Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Is there any sure way to avoid acquiring HIV?
- What is the best treatment for me?
- How can I avoid getting any infections that will make me very sick?
- How can I find support groups in my community?
- What diagnostic tests will you run?
- How often will I need to see my doctor?
- Will there be any side effects to my treatment?
- How does this affect my plans for having a family?
- Is it safe for me to breastfeed my baby?
- Will using a condom keep my sex partners from acquiring HIV?
- Should I follow a special diet?
Make Lifestyle Changes For Anxiety
Certain lifestyle changes could build your self-confidence, thereby acting as social anxiety cures. Avoid caffeinated beverages, alcohol, or energy drinks as these stimulants could trigger or aggravate your anxiety.
Researchers have discovered links between fermented food consumption with a decrease in symptoms of anxiety. The same study also highlighted how exercising helps reduce social anxiety. Ensure that you get enough sleep and drink enough water to keep your anxiety in check.
We Can Put An End To Serophobia
Serophobia is a manifestation of fear and aversion by certain people, towards people living with HIV. Like homophobia, it manifests itself through acts of exclusion or discrimination, whether implicit or explicit.
Pointing out a guy in a bar and telling friends that hes HIV positive
A persons HIV status is personal and confidential. HIV positive people are still subjected to discrimination and rejection. Disclosing a persons HIV positive status can have serious consequences; they could lose their job, be refused a new job, or be denied access to housing. Thats why its important to respect the confidentiality of this information, and not spread rumours.
Writing the sentence seeking a clean, healthy guy on your online profile
Using this type of wording is judgemental, and implies that HIV positive people are dirty and unhealthy. Its important to be aware of the negative connotations words can carry. A non-discriminatory formulation would simply be seeking an HIV negative guy. Whats more, this isnt an effective strategy for prevention, since in Canada, one HIV positive person in three doesnt know that they are HIV positive. For more information on safe sex and risk reduction practices, visit our site Readyforaction.org
Having preconceived ideas about HIV positive people
Assuming that guys who go to saunas or backrooms are HIV positive. Saying that HIV positive people were asking for it or that contracting HIV was their own fault.;
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Im Worried About What Other People Will Think
A lot of people worry about what it would mean for their future if they tested positive and what other people would think. Just the thought of going to a clinic, or someone seeing them go into the clinic, stops some people from testing. Its important not to let fear get in the way of your health.
Sometimes other peoples negative attitudes towards HIV and other STIs can put people off getting tested. People often have these views simply because they dont understand the facts. If you know the facts about living with HIV, youll feel more confident about ignoring or challenging people who talk negatively about HIV.
Remember, HIV is treatable but only if you know youve got it and the only way to know is to get tested. Testing regularly puts your mind at rest, and keeps you in control of your sexual health.
If you test negative, continue to focus on staying negative, and protect yourself and your partners from HIV and other STIs. If you test positive, you can take treatment to stay healthy. Being on effective treatment also reduces the risk of passing HIV on to your partners.
The most difficult situation is not knowing. If youre HIV positive and unaware it means that youre not getting the treatment and support you need to stay well.
Even if you dont have symptoms, your immune system will be deteriorating and eventually youll get sick so why take the risk?
Testing positive for HIV was not the end, but only the beginning of a bigger journey and chapter of my life.
Youre More Than Just A Virus
Stigma and lack of proper care can exist even among health care providers, according to Pantalone. But he says itâs best not to let that bother you.
âI think people who are in ongoing health care and want to start getting tested for HIV, bring it up with their provider. And if that provider isn’t supportive, then switch,â Pantalone says. âGoing to an organization that specifically serves the HIV community is a great way to be met with open arms and no judgments.â
At the end of the day, Gluckman says itâs important to remember that if you do test positive for HIV, you are more than just the virus in your body.
âYou have a virus. Just like any other bacteria, any other virus. You are worthy of respect, you are worthy of love, you are worthy of health, you’re worthy of good sex. HIV is just the virus.â
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Practice Mindfulness And Meditation
Practicing mindfulness can help you identify your thoughts and emotions in a positive, non-judgmental way.
It aids in grounding your emotions and self-introspection. A study published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journal indicates that practising mindful medication could decrease anxiety by 39%!
Further, meditation could also help those struggling with anxiety. According to the University of Amsterdam, mindful meditation could be an effective, accessible, and cost-effective way to deal with social anxiety.
Hiv/aids In Singapore Virtually No Hiv
If we do not act, by 2010, we may have more than 15,000 HIV persons in Singapore. Then, sometime in the next decade, Tan Tock Seng may very well become the AIDS hospital. Dr. Balaji Sadasivan during a speech delivered in 2004 at the Tan Tock Seng Hospital Doctors Night.
I read with great sadness about the passing of Dr. Balaji. Reports of his efforts and visionary leadership with regards to controlling HIV/AIDS in Singapore brought to mind a beautiful book by Dr. Elizabeth Pisani I once read titled The Wisdom of Whores. It was a great read, simultaneously engaging and thought provoking. I was however rather tickled when she described Singapore as a hyper-organized Asian city state.well stocked with indigenous talent, and there was virtually no HIV.
It got me thinking about how the rest of the world perceives Singapore through the HIV looking glass. Does everyone hold the impression that Singapore has virtually no HIV? It would genuinely come as a complete non-surprise if they do. Singapore exudes an image of cleanliness, efficiency, wealth and, dare I say, purity. There is no corruption, no drugs, no development problems so why should there be HIV? In fact, Id be willing to wager that most Singaporeans feel the way most of my friends and acquaintances do, that although HIV/AIDS in Singapore should be dealt with but its really not such a big problem.
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Talk To Your Hiv Health Care Provider
Talk to your HIV health care provider if you are experiencing any of the symptoms above. Your provider may ask you some questions to assess how you are feeling and may prescribe medications to help with depression or anxiety or refer you to a mental health specialist.
If you are taking antiretroviral therapy or plan to take ART, consider the following:
- Sometimes ART can relieve your anxiety because knowing you are taking care of yourself can give you a sense of securing.
- However, some antiretroviral medications may cause symptoms of depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbance, and may make some mental health issues worse. Talk to your health care provider to better understand how your HIV treatment might affect your mental health and if anything can be done to address the side effects.
- Also, some medicines for mental health conditions or mood disorders can interact with ART.
Communicate openly and honestly with your health care provider about your mental health so that he or she can help you find the support you need. Discuss any changes in the way you are thinking, or how you are feeling about yourself and life in general.
Dealing With Discrimination When You Have Hiv
We’ve come a long way in our understanding of HIV and AIDS, but discrimination against people with HIV/AIDS is still rampant. Advances in research have made it possible to live with the disease, as people do with other chronic illnesses. But the greatest challenge for many people is still the stigma that accompanies the illness.
You may worry about what others will think about your diagnosis. Or you may fear coming out as gay or bisexual, or as an intravenous drug user. These worries and fears can encourage behaviors that put you and others at risk. These behaviors include:
Avoiding getting tested for HIV
Not using condoms
Hiding an HIV-positive status from sex partners
Avoiding medical care that can save or prolong your life
Not taking medication as directed
Hiding health problems from your family
The burden of AIDS is much higher among African-Americans. Homophobia and fear of people with HIV/AIDS are particularly strong in the African-American community. These fears mean that many people are afraid to acknowledge their sexual orientation or HIV-positive status. For these reasons, many prefer to risk infection rather than face the stigma of HIV/AIDS.;
Is It Common In Adults
Both children and adults can experience sleep anxiety. However, with kids, they may be scared of thing such as the dark or imaginary monsters. In this case, experts say parents can help by not building up fears, introducing a night light, avoiding scary tv shows or movies, or providing a comfort object such as a blanket or stuffed toy.
It Is Harder To Gradually Face Your Fears Of Flying
We know from over twenty-five years of behavioral research that gradual exposure to fearful situations is a highly successful treatment. You can design a program for yourself that takes you through stages of exposure to components of flying: studying about the industry, visiting airports, talking with pilots, boarding stationary planes, practicing visualizations of comfortable flight. But the;step;between these practices and boarding a regular commercial flight is a;large one. For those who have become phobic of flying and no longer travel by plane, this step requires significant courage.
Are You Afraid To Touch
In reaction to AIDS-related stigma, Indian photographer Dayanita Singh and American artist Sue Coe have focused on the simple act of touchingreinforcing the notion that hugs and handshakes are utterly safe activities. Working in a variety of media, artists whose work is featured in this section invite us to witness compassionate moments between caregivers and those living with or dying from AIDS. Even the tactile art of puppetry is being used to explore AIDS and touch, as evident in the performances on display by the innovative Indian AIDS activist/artist Anurupa Roy.
Understand You Are Not Alone
While you may be self-conscious or feel isolated with this phobia, its important to remember that you are not alone. There are others who struggle with sleep anxiety as well, and though you may be concerned about opening up about your condition, a trusted friend or family member can be a great source of support.
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The Reality Of Discrimination
Experts warn that “addictphobia” has contributed to discrimination against those who were infected with HIV through IV drug use. “Addictphobia” refers to negative beliefs and misconceptions about people who use illegal drugs. Among these false notions are the ideas that addiction is a moral failing and that addicts are unable or unwilling to change. These prejudices have slowed the availability of treatment centers for people who abuse drugs. As a result, people who are HIV-positive, African-American, and use IV drugs often face three stigmas. This heavy burden can increase isolation, anxiety, distress, and depression among those who are HIV-positive.
Whatever You Do If Fear Of Hiv Is Eating At You Get Help
You dont have to sit at your computer asking strangers to tell you that youve probably got AIDS. If your doctors are saying you dont, but you dont believe them, you may very well have a phobia.
If it causes you a lot of anxiety and pain, you can get better. If youre feeling ill all the time, it might be anxiety, or it might be a medical condition other than HIV that your phobia is preventing you from taking proper care of. You can do something about it. Yes, child. You!
Reach out to the right people and start to get it under control. Dont make Aunty Jimothy clutch her pearls. The world aint ready for that!
Thats another Aunty Jimothy column on Medium, guys and girls. Got a question? and shell do her best to crank out some pearlescent balls of wisdom.
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But That Aint Enough For People With Aids Phobia
According to mental health professionals, people with AIDS phobia develop irrational fears that they have HIV or AIDS even though they repeatedly test negative and even after doctors diagnose them as HIV negative.
People with AIDS phobia can often be so convinced they have been infected that all the negative tests in the world wont ease their fear. They can spend enormous amounts of time on the internet looking for evidence that their suspicions are somehow founded, often times from websites offering anecdotal, outdated, or quack medical advice.
Other people with AIDS phobia develop irrational fears of having sex or of being exposed to HIV in other ways. For example, I once counseled a person who was so afraid of HIV that he wouldnt use a public toilet.
There are others who will do absolutely anything to avoid getting HIV even if it is clearly unreasonable or outlandish. They may fear that stains on a piece of clothing are evidence of HIV-infected blood. They may devise seemingly ludicrous ways to avoid infected during sex, falling prey to products or devices that are not only useless but may put them in harms way.
Mental Health Providers And Programs
Because mental health conditions are common, many outlets can help you maintain good mental health. If you are having symptoms of depression or another mental health condition, talk to your health care provider, social worker, or case manager. These people can refer you to a mental health provider who can give you the care you need.Types of mental health providers include:
- Psychiatrists: Medically trained physicians who treat mental health problems with various therapies, like talk therapy, and by prescribing medicine.
- Psychologists: Trained professionals who help people cope with life challenges and mental health problems with therapies, like talk therapy, but usually cannot prescribe medicines.
- Therapists: Mental health or marriage and family counselors who help people cope with life issues and mental health problems.
You may also choose to join a support group. Support groups include:
- Mental health support groups: An organized group of peers who meet in a safe and supportive environment to provide mental health support to members of the group.
- HIV support groups: An organized group of peers living with HIV who meet in a safe and supportive environment to provide support to other people living with HIV.
You may find it helpful to create an action plan for your mental well-being. SAMHSA offers a free self-help guide you can use to create and maintain a wellness plan for yourself.
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Which Form Of Psychotherapy Has Had Especially Good Results In Treating Phobias And Compulsions
The best type of therapy for phobias and compulsions is behavioral therapy. In the case of phobias, which are irrational fears of or aversions to specific objects or situations, desensitization therapy will work. Desensitization therapy exposes people to their phobia until they are no longer scared.
In the case of compulsions, which are repetitive rule-bound behaviors, operant conditioning may be used to help reward a person for avoiding their compulsion. Cognitive therapy is another choice for help with compulsions as it works by addressing the thoughts of the compulsion as opposed to the action itself.
Im Worried About Getting Hiv
Youve probably heard a lot about how the virus is transmitted. However, there are only a few ways you can get HIV.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about how HIV is passed on, which can get in the way of the facts and confuse people.
Instead of worrying about HIV, learn how its transmitted and what you can do to protect yourself.
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The Story Of Billy Porter With Aids
Billy continued For a long time, everybody who needed to know, knew except for my mother. I was trying to have a life and a career, and I wasnt certain I could if the wrong people knew. It would just be another way for people to discriminate against me in an already discriminatory profession. So I tried to think about it as little as I could. I tried to block it out. But quarantine has taught me a lot. Everybody was required to sit down and shut the fuck up.
My husband and I rented a house on Long Island because I have a preexisting condition and I cant be in the middle of it. I have to protect myself, and I have the means to. Id never been given the luxury to even think about self-care or balance on any level before. Its like I had to just keep going. COVID created a safe space for me to stop and reflect and deal with the trauma in my life. Now, Ive been in therapy for a long time. I started when I was 25, and Ive been going on and off for years. But in the last year, I started real trauma therapy to begin the process of healing. I started peeling back all these layers: having been sent to a psychologist at age 5 because I came out of the womb a big old queen; being sexually abused by my stepfather from the time I was 7 to the time I was 12; coming out at 16 in the middle of the AIDS crisis.
Billy was forced to hide this ordeal from people, especially his mother.