and encouraged to continue treatment, making the family members do little of their work. Also, the experience is horrific, as the person will require to be connected to friends. It is the duty of the person caring for the loved one with AIDS to invite family and friends to pay a visit to the patient as frequently as possible. The individual will also want to be assigned household chores to feel useful like everyone else in the family. This can, however, be impossible when they are bed-bound and want to do the tasks. The experience can be pretty hoodwinking.
What Do You Think the Experience of Getting an HIV Positive Test Result Is Like?
Finding that one is HIV positive is the most harrowing experience one can go through in life. I think the experience of getting HIV-positive test results is scary. It can lead to a broad range of feelings such as worry, uncertainty, fear, and even concern about how other persons will think. Furthermore, getting HIV-positive test results can make one feel guilt, anger, annoyance, hopelessness, sadness, embarrassment, and shame. One will always think like they are being discriminated against or avoided, making them difficult to accept the new normal and commit suicide. I think the experience is just so worse because probably, a person did not imagine they could be HIV positive. The experience can also extend to low self-esteem, reduced confidence, and frustration. When one imagines that HIV has no cure and that they will have to take drugs daily for the rest of their lives, they think their dreams are no longer valid.
Again, I think the experience of getting HIV-positive test results can make someone hate themselves and even damage or hurt their body due to the shock of the results and fear of being humiliated. This disease is a nightmare, especially when one does not immediately cope with the positive results. Moreover, an individual may experience a sense of being overwhelmed despite knowing that the disease can be managed.
How Do You Think People Manage Their Lives After Positive Test Results or Diagnosis?
People who test positive for HIV manage their lives by beginning antiretroviral treatment immediately and sustaining it as part of their everyday routine. This ensures that their immune system remains strong. Even though this treatment does not cure HIV, it ensures that the virus is kept under control. Another way I think these people manage their lives is by exercising regularly. Being physically active helps maintain their health as it keeps their bones strong their heart-healthy, builds their muscle, and burns fat. This also reduces symptoms of depression and stress. Additionally, eating healthy helps manage their lives after positive test results. Eating a balanced diet with a bit of salt, sugar, or processed fat aids their body in absorbing the medication and fighting off infections.
Another way I think people manage their lives after positive tests of HIV is by avoiding excessive drug use or alcohol. Since the liver, which the body utilizes to absorb anti-HIV medications, may be damaged by alcohol, these people stay under the prescribed alcohol limits for alcohol intake. Infections are more challenging to treat if one has a weak immune system due to recreational drug use or heavy drinking. I think these people do limit their drug use since some anti-HIV medications may interact with alcohol or recreational drugs, resulting in undesired side effects such as feeling dizzy or faint, making them potentially susceptible. I also think limiting their alcohol use helps them manage their lives well, as they do not forget to take the drugs.
Additionally, I think these people manage their lives by getting support. After positive test results of HIV, this may be a great shock and can take one quite longer to adjust. As a result, these people talk to their family and friends and other persons living with the virus to help them cope with the situation and relieve stress. I also think these people look for a buddying or a peer mentoring service to motivate them to accept and love themselves the way they are and move on to accomplish their goals.
After one is diagnosed with HIV, I think they manage their lives by regularly seeing their healthcare provider to monitor any other health conditions they might experience as they grow older and adjust their treatment as required. These people also get enough sleep and rest to ensure their body is relaxed. This helps them always to feel okay and avoid body pains which can come as a result of working for long hours without a rest.
These people also practice safe sex in managing their lives. This protects them from contracting other common STIs that may be transmitted during intercourse, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. This prevents people infected with one strain from becoming infected with a second strain.
What services do you think are needed or are most helpful to people who are HIV positive or who have AIDS?
One of the services that I think are helpful to persons living with HIV includes counseling services (Moradi et al., 2014). These people need psychological and emotional therapy to continue living comfortably with the virus. Most people who are HIV positive fail to manage their emotional responses such as anxiety, depression, and stress. As a result, these people may start hating on themselves, making them commit suicide. Counseling services are essential to people since they will be encouraged to live with the virus positively by avoiding smoking and abusing drugs or alcohol. The counseling would also help the people know how to manage their emotions and improve their mood—for example, quitting caffeinated drinking beverages.
The counseling services would help HIV-positive people improve their relationships and communication and promote resilience and self-esteem (Moradi et al., 2014). It is also helpful to foster hope, encouragement, and motivation, generally improving their overall health. The counseling services would also help the people prevent the transmission of HIV by changing their dishonest and immoral behaviors.
Another service needed most by people having HIV is home-based care services. The activities that HIV patients need in home-based care include keeping them clean, averting bedsores, precluding malaria, treating symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and weight loss. Other activities in this service include managing symptoms and pain, assisting patients in dealing with worries, and preparing meals for them whenever they are unwell. Another action needed in this service is administering opportunistic infection treatment for them.
Moradi, G., Mohraz, M., Gouya, M. M., Dejman, M., Seyedalinaghi, S., Khoshravesh, S., & Ardakani, H. M. (2014). Health needs of people living with HIV/AIDS: from the perspective of policy makers, physicians and consultants, and people living with HIV/AIDS. Iranian journal of public health, 43(10), 1424.