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Nov 16, 2019 09:20 AM EST

How is it Like Living with HIV-positive family member?

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Families Living with HIV
Families Living with HIV
(Photo : pexels.com)

Human immunodeficiency syndrome or HIV has always been a great global issue for almost 25 years. There is no exception, every people of any age can be affected by this virus. As each day passed, the disease distresses more individuals, families and communities. This Human immunodeficiency virus better known as HIV affects almost 1.2 million individual in the U.S.

HIV is increasingly acknowledged as an illness that has emotional impact to the society. It includes the couples and families, and not just the sick individual. This is not only because of the risk that the virus can be passed easily from one person to another, but also because for every HIV patient, there is a community and family affected by the situation.

HIV is a blood-borne virus that can result from irresponsible sex, sharing drug-injecting equipment exposed by infected blood and birth during or shortly after birth from an HIV infected mother.

As of now, HIV can be controlled via the combination of medications but there is no cure. If totally ignored by the patient, it can develop to a more serious disease called AIDS or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

How Does HIV Affect Families?

As with other serious diseases, spouses and families are the primary persons to provide physical, emotional, and financial support for the patient.  This unwanted situation can result to more issues.

  • If a person has a partner and was diagnosed with HIV, there could be changes in behavior like being more private about everything. This may include unfaithfulness or male homosexuality or intravenous drug use. This can go further to feel guilty and continuous blaming that can lead to crashing relationship.
  • The family may also grieve by having a member that will spend the rest of his life miserable.
  • Financial problem can easily happen because there is already one permanent burden in the family and when someone gets sick it is so easy to have emotional breakdowns.
  • A family with an infected child will find it hard to disclose the issue to this innocent one.
  • The stress of living with HIV causes some people to have mental problems like, anxiety, stress and depression.

See Also: Drug Reverses Signs of Liver Disease in People Living with HIV

How do you know when to seek help?

Even though there is a significant shock about the diagnosis, most people are strong and generally manage their HIV infection in a good way. If you find that sometimes it is really hard, you may consider seeking the help of others.

  • If you are worried about being infected with HIV, never hesitate to consult your doctor
  • Have someone by your side before and during the actual HIV test 
  • Seek advice from experts and people you are close with when diagnosed with HIV  
  • Seek advice before telling the issue to another person
  • Seek advice if it affects your personal relationships 
  • Seek advice when it is hard coping with your daily activities 
  • Seek advice when financial struggle strike that you opt not to continue the medication

Even if the society treats people with HIV as a burden in the community, the family, friends, and dedicated organization should be the patient's leaning shoulder. The HIV itself is a problem, be open-minded and help someone as long as you can.

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