Start your journey towards living well with HIV
The stress associated with living with a serious illness or condition, such as HIV, can affect a person’s mental health. It is important for people living with HIV to know that they have a higher chance of developing mood, anxiety and cognitive disorders. For example, depression is one of the most common mental health conditions faced by people living with HIV. It is important to remember that mental disorders are treatable.
HIV/AIDS imposes a significant psychological burden. People living with HIV often suffer from depression and anxiety as they adjust to the impact of the HIV diagnosis and face the difficulties of living with a chronic illness.
Living with HIV is challenging as it is associated with a number of significant and recurrent stressors including physical pain, side effects of antiretroviral therapy (ART), social stigma, and discrimination.
It can also be argued that the psychological impact of HIV arises mostly from a lack of support, care, knowledge and acknowledgement from family, friends and healthcare workers. Everyone irrespective of gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, ethnicity or socio-economic background should not be discriminated against. Living with HIV is not a death sentence, it is manageable and your human right to receive treatment and emotional support.
Family and peer group support is also very important because not only does it provide mental, economic and social stability to the people living with HIV, but it also decreases the stresses faced by them. Let’s stop the stigma and get tested for HIV!
For support, speak to our AskNelson counsellors and start your journey to living well with HIV.